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RPG and AS400 awareness test 

 August 24, 2009

By  NickLitten

So, back in the days of Sinclair C5’s, black and white TV licenses and pound notes, RPG was a bright new and vibrant programming language.

/me coughs and splutters slightly

Digging around an old Disk Drive (or perhaps I should say ‘winchester drive’) just looking to see if it was safe to throw away, I discovered some great old word documents that I put together back in the day. One of these was an RPG type test which was used to try to gauge the knowledge of people applying for programming roles within the Software House that I worked for.

I guess this was first written back in 91 and only goes to show how steady RPG is since it’s largely unchanged and still going strong after nearly 20 years:

OVERVIEW:
The following questions are intended to provide a general view of your knowledge of OS/400 commands and RPG400. This assesment assumes that you are familiary with the coding concepts inherent within RPGIII+. Note that ILE RPG is not included within this test.
Questions have been graded according to difficulty. Easy questions are worth less points.
NOTE: Points will not be deducted for incorrect answers.

This test is in two parts:
SECTION ONE This section contains a range of programming questions, both technical and elementary. You should take no longer than 30 minutes for this section.
SECTION TWO This section contains a basic specification for a small program performing a simple coding function. You are allowed 20 minutes for this section. Do not worry if you do not finish the program. The main purpose of this section is to see how you approach the problem. (Use any programming language that you feel comfortable with).

Name: …………………………………………………………………………………………

Company: …………………………………………………………………………………………

Position: …………………………………………………………………………………………

Mainly AS/400 Knowledge Y / N

Score Data:

…………… questions correct (30 maximum)

…………… Points awarded (50 points maximum).

……………….. %

SECTION I:
1. Outline the difference between DOWEQ and DOUEQ (2)

2. Under what circumstances are resulting indicators in the equals column SETON for SETLL and READE? (2)

3. What is the effect of returning from a program without setting on *INLR? (2)

4. Which IBM command tells you which logical files are built over a physical? (1)

5. Which IBM command would you use to determine if a screen was varied off? (1)

6. What IBM command would you use to view all spool files for a user, if you did not know their password? (1)

7. When creating a logical file what are the valid options for the MAINT parameter for maintaining the access paths? Which one must be used if the file has a unique key? (4)

8. What is the difference between defining a command key as command attention (CA) and command function (CF) in a display file? (2)

9. Outline the difference between ‘load all’, ‘extending’ and ‘single page ‘ subfiles? (3)

… and more

It all seems to obvious, antiquated and dust covered now… but I remember that this little quiz was given to every programmer who interviewed to join and you would be amazed at how many completely flunked it.

/me sighs and gazes misty eyed through the window

NickLitten


IBM i Software Developer, Digital Dad, AS400 Anarchist, RPG Modernizer, Shameless Trekkie, Belligerent Nerd, Englishman Abroad and Passionate Eater of Cheese and Biscuits. Nick Litten Dot Com is a mixture of blog posts that can be sometimes serious, frequently playful and probably down-right pointless all in the space of a day. Enjoy your stay, feel free to comment and remember: If at first you don't succeed then skydiving probably isn't a hobby you should look into.

Nick Litten

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