Four Hundred Monitor, February 15
February 15, 2017 Dan Burger
At the top of the top stories list this week is an article that imagines programming as the skilled labor that can revive the job market in the United States. It doesn’t take a big stretch of the imagination to see that. Artificial intelligence and cognitive computing may obsolete some jobs, but Watson can’t out code a good coder.
As long as we’re talking about cognitive, did you hear about the patents IBM collected this year directly related to cognitive computing? You couldn’t count them using all your fingers . . . even with 200 of your friends helping out a bit.
Top Stories From Outside The Jungle
(Wired) Politicians routinely bemoan the loss of good blue-collar jobs. Work like that is correctly seen as a pillar of civil middle-class society. And it may yet be again. What if the next big blue-collar job category is already here—and it’s programming? What if we regarded code not as a high-stakes, sexy affair, but the equivalent of skilled work at a Chrysler plant?
(CNET) IBM’s efforts to match and surpass the human brain with computing technology helped push the company to the top of the 2016 list of patent awards. The US Patent and Trademark Office granted IBM 8,088 patents for the year, more than 2,700 of them stemming from artificial intelligence and cognitive computing work.
(developerWorks) Fourteen folks have been added to the list of Power Systems Champions, the black belt equivalent of advocacy, evangelism, and thought leadership. Power Systems now includes 41 Champions, with more than one-third of those advocating for IBM i. The Champions designation is awarded by IBM.
(The Rails Rambler) Don Denoncourt is no one trick pony. When it comes to programming languages, he’s multi-linguistic. If cable TV had a Programmers Network, Don would have his own show called “Coders’ Banquet.”
Redbooks, White Papers, and Other Resources
(IBM) The IBM i strategy and roadmap is billed as an executive guide to IBM’s strategy and roadmap for it integrated operating environment for Power Systems. It continues to trumpet the traditional strengths that were created with the AS/400 and updates the system’s capabilities by describing modernization achievements in areas such as cloud, mobile, and analytics.
(IBM i Global Support Center) Technical Support Videos from the IBM i Global Support Center in Rochester, Minnesota, are available on YouTube. Subject matter includes Access Client Solutions, Save/Restore, Digital Certificate Manager, Installation Manager, and adding IBM i partitions, just to name a few.
(IBM) The security and integrity features of the IBM i Power are legendary, but are also widely misunderstood. In this video, Jeff Uehling, business architect for IBM i security, discusses the value of running business applications on a platform that provides superior protection for data.
(IBM) This document is intended to address the most frequently asked questions concerning IBM i performance on Power Systems. It provides best practice guidelines for the most commonly seen performance issues.
(IBM) This Redbook was written to help developers understand what modern RPG looks like and how to move from older versions of RPG to a newer, modern version. It also covers the basics of Integrated Language Environment (ILE), interfacing with many other languages, and the tools for doing development on IBM i.
Chats, Webinars, Seminars, Shows, and Other Happenings
February 15 — North Attleboro, Massachusetts – Apache Groovy, an object-oriented programming language for the Java platform, will be the featured topic at the monthly meeting of the New England Midrange Users Group. Guest speaker is Jim Mason, a consultant with Cape Cod Bay Systems. His discussion will include Groovy basics; using Groovy with IBM i; and sample solutions and code for data, documents, integration, and Web uses. The meeting will be held at Jimmy G’s Tavern (formerly Ambrosia Tavern) located at 116 Elm Street beginning at 5:15 p.m.
February 21 –Webinar -This session on modernizing spool file processes takes into account improved customer service with electronic distribution, reduced ITworkloads, and the elimination of printing costs. Forms, checks, labels and barcodes are included in the discussion. The presentation begins at 11 a.m. Pacific Time.
February 21 — Auburn Hills, Michigan – The Southeast Michigan IBM i User Group meeting will feature guest speaker, PHP industry expert Alan Seiden. He will discuss creative ways to use PHP, not only to create new GUI front-ends, but to add features to existing interactive RPG programs. Getting started with PHP and learning how PHP integrates with RPG and traditional resources also will be discussed. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at the offices of Cooper Standard located at 2110 Executive Hills Court.
February 21 — Edina, Minnesota – Robert Andrews, a consultant and educator specializing in security, database and business intelligence on IBM technologies, will be presenting a session on IBM i security at the monthly meeting of QUSER, the local user group for IBM midrange professionals in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The presentation will include the IBM i security enhancement called Authority Collection, plus new support to Audit Network Communication sessions into and out of the IBM i server. The meeting begins at 2 p.m. at the offices of Sirius Computer Systems located at 7760 France Avenue South, Suite 1310 (top floor).
February 21 — Lombard, Illinois – A discussion on cloud virtualization will be featured during the monthly meeting of the OMNI User Group. This session will cover planning, design and best practices for transitioning from a traditional IBM Power deployment to a secure, internally hosted, private cloud. Guest speaker is Larry Bolhuis, an author, conference speaker, and long-time IBM i community volunteer. He’s a subject matter expert on topics pertaining to systems design and management, networking and connectivity, work management, PTF, and Hardware Management Console topics. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. with registration and networking, followed by dinner at 6, and the business meeting and presentation at 6:45. It will take place at Casey’s Restaurant, which is at 415 E. North Avenue.
February 21 — Nashville, Tennessee – This meeting of the Tennessee IBM Mid-Range User Group will feature a presentation on activation groups by Steve Croy, president of iSoftwerks, a company that provides development services for IBM mid-range computers. His session will include information on activation group scope, activation group scope management, and managing ILE activation groups. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6 and the presentation at 6:45. The location is Shoney’s restaurant at McGavock Pike.
February 21 — Costa Mesa, California – IBM i modernization will be the featured topic at the regular monthly meeting of the OCEAN User Group. This presentation by IBM i modernization expert Eamon Musallam will cover modernization options and why they are more cost-effective and less risky than the alternative options of re-writing, replacing or leaving the platform. It will also cover gaining the support and funding from upper management, so the correct resources and training are available. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at National University located at 3390 Harbor Boulevard.
February 21 — Norwalk, Connecticut – The Fairfield AS/400 Users Group monthly meeting topic is converting DDS files to SQL tables without recompiling. Discussion topics include data-centric programming, row and column access control, and encrypting data. Guest speaker is Patrick Behr, a professional programmer with RPG and DB2 knowledge. He currently works for the application modernization vendor Profound Logic. FASUG meetings are held at the Norwalk Inn, 99 East Avenue, and begin at 5:30 p.m.
February 22 — Westbury, New York – The Long Island Systems Users Group monthly meeting will include two presentations by IBM i modernization expert Patrick Behr. At 5 p.m., Behr will discuss setting up a blog site. At 7 p.m., he will explore database modernization. In between the sessions is time for networking, cocktails, and dinner. LISUG meetings are held at the Westbury Manor located at 1100 Jericho Turnpike.
March 14 -16 — Delavan, Wisconsin A one-day Women in IT Seminar will take place in conjunction with the Wisconsin Midrange Computing Professionals Association Spring Technical Conference. The agenda includes sessions on IT careers, mentoring, and the business environment; a keynote address by Stefanie Chiras, vice president of Power Systems offering management; as well as an open discussion.
March 14 -16 — Delavan, Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Midrange Computing Professionals Association Spring Technical Conference is the largest conference in the Midwest. It features more than 50 informative presentations on current topics such as SQL, PHP, RPG, .NET and IBM administration. A full session agenda will be available online soon. In addition to the all-day technical session on Tuesday, there is a one-day event highlighting the opportunities for women in IT. The tech conference includes a vendor expo and is hosted by the LakeLawn Resort.
March 21-23 — Orlando, Florida – The RPG & DB2 Summit, hosted by System i Developer partners Susan Gantner, Jon Paris and Paul Tuohy, features three days of training that modernizes and expands IBM i development skills features three days of training that modernizes and expands IBM i development skills. An optional fourth day of hands-on workshops on March 20, provides an intensive dive into a choice of SQL, RSE/RDi, Service Programs or PHP sessions. The conference focuses on helping IBM i developers achieve continuous skills improvement based on current tips and techniques that can be implemented immediately. An early registration rate of $1,295 is available through February 17.
April 10-12 — Framingham, Massachusetts – The Northeast IBM i User Group Conference features more than 70 educational sessions in six skills categories. It offers the opportunity to learn about new technologies, engage with vendors to discuss packaged software advancements, hear IBM i executives and lead developers discuss products and roadmaps for the platform, and gain knowledge that can benefit your company and your career. The user groups of the Northeast come from the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
May 2 & 3 — Markham, Ontario, Canada – The Toronto User Group’s annual technical education conference, TEC 2017, features IBM i-centric subjects that include: RPG application development, Web and mobile development, application modernization, accessing and optimizing DB2 data, performance management, and system management. The conference will take place at the SAVOY Conference Centre (Monte Carlo Inn) located at 7255 Warden Avenue in Markham. Early registration discounts are available.
May 7-10 — Orlando, Florida – The 2017 COMMON Annual Meeting and Exposition is the largest IBM i educational event of the year. It includes more than 300 sessions related to IBM i, as well as AIX and Linux. Open source, high availability, security, DB2, and application development are a few of the popular skill-building topics. The agenda includes all-day pre-conference workshops, open labs, and a wide variety of lecture-type sessions presented by subject matter experts. An early registration discount ($1,595 for members; $1,895 for non-members) is available through December 30.