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Friday, August 11, 2017

Influx Of Younger Programmers And Application Modernization.

Many in the IBM i community are concerned for the future of IBM i.

While we read headlines about users leaving the platform, we may not be aware that the Windows platform is also in decline compared to the rapid growth of Linux.

So what?

With technology there is ALWAYS change.

But, Bob, you may say, isn’t that too simplistic?

You are right. It is too simplistic.

So let’s dig deeper - and focus on IBM i.

We Cannot Direct The Wind, But We Can Adjust The Sail

Fundamentally, IT solutions must fit and support the business. AND, businesses need to change and adapt to their unique and dynamic market.

All this means that IBM i users need to adapt their systems to fit the changing business needs.

Fresh Faces Join IBM i Community To Help Their Businesses Adapt

I have been reading several blogs written by IBM i thought leaders about how to keep IBM i relevant to the needs of business.

Steve Wills wrote in “Promoting IBM i - Fresh Faces” about the “youth movement” – younger people coming to the platform. He highlights 4 individuals - Stephanie Rabbani, Kody Robinson, Lynell Constantine and Liam Allan. These 4 are newly acquainted to IBM i and learned RPG on their own.

Each utilizes IBM i and shares how they contribute to helping their companies solve issues.


Dan Burger On Education And Enterprise Computing

Dan Burger is an IBM i independent consultant and trainer.

Dan makes several important observations about the disconnect between what colleges turnout for programmers and what businesses really need.

What caught my eye is, “Companies need people who understand business. It’s easier to teach an accountant programming than it is to teach a programmer accounting.

For me, Dan stresses the significances that IT folks need to understand business, not just technology. The technology is to support THE BUSINESS..

Also, one CAN learn RPG. So people who understand the business can learn RPG.

And, if they already know how to program, they can also LEARN RPG. (This is also consistent with what Steve Wills points out in Fresh Faces above.)

The key ingredient?

Understand business first.

Then programming.


Eamon Musallam: Insights on i

Eamon Musallam works for Fresche Solutions. He is an IBM i application modernization expert.

He makes several profound observations:

1) It is way less expensive to modernize IBM i applications than to replace them.
2) Redesigning the database can simplify Oracle or Microsoft integration with DB2 for i database.
3) How long can it take to leave the IBM i platform? 10-15 years – realistically. [My opinion: applications modernization can ease the passage. In fact, with proper modernization, as a company adapts their applications to their needs, they may be able to stay on IBM i and save money by NOT leaving.]


I believe IBM i will continue and evolve as it has since 1988.

The platform is advanced, reliable and productive (needs fewer people to manage than other platforms and much easier to generate business reports).

AND, all businesses are faced with challenges for adapting to market demands, competition and technology.

Let us be clear that we need to:

1. Attract new talent,
2. Look for talent that understands business,
3. Invest in training to facilitate the technological changes needed for the business, and
4. Have realistic time frames to deal with the needed changes (years instead of weeks or months, with the notion that you can “rip and replace” to fix a problem that may be more complex).

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/does-ibm-i-have-future-you-bet-part-3-bob-losey
Website: www.informdecisions.com


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