RPG & DB2 Summit: March 21-23, 2017, in Orlando

In just two weeks I’ll have the pleasure of joining some of the top IBM i development experts in Orlando for the RPG & DB2 Summit. Run by Susan Gantner, Jon Paris and Paul Tuohy, this conference is full of big personalities who create a warm, friendly environment that’s perfect for learning.

I enjoy the community feeling and how excited everyone is to solve development problems and share tips and techniques.

The RPG & DB2 Summit is one of the few training events that focuses exclusively on topics of interest to IBM i developers. That includes PHP and SQL, of course!

Check out the session grid and pay special attention to the Hands-on PHP Workshop on Monday, March 20, followed by several PHP and open source sessions given by yours truly and Zend’s Mike Pavlak, plus a whole array of SQL sessions. And maybe a few on RPG.

I think they should change the name of the conference to the RPG, PHP, SQL & DB2 Summit, don’t you?

Come join us!

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WMCPA 2017: A Glimpse into the Future of IBM i

Every year I look forward to WMPCA’s Spring Technical Conference. And it’s not just because this active IBM i user group does a great job of bringing experts to beautiful Wisconsin (in March!) to teach a broad range of IBM i topics.

I also love meeting the next generation of IBM i talent, always represented by Jim Buck’s RPG students at Gateway Technical College.

And, of course, there are many PHP and open source sessions to choose from, including these from me:

  • Make Your IBM i Sizzle with WordPress
  • Apache Web Server Magic on IBM i
  • Using DB2 and SQL with Open Source Languages on IBM i
  • PHP Tricks for the RPG Programmer: Graphics, Excel, PDFs, E-Mail and More

Also check out these sessions from our good friend Mike Pavlak:

  • PHP Web Security in an Insecure World
  • Web Services with PHP on IBM i

I could go on and on with recommendations, but I’m sure you’ll find plenty to love on your own.

Join us at the WMCPA Spring Technical Conference on March 14-16, 2017, at the Lake Lawn Resort on the shores of Delavan Lake!

 

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The Fresh Faces of IBM i

I was thrilled yesterday to see the familiar face of Seiden Group’s own Stephanie Rabbani smiling up at me from IBM i’s Home page, next to our friend and Club Seiden colleague Liam Allan.

Both are currently featured by IBM as “Fresh Faces of IBM i” along with Kody Robinson of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation — just a few of the outstanding young professionals on our platform.

fresh-faces-of-ibm-i

This honor calls attention to what I know of Stephanie first-hand from working side-by-side with her on Seiden Group consulting projects. With 14 years experience on the IBM i, she is versatile, resourceful, and personable, with skills in PHP, RPG, WebSmart, and more. And she strongly advocates the continued use of IBM i as the best business platform. Well done, Steph!

Liam Allan is another impressive young developer. At just 19 years old, he earned the 2016 COMMON Student Innovation Award and quickly found himself at home on the speaking circuit with audiences eager to learn his techniques. He could program in any language but has chosen primarily to advance the art of RPG. I’m looking forward to seeing him again in March, when we both travel to Orlando to speak at the RPG & DB2 Summit. Go Liam!

But these “Fresh Faces” represent something bigger than individual excellence. To all of us with valuable business assets on the IBM i, they are visible evidence that we are beginning to succeed in attracting young talent to the platform. I see other such evidence in my work as a consultant, in my sessions at conferences, in the classroom when I train.

So thank you, IBM! Your efforts to modernize the IBM i development environment are paying off.

And thank you to all of the seasoned developers who have moved to RSE and free format RPG, who have led their organizations to rewrite or extend their applications using ILE, SQL, new DB2 techniques…and, my favorite of course, PHP.

With efforts to make IBM i code more broadly accessible, coupled with talented young developers who are interested in working on the IBM i, the future of our data and business logic looks brighter than it has in years.

You can personally be a part of IBM i’s revitalization. Adopt modern development techniques. Mentor a younger developer. Continually learn new skills. Ask for help when you need it.

If you’d like to discuss what Steph and the whole Seiden Group can help you accomplish, send us a note.

Congratulations to Steph, Liam and Kody!

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Seiden Group is here

We are pleased to announce the start of a re-branding from Alan Seiden Consulting to “Seiden Group,” reflecting our evolution from a one-person consultancy to a team of experts. We still specialize in PHP and open source on IBM i, but now we’ve gained the ability to manage and develop large projects, all while mentoring our clients so that they can become self-sufficient if they so choose. Our range of skills has also broadened to include many complementary areas including RPG, User Experience testing, Git workflow and code review services, and WebSmart (a fine BCD product), which all go nicely with our core PHP expertise. We’re still great at troubleshooting, performance help, DB2 and toolkit connectivity, Zend Server configuration and other core strengths.

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We’ll have a booth at ZendCon, October 18-21, 2016. We hope some of you will stop by and meet the wonderful Seiden Group team.

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Speaking tip

An IBM i colleague today asked me for tips to make his presentations at COMMON and other conferences more effective and helpful.

I told him that I like to arrive a day early, talk to people, gauge the audience’s level of experience with PHP, IBM i, DB2, performance, whatever topics I plan to cover. I ask people what they hope to learn at the conference and from my talks specifically. With that information in mind, I adjust the content, emphasis, and pacing of my talks for that specific group. Such pre-conference socializing also helps attendees become comfortable talking to me, such that they may be more likely to ask questions and participate fully in my talks, which brings them alive for everyone.

Conferences and user events where I’ll be speaking in Fall 2016

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Fundamentals of tuning PHP on IBM i

At today’s free webinar at 12pm EDT, sponsored by Zend, a Rogue Wave Company, I will join Mike Pavlak in sharing tips on optimizing PHP in the IBM i environment. The webinar is being recorded and will be available for replay later. Details here: http://www.zend.com/en/resources/fundamentals-of-tuning-php-on-ibm-i

At Alan Seiden Consulting, we specialize in all aspects of PHP with IBM i, from mentoring, performance help, troubleshooting, DB2 and toolkit, application lifecycle management, and development projects from very small to large and complex. If you have questions about tuning or optimizing PHP or IBM i performance, get in touch on our contact page.

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Video promo for COMMON conference May 15-18, 2016

Join me for the 2016 COMMON Annual Meeting and Exposition, May 15-18, with pre-conference workshops May 14. Don’t miss New Orleans!

Learn about IBM i 7.3, open source languages, security, and more.

Alan will speak about PHP, SQL, performance, and how to relax your neck, back, and shoulders at the keyboard. Also looking forward to spending time with the gang from “Club Seiden.”
https://www.common.org

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WMCPA IBM i conference: March 15-17, 2016

Join me and 27 other speakers at the Wisconsin Midrange Computer Professional Association (WMCPA) spring technical conference, March 15-17, 2016, at the Lake Lawn Resort on the shores of Delavan Lake.

Featured speakers: Alison Butterill, Tim Rowe. Speakers: Robert Andrews, Jim Bainbridge, Aaron Bartell, Stacy Benfield, Larry Bolhuis, David Brault, Chris Bremer, Jim Buck, Tom Cremieux, Gus Delgado, Richard Dolewski, Von Enselman, Byron Franz, Charles Guarino, Scott Klement, Richard Milone, Floyd Del Muro, Greg Patterson, Mike Pavlak, Trevor Perry, Jim Ritchhart, Richard Schoen, Alan Seiden, Grant Smith, Matt Staddler, Paul Tuohy

Details: https://www.wmcpa.org/index.php/conference2016

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Top Ten Reasons to Choose PHP

I’m proud to have written the foreword for BCD’s new eBook, Top 10 Reasons to Choose PHP for IBM i Web Application Development. In this free eBook, author Duncan Kenzie explains why PHP has become the mainstream solution for web and mobile development on IBM i. He also guides RPG programmers toward successful adoption of PHP in their shops.

Thanks to BCD and Zend for sponsoring this eBook. Download it free here: https://www.bcdsoftware.com/lp/websmart-php/php-on-ibm-i.php

To read an interview with me, about PHP and the eBook, by Dan Burger of IT Jungle: http://www.itjungle.com/tfh/tfh020116-story05.html

 

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ZendCon 2015 starts October 19

This year’s ZendCon has a new location—Las Vegas—and more IBM i speakers than ever, including:

  • Tony Cairns (IBM)
  • Massimiliano Cavicchioli (Zend)
  • Jim Oberholtzer (Agile Technology Architects)
  • Mike Pavlak (Zend)
  • Stephanie Rabbani (BCD)
  • Chuk Shirley (Sabel Steel)
  • Shlomo Vanunu (Zend)
  • and myself, Alan Seiden (Alan Seiden Consulting)

Tutorial day, Oct. 19, is recommended at this premier PHP conference. I’ll present “Db2 and PHP in Depth,” a three-hour tutorial of techniques for using IBM i’s native database, which can help make PHP applications more secure, easier to write, and faster. I’ll also present new features of Db2 and PHP’s Db2 interface that were inspired largely by comments and requests of past ZendCon attendees. Special guest Tony Cairns from IBM is expected, too, for a lively discussion about practical PHP development on IBM i. Bring your questions.

Later in the week I’ll present “Create a welcoming development environment on IBM i,” based on my experience leading PHP projects for IBM i, and “Strategic Modernization with PHP,” which shows the possibilities on the IBM i platform and the strengths of various approaches. Expect to hear valuable advice from your colleagues, too.

I’m looking forward to attending talks, talking to sponsors, chatting with many of my blog and newsletter readers, meeting clients, and getting to know Rogue Wave, the company that recently acquired Zend.

Information about ZendCon: http://zendcon.com

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