The top headlines for the IBM i in 2018
Thanks for supporting Talsco Weekly this past year.
When we look back at 2018 it has been an exciting year for the IBM i community. And 2019 is going to get even better.
Happy New Year.
It’s very easy to get confused on what to call the platform with the all the name changes over the years. Here is a quick history of the AS/400 (AS400), iSeries and the IBM i from Nick Litton. He puts it into perspective.
RPG has been the backbone for development on the AS/400 (IBM i, iSeries) since the beginning.
But like anything, it’s time to clear out some of the old and make way for the new. We know it is not an easy task, but it is necessary to modernize your systems and applications.
It’s hard to argue that it’s human nature to want to advance and move forward.
In fact, history shows us advancement virtually everywhere you look.
The question is, what will the future of the IBM i platform look like?
It is the intersection of IoT, data, analytics, AI, and machine learning. It sounds complex, and it is.
And its the future of manufacturing. McKinsey & Company describes this as Manufacturing’s Next Act.
The companies that are ready for the “fourth industrial revolution” or at least parts of it need to become familiar with what it all means.
You might ask what does this have to do with the IBM i?
It is clear, there is a real need for RPG Developers now and in the future. But, gone are the days when you only know how to program in RPG. Now, and even more so in the future, developers will need to not only upgrade their RPG skills by using RDi and other modern tools but also acquire new programming languages and skills.
Over the years, I have read thousands and thousands of resumes. Some are good, others are not so good.
Writing a resume that captures the reader’s attention is not easy. But it does not have to be difficult.
The one thing that everybody agrees on is from a technology perspective is that more change is coming.
For years, IT has always had the philosophy that we have to speak the language of the business but now,
We’re at this interesting point in time where we’re flipping it into … business has to be tech savvy in a way they haven’t had to before.
RPG developers often ask me, what is the best language to learn in addition to RPG? My first question is, do you program in RPG free-form and use RDi? If not, this should be your first step.
RPG is the core language on the IBM i that has been around for 20+ years. The challenge is there are a number of different versions and a mix of fixed-form and free-form RPG in production.
I had a great conversation with an IBM i Leader this past week. He is one of the most forward-thinking leaders that I have spoken to in the IBM i community. He understands it’s past, present, and future.
The IBM i is fully capable to deliver everything that business needs, but there needs to be a shift in mindset within the community to make it happen.
I had someone comment to me that the AS/400 is old and outdated. Have you heard that before?
Rather than running through my usual explanation of the history of the AS/400 and the differences between it and the IBM i, I felt it would be best to give him an example.
IT Modernization projects are like a game of chess.
The fact that RPG and other legacy programmers continue to retire at a rapid pace makes this a hot topic in the AS/400 and Mainframe community.
So, how do IBM i shops deal with the linked technical and resource challenges of modernization?
There will be a lot of buzz around modernization in 2018. But it begs the question, what does it really mean? For some it means refactoring RPG code, updating the database or upgrading their ERP. For others, it means developing applications for the web and mobile devices. We will touch on all of this more in the future.
We predict that more and more IBM i shops will look to hire (we know because they are calling us) due to retirements as well as the need to bring in new talent that embraces modern technologies like RDi, PHP, and Node.js that will help them move forward.
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