fortunate enough to do just that. The real life experience I had in class has lead to my early success. Writing RPG
and CL programs, working with Valence to utilize the web, and the Administration class provided a solid base
for my working career. Having worked with RPG and CL programming and knowing my way around the system
increased my on-the-job learning potential right from the beginning.
A career in programming can be fast paced and the graduate should expect increased learning, knowledge
and responsibility as they enter the workforce. The most difficult aspect of my transition from student to the
workplace was to learn the business of my employer - in this case insurance. It is an ongoing education, from the
many business rules to the processing and procedures. Fortunately I work for a great employer, Delta Dental of
Wisconsin, which has made many resources available to me. They have provided me with training, as well as the
knowledge of many fellow programmers, detailed documentation, and ongoing company training of all areas of
Delta Dental has a high demand for efficiency, time lined projects, hard deadlines and expects the best from
everyone every day. While this is demanding, it is very rewarding, and my employer is very generous with
their many benefits. I have been fortunate to work with a wide variety of people including third party vendors,
business partners, and customers of our IT services. This personal interaction is something that was stressed by
Jim Buck in class time and time again.
I learned a lot in school but there is still tremendous amount to learn on the job. I have increased my knowledge
in the areas of the IBM i system, programming and, most importantly, business. The insurance business is always
changing and it is difficult to keep up with new regulations. This means a considerable amount of information
and rules must be considered in their programming – business rules, federal regulations, HIPAA regulations.
I know that I have fared better than most college students by experiencing Jim Buck’s IBM i-focused curriculum.
The combination of hands-on programming assignments, learning the latest IBM tools and working on group
projects has given me a well rounded education. A leg up on the competition - even over some experienced
programmers. I was fortunate to seize this opportunity and had several job interviews resulting in securing a
career in my chosen field and even my choice for an employer. Although, I did the work myself; Jim Buck offered
me the opportunity to experience and explore the IBM i world - and took it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mike Upright is Programmer Analyst at Delta Dental of Wisconsin. He holds certifications
as in an Associates Degree from Gateway Technical College 2011, iSeries Operations
Certificate 2011 and also an AS400 Programmer/Analyst Certificate 2011. He is focused
on System i and currently pursuing his Bachelors Degree in Computer Science –
Business Technology Management at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.