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    11 Essential Skills and Credentials for Aspiring RPG Programmers

    Are you looking to enhance your company’s technical capabilities? 

    Do you recognize the importance of RPG programming in today’s tech landscape?

    The demand for RPG (Report Program Generator) programmers has been consistent since its inception by IBM in 1959. 

    Over the years, RPG has evolved, so your future programmers must be skilled and knowledgeable about the latest updates.

    Before hiring professional RPG programmers, you must know the skills the right candidate must possess.

    So, without further ado, let’s go through the top 11 skills and help you strengthen your technical arsenal.

    11 Skills for RPG Programmers

    rpg programming

    RPG programmers must have these essential skills before you make the final call to onboarding them:

    1. RPGILE and RPG Free Proficiency

    RPGILE and RPG Free are the newer versions of the RPG Programming language. A proficient programmer in these versions is equipped to develop state-of-the-art business applications.

    Their expertise ensures efficient, adaptable software for businesses’ evolving needs. Applications built on the latest RPG versions can give you a competitive edge and help you achieve your desired business results.

    2. Debugging Techniques

    Software can encounter issues regardless of the development results, so RPG programmers need to debug effectively.

    They must know the process of finding and rectifying these issues. An RPG programmer skilled in debugging ensures that software remains reliable, performs optimally, and delivers consistent results.

    Ensuring minimal downtime and maintaining the integrity of business applications can be the difference between business continuity and costly interruptions.

    3. DDS, CL, and Spooled Files Knowledge

    DDS, CL, and spooled files are foundational in the RPG ecosystem. DDS is responsible for defining data structures and ensuring data is organized and stored with finesse.

    CL manages system tasks, ensuring seamless operations and spooled files handle outputs, ensuring data is directed where needed.

    Together, these elements ensure that the system operates in sync and that data is managed with integrity. So, your ideal RPG programmer candidate must know how to:

    • Design efficient data structures using DDS
    • Orchestrate and optimize system processes with CL
    • Manage data outputs effectively using spooled files

    With these skillsets, you can be confident that your business applications run smoothly and are aligned with your business goals.

    4. Impact Analysis

    A professional RPG programmer doesn’t implement changes without foresight. To avoid unintended consequences, impact analysis is highly important.

    It can assess the potential outcomes before the changes are applied. It can help the programmers by providing a road map and highlighting the challenges and benefits of the new strategy or idea.

    Onboarding a professional RPG programmer with impact analysis skills can help you minimize the chances of disruptions and ensure that any modifications align with your business objectives.

    Their ability to anticipate and navigate potential pitfalls means that your software remains robust and adaptable.

    5. WebSphere Development Studio

    WebSphere stands out as a comprehensive development environment. It offers tools that streamline the development process, from initial design to final testing.

    It can help your business with faster development cycles, robust applications, and software that aligns with business objectives.

    Hiring an RPG professional with expertise in WebSphere Development Studio can help you leverage the full potential of the ecosystem. Their knowledge ensures that your projects are executed efficiently using WebSphere’s best practices and advanced features.

    6. Technical Documentation

    Documentation is a software blueprint that provides insights into design, functionality, and usage. A well-documented software ensures stakeholders, even those without technical expertise, can understand its benefits and potential.

    While examining a potential RPG programmer, check their technical documentation skills. Give them a dynamic task that can help you understand the depth of their understanding and skillset.

    Effective technical documentation involves more than just writing. It also involves logically structuring information, ensuring clarity, and making complex concepts accessible. A programmer adept at documentation can create comprehensive and user-friendly guides.

    7. EDI Experience

    EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is crucial in the modern, interconnected business ecosystem. It streamlines data exchange between systems and ensures timely communication.

    With business partners, you can achieve faster transactions and reduce errors. An RPG programmer with EDI experience can integrate the capability into software and enhance its utility.

    You can check their EDI experience by asking about specific projects where they’ve implemented EDI, posing hypothetical situations or challenges related to EDI, and observing how they approach the problem.

    Through these methods, you can thoroughly evaluate an RPG programmer’s EDI experience and ensure that you’re hiring someone who understands different aspects of EDI.

    8. Data Conversions

    Data conversion is moving data between systems without losing integrity or structure. It can help your business with continuity and implement technological change.

    An RPG programmer skilled in data conversions ensures smooth transitions, accessibility, and uninterrupted business operations.

    With a robust team of RPG programmers who are good at data conversion, you’re prepared for future technological shifts, ensuring your data is always in a usable and in relevant format.

    9. FTP Automation

    Data transfer is a routine yet critical operation for many businesses. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard method for this. Automating FTP processes ensures timely, secure, and consistent data transfers.

    Your RPG programmers must be skilled in FTP automation. They can set up systems that transfer data automatically at specified intervals, freeing up valuable time and resources for other tasks.

    With FTP automation, data transfers can be scheduled for off-peak hours, reducing the strain on network resources during business hours and ensuring uninterrupted operations.

    10. Embedded SQL

    SQL is the language used to query these databases. When embedded within RPG, it allows for swift and efficient data retrieval.

    An RPG programmer must have expertise in SQL to ensure that the software applications they develop are dynamic and responsive.

    By embedding SQL within RPG, they can craft intricate queries that fetch data seamlessly, ensuring the end-users can access the information they need without any delays.

    As databases often store vast amounts of data, an RPG programmer proficient in embedded SQL can design optimized queries to sift through these large datasets and extract only the relevant information.

    11. Continuous Learning

    An RPG programmer’s commitment to continuous learning ensures they’re always equipped with the latest methodologies, tools, and best practices.

    You can test your candidate’s continuous learning mindset by discussing recent RPG programming advancements.

    Ask them about the latest versions they’ve worked on, any new tools they’ve adopted, or any recent courses or workshops they’ve attended. Their responses will give you insights into their proactive approach to staying updated.

    Another effective method is to discuss challenges they’ve faced in past projects and how they overcame them. The solutions to these challenges often involve learning and adapting to new techniques.

    Their ability to recount such instances and the lessons they derived from them will highlight their dedication to personal growth and development.

    Now that you have understood the essential skills your future RPG programmer should possess, it’s time to implement the learning.

    But hiring process can become hectic, expensive, and time-consuming.

    So, you can try outsourcing RPG programmers to help you escape all the hassles.

    Benefits of Hiring RPG Programmers from a Technology Partner

    Outsourcing RPG development to a technology partner can offer some big benefits for your business. Here are a few of the important ones:


    Outsourcing can help you save money. Instead of paying full-time salaries and benefits, you pay only for the work you need.

    By avoiding long-term commitments, businesses can adapt to changing needs without financial strain. Outsourcing also eliminates the costs associated with training and onboarding, allowing companies to invest in other critical areas.

    Diverse Expertise

    Technology partners or service providers have many RPG programmers, each with different skills. Businesses can benefit from varied perspectives and innovative approaches by tapping into this diverse talent pool.

    Instead of being limited by the expertise of an in-house team, outsourcing provides access to specialists in different areas of RPG programming.


    With outsourcing, you can easily adjust the number of RPG programmers you need. As your business grows or faces new challenges, you won’t be constrained by a fixed team size.

    You can scale up or down based on project demands, ensuring timely delivery without compromising quality.

    Cutting-Edge Solutions

    RPG programming changes constantly. Outsourcing partners stay updated with the latest methods and tools, ensuring your solutions are modern and ready for the future.

    By collaborating with experts immersed in the field, you benefit from their continuous learning and exposure to the latest industry trends.

    These partners invest in training and research to remain at the forefront, which means your projects benefit from the most advanced techniques available.

    Focus on Core Competencies

    By outsourcing RPG development, your team can concentrate on the main business tasks.

    It frees up your internal resources, allowing them to focus on areas where they excel: strategy formulation, marketing, customer relations, or other core functions.

    Risk Reduction

    Outsourcing companies often have backup plans and safety measures. These firms are equipped to handle unforeseen challenges, be it technical glitches, sudden resource shortages, or changes in project scope.

    Their experience managing multiple projects equips them with strategies to mitigate risks effectively. Moreover, they often operate with a diverse team of experts, ensuring that if one professional encounter an obstacle, another can step in to ensure continuity.

    Global Talent Pool

    Outsourcing lets you work with the best RPG developers from around the world. By tapping into a worldwide network of professionals, you gain access to diverse perspectives, skills, and experiences that might be limited in your local talent pool.

    Different regions often bring unique problem-solving approaches, methodologies, and innovations that can enrich your projects.

    However, choosing an ideal outsourcing agency can be overwhelming. But you can trust Integrative Systems.

    Choose Integrative Systems for Your AS400 RPG Application Development Needs

    RPG programming is key for your business if you want to create, update, and maintain business applications on IBM computer systems. However, you cannot achieve your desired results without the support of top RPG developers.

    That’s where you can trust Integrative Systems.

    Expertise in RPG Programming

    Our team of RPG programmers is adept at handling the nuances of iSeries RPG programming. They’re not just coders; they’re solution providers. With years of hands-on experience, they bring a wealth of knowledge, ensuring precision and excellence in every project.

    Holistic Approach

    Whether you need an RPG programmer analyst or an RPG analyst/programmer, our team has the versatility to cater to all your needs, ensuring a comprehensive approach to your projects. The multifaceted expertise ensures that every aspect of your project is meticulously addressed, from inception to completion.

    Addressing IT Challenges

    We assist businesses in navigating IT-centric challenges, ensuring smooth operations, and aligning IT strategies with broader business goals. Our proactive approach ensures that potential challenges are identified and addressed before they escalate.

    Maximized ROI

    We ensure its optimal utilization, aiming for a positive ROI. We are committed to delivering an unmatched user experience throughout the project. By leveraging the best tools and methodologies, we ensure that every dollar you invest yields tangible results.

    Agile Solutions

    Encountering an RPG-related challenge? Our in-depth knowledge of RPG programming ensures swift and effective resolutions. Plus, our customer support is always ready to assist. Our agile methodologies ensure that solutions are effective and delivered on time.

    Cost-Effective Solutions

    Our tailored development rates ensure you get premium quality solutions within your budget. We believe in delivering value, and ensuring that quality is always maintained despite budget constraints.

    End-to-End iSeries AS400 Solutions

    We offer comprehensive iSeries AS400 solutions from the initial stages to the final implementation. With Integrative Systems, you get a one-stop solution for all your needs. From consultation to deployment, our holistic services ensure seamless execution of every phase of your project.

    Two Decades of Excellence

    Our reputation as one of the industry’s leading RPG developers is backed by 20 years of experience. We’ve consistently delivered tailored solutions to a global clientele.

    Elevate your AS400 RPG application development journey with Integrative Systems. Our expert RPG programmers are here to guide, assist, and deliver.

    For more information or to start a project, contact us at [email protected].

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