RPG & DB2 Summit Emphasizes Improved Skills to Defend IBM i
Published: December 14, 2010
by Dan Burger
The workforce in the IBM i community is facing some serious challenges. It's a rapidly changing world and enterprise computing isn't just going along for the ride; it's driving the bus. The same old IT answers aren't cutting it any longer. To survive you have to adapt. For RPG developers and DB2 engineers, that means expanding skills and learning to exploit the capabilities that are built into the IBM i operating system running on Power Systems servers.
Education and training have never been more important. Some people and some companies thrive in rapidly evolving environments and some don't. It's not a coincidence that education and training are emphasized where successes are found. It's also not a coincidence that better trained people with skills that can tackle today's business problems will lead IT projects in the direction of those skills.
According to Skip Marchesani, a respected trainer in DB2 and SQL database skills, the innate efficiency of RPG/DB2 development has camouflaged the true urgency to learn and use new skills, creating an opening for developers on other platforms to snap up the more innovative projects. Similarly, data can leak off of the IBM i platform under the auspices of making it more accessible to users. Those trends, in conjunction with lingering 5250 interfaces, can erroneously pigeon-hole the IBM i server as closed and outdated technology.
Marchesani is one of four principle educators in the System i Developer group that organizes and presents the twice-a-year RPG & DB2 Summit. It was announced last week that the next Summit event is being held March 22-24, 2011, at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando. The other "professors" on the System i Developer team are Susan Gantner, Jon Paris, and Paul Tuohy.
"One trend we've noticed is that more teams are actively defending the use of the IBM i within their organizations," Marchesani says. "Our goal is to send every attendee back to work armed with new skills so they can get any job done efficiently. That's what makes a person a compelling and credible emissary for the platform. The very best way to keep the IBM i in the forefront in the first place is to get serious about learning and using the functionality that the box gives you, before your business absolutely needs it."
The RPG & DB2 Summit curriculum emphasizes aspects of the IBM i environment that would amaze people who think this platform is 20 years behind the times. It features four session tracks devoted to topics such as IBM i modernization techniques; application architecture, coding and database best practices; and new technologies being successfully used in IBM i development.
On the front end of the Summit, there are four optional half-day seminars. These take place Monday, March 21, and are priced separately. The topics and instructors have been set. The agenda includes:
- Almost Everything You Need to Know About SQL with Skip Marchesani;
- Web Services for RPGers with Scott Klement; and
- The Easy Way to High Performance SQL on DB2 for i with Mike Cain.
A preliminary list of sessions (about 85 percent complete) can be found online at the System i Developer website. Additional instructors include: Barbara Morris, Kent Milligan, and Alison Butterill.
An early conference registration discount is available through February 11. That price is $1,095. After February 11, the full price of the Summit is $1,395. If you are a returning Summit alumnus, the registration fees are $100 lower.
The above-mentioned half-day seminars are priced at $215 or two for $295 when purchased in conjunction with the Summit. If purchased separately, one session is $350 and two sessions are $475.
Rooms at the Florida Hotel are $114 per night (including in-room Internet), if reserved before February 26. For more information on the RPG & DB2 Summit, see www.systemideveloper.com.
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