Welcome to another edition of Talsco Weekly
- News: RPG is not going away, EVER. Neither is the IBM i.
- Training: How to build a Fullstack App from Scratch using Node.js. IBM i community is rock solid.
- Development: Truths of a Self-Taught Programmer. SQL has a constant for pi.
RPG is not going away, EVER. Neither is the IBM i
I attended the roundtable discussion at the WMCPA this week.
The panel participants were as follows:
- Tim Rowe, Business Architect Application Development – IBM
- Allison Butterill, IBM i Offering Manager – IBM
- Pete Massiello, President – iTech Solutions
- Simon Hutchinson, IBMi DevOps Manager & Owner of RPGPGM.com
- Robert Andrews, Sr. Managing Security Consultant – IBM Systems Lab Services
- MC: Mike Pavlak, Solutions Engineer – Perforce Software
Key takeaways from the discussion
- RPG is not going away EVER: Over 50% of the Fortune 500 companies leverage RPG.
- Pick the right tool: Even though you might be able to use RPG for everything you shouldn’t.
- Don’t hire RPG developers, train them: While our specialty is finding full stack IBM i developers, we have seen countless companies have incredible success hiring web developers and training them in RPG. They often turn to companies like imPower Technologies for training.
- Even on the IBM i security is important: While it’s true that IBM i is one of the most secure platforms, it is no longer wise to have a “Set It And Forget It” mentality.
- The “i” stands for integration: We have come a long way since the AS/400.
- The IBM i has been around for 14 years: It’s the longest-standing name for the midrange platform. And apparently, there is no name change in sight.
- IBM i success stories: If you ever wonder what other IBM i shops are doing to modernize or transform their businesses take a peek at the ever increasing “IBM i success stories” that are adding up on IBM’s website.
While RPG might be the right tool for back-end business logic, if you need to build a fullstack app from scratch, a different set of tools is needed.
Here is a preview of a course that will walk you through the steps on building a fullstack app. It uses Next.js.
What is Next.js?
“Next.js is an open-source web development framework built on top of Node.js enabling React based web applications functionalities such as server-side rendering and generating static websites.”
Check it out.
It dawned on me this week how the IBM i community is incredibly valuable. It’s really a big family.
While there are an incredible amount of online training resources available for the IBM i and Open Source communities, it is hard to replicate the value in-person meetings offer.
Nevertheless, both in-person meetings and online events help open up dialog within the community that is necessary to continue to move the IBM i platform forward.
Here are some of the upcoming events you should check out.
At the WMCPA panel discussion this week, Tim Rowe from IBM talked about the importance of picking the right tool for the job. While RPG can be used for almost everything, it’s often not the right tool at all. Carpenters obviously don’t just use a hammer and nails, then why should an IBM i developer only use RPG?
It’s important to pick the right tool.
“The software industry is growing at a faster rate.
Applications are getting bigger and more complex to manage. The total time given to a programmer to develop an application is decreasing.
Any developer cannot afford to build every piece of software from scratch.
To build any current application, they have to use existing tools. These tools include things like domain-specific language, framework, components, and libraries.
By using freely available tools, the developer’s productivity increases.
When programmers use widely used libraries and frameworks, they will face fewer bugs compared to tools built in-house. As they are maintained by developers from all over the world and managed by amazing teams.
Developing each tool in-house can be expensive compared to purchasing a subscription. That is why it is important to select the right tool.”
It’s also important to keep in mind the following questions when selecting tools:
- What is the life-cycle for the tool?
- What is life expectancy of the application you are using it for?
If you are an IBM i Developer and not leveraging SQL, you should. It’s one of the most useful tools you can have in your toolbox. Simon Hutchinson of RPGPGM.com frequently blogs on the topic. In fact, if you search his site as of today’s writing there are 605 results on SQL as it relates to the IBM i. Try it yourself and see what interesting things you come up with.
If you are an RPG programmer looking to explore opportunities or a client who is looking for a talented IBM i professional, please contact us. We look forward to assisting you.
Do you know of someone who could benefit from Talsco Weekly? If so, please use the social media buttons to spread the word. Thank you!