Welcome to another edition of Talsco Weekly
- News: Open Source on the IBM i. COBOL in the news.
- Career: The full stack developer for the IBM i. The top 10 languages for the future.
- Data: Data structure and AI.
- Digital Transformation: CIOs prep for the future. Digital strategy in a crisis.
- Development: Git started with Python and Hello World in RPGLE.
- Modernization: One CIOs path to innovation.
- Trends: Edge computing trends that will take off in 2020. The remote office is more than a trend.
Some great things are in store for the IBM i community as it relates to open-source and the latest TRs.
New technology is exciting. And when it can help you run your business more profitably or efficiently, well, it becomes very exciting. With IBM i, the open-source community is arguably the biggest contributor of new technology to the platform.
Python, Node.js, and several other languages are at your disposal.
Now, all that needs to happen is developers need to dive in and start learning.
A good friend of mine told me a long time ago.
When I don’t want to manage people anymore, I will go back to being a COBOL programmer. The codebase is not going away and we can’t find good COBOL programmers.
RPG is not going away anytime soon either.
“IBM has announced the Elyra AI Toolkit, a new open-source project that extends the JupyterLab user interface to simplify the development of data science and AI models.”
You might be wondering, what is a full-stack developer? There are a handful of definitions out there, but in general, they are similar.
“The programming and developer communities are emerging at a rate faster than ever before. Various new programming languages are coming up that are suited for different categories of developers (beginners, intermediate, and experts) as well as for different use cases (web application, mobile applications, game development, distributed system, etc)”
This is an informative blog post because it gives the pros and cons of each language. The idea here is to pick a language that compliments your RPG development skills.
Need and IBM i Full Stack Web Developer?
We have IBM i Consultants who can help extend your RPG applications to the web. Call us to learn more.
Every big company now manages a proliferation of sites, apps, and technology systems for interacting with buyers and managing everything in the business, from customers and clients to inventory and products. These systems are spitting out data continuously. But even after multiple generations of investments and billions of dollars of digital transformations, organizations struggle to use that data to improve customer service, reduce costs, and speed the core processes that provide competitive advantage.
What is the problem?
Data is locked in silos, inaccessible, poorly structured, and most importantly, not organized in such a way as to be used as the fuel that makes AI work. Instead, to reap the benefits of AI, companies need to create something called an ontology, a comprehensive characterization of the architecture of all of its data.
Learn more about how to create an ontology.
This article touches on the unthinkable changes that organizations have undertaken in a few short weeks. Without the recent crisis, such changes might take months, years, or never happen.
As the COVID-19 crisis forces your customers, employees, and supply chains into digital channels and new ways of working, now is the time to ask yourself: What are the bold digital actions we’ve hesitated to pursue in the past, even as we’ve known they would eventually be required?
As counter-intuitive as it may be, the perfect time to push modernization, or digital projects might be in a moment of crisis.
- Bold leadership is needed: IBM i leaders need to be strong.
- Focus on technology: This crisis will expose gaps in technology or trouble spots. Fill the gaps quickly.
- Learning while scaling: In a normal business climate, there is time to learn. This is not one of those times. The learning will come as you scale.
- Keep it simple and focus: Far too many AS/400 shops neglect automation. If you have to do anything more than once, automate it.
- Don’t go alone: Research proves that organizations that leverage “network effects” do better. Rely on your network of peers, competitors, and vendors for solutions.
Interesting read on the future of IT spending. However, you want to look at it, going forward CIOs need to be part of the conversation.
They should partner with the CEO and their C-Suite peers to devise coordinated plans that balance short-term tactics with long-term business strategy. It is dumb to make IT plans in a vacuum.
The article goes on to point out that it is also common for the business to make plans without the CIO.
Why is that?
Maybe it is the poor perception of IT within the organization? Or could it be the lack of understanding the C-Suite has about the link of business systems, business processes, and technologies?
The likely answer is, it’s all of the above.
The full-stack developer for IBM i.
RPG Developers who are looking to add another skill might want to consider Python. Enterprises of all sizes and around the world leverage the unique powers of Python.
One of the misconceptions of Python is it:
cannot be reliably used to build enterprise-grade software. However, almost all commercial and government enterprises already use Python in some capacity, either as glue code between disparate applications or to build the applications themselves.
You might think that Python is not made for the enterprise but this could not be further from the truth.
Getting Started with Python on IBM Cloud
I have had some recent inquiries on how to learn to use Python on the IBM i. While this is not directly related to the IBM i. It will help get you started.
- How to set up your Python and Flask Development environment.
- The differences between Python 2 and Python 3
- Python Flask – IBM Watson
While Git is 15 years old, it is relatively new to many in the IBM i (RPG) development community. Here is a useful post on Git terminology as well as how to get started using Git.
A short tutorial on “how to create a simple free-format RPGLE program step by step using IBM Rational Developer”
Here is an example of a company that has been around for 123 years, has a global workforce, and has been able to not only modernize but also transform their business.
The following three strategic pillars are at the core of what made this company successful.
- working more closely with customers
- making work easier for employees
- improving the speed and how the company works
There are some good lessons here.
It is important not to lose sight of the future. Because the future is already heard. Edge computing will start to take off this year.
While remote work is not ideal for every company. It certainly has it’s benefits. Here are some of the benefits of remote work and why businesses may permanently integrate it into the way they work.
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