Liam Allan Joins Seiden Group

Liam AllanWhen IBM i development pros first meet Liam Allan, they’re captivated by the unrestrained enthusiasm he exhibits for their favorite platform. His excitement over what can be accomplished with IBM i technology leaves people refreshed and inspired.

Those who have had the pleasure of working with Liam know that his energy and intelligence are only the beginning of what he has to offer. He also possesses exceptional skill AND the depth of understanding required to turn his ideas into reality.

When I first met Liam, it was clear that his skills with RPG and open source would help advance the IBM i community. One first notices his quickness, as he rapidly assimilates new information and generates new solutions, and then his patience, as he teaches technology to others.

When Liam recently became available for consulting work, I was thrilled that he chose to join the Seiden Group team! He will provide clients with development and training services involving Node.js, Git, RPG, and emerging open source technologies.

Integrating IBM i and Open Source Technologies

Liam’s enthusiasm for IBM i and open source inspires others to embrace new development techniques. “The most important thing to me is that businesses know the open-source technologies they have available to them and how to best apply it to their projects,” he says. “Working with Seiden Group will give me broader outreach in helping businesses achieve their goals.”

Michael Privett, Director of IT at Southeastern Paper Group, confirms Liam’s ability to teach and inspire. “Liam is great!” he reported after a 3-day training engagement with him. “He’s smart as a whip and a very impressive consultant who performs well beyond his years. My team is staying engaged. I see excitement.”

Liam has earned his place as one of the top advocates for integrating the best of open source, RPG business logic, and Db2 for i data.

Liam’s Background & Community Contributions

Liam first came to prominence in 2015 when our friend Dave Dressler (aka PHPDave and UseTheForceDave) invited him to join the Club Seiden open source community.

He quickly earned high standing among the IBM i development community. In early 2016, COMMON named him recipient of the Student Innovation Award, and he found himself on the speaking circuit with audiences eager to learn his techniques for integrating open source with RPG. IBM further honored his work by naming him a Fresh Face of IBM i and, soon after, an IBM Champion.

Yet Liam contributes so much more to the IBM i community. He co-hosts the IBM Bi-Weekly, a twice per month technical podcast, with Seiden Group’s Josh Hall. He works on open source projects such as ILEditor, a free IDE for IBM i developers, and barryCI, a build server for ILE applications on IBM i, from his Works of Barry GitHub repository. He’s also a popular speaker at IBM i user groups and conferences around the world.

Put Liam to Work

If you would like to schedule training or development work with Liam—or any of our innovative, productive consultants—contact us.

Sneak Peek at Plans for ILEditor 2

worksofbarryI’ve been eagerly watching Liam Allan’s open source ILEditor mature into a very convenient tool that I can turn to whenever I have a quick development task to perform and I don’t have an active RDi session open. So I was thrilled to learn about his plans for the next major release!

The beauty of ILEditor is that it starts up quickly, performs quickly, and lets me return to whatever else I was doing. For example, I recently used it to copy and send some CL code to a client while I was on vacation. So fast!

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IBM i Super Hero Revealed

Geeks that we are, we developers love our super heroes.

It’s not always easy to spot a Clark Kent in our midst. Case in point . . . have you ever seen Alan Seiden without his glasses?

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Next IBM i CIO Summit to be held October 16-17, 2017, Minneapolis

IBMi CIO Summit In late April in Manhattan, Seiden Group had the pleasure of hosting its first IBM i CIO Summit.

Now we’ve gone a step further, teaming up with System i Developer partners Susan Gantner, Jon Paris and Paul Tuohy, to organize an IBM i CIO Summit “Plus.” The event will be held October 16-17, 2017, in Minneapolis, in conjunction with the RPG & DB2 Summit.

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Steph Rabbani and Liam Allan are 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.

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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!

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.

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

 

Video promo for WMCPA IBM i conference: March 10-12, 2015

Join me and 20 other speakers at the Wisconsin Midrange Computer Professional Association (WMCPA) spring technical conference, March 10-12, 2015, at the Lake Lawn Resort on the shores of Delavan Lake.

Speakers: Aaron Bartell, Rob Bestgen, Larry Bolhuis, Tom Cremieux, Floyd Del Muro, Raymond Everhart, Margaret Fenlon, Susan Gantner, Charles Guarino, Scott Klement, Chris Koppe, Jon Paris, Mike Pavlak, Jim Ritchhart, Debbie Saugen, Alan Seiden, Dr. Frank Soltis, Robert Swanson, Robin Tatam, Jeff Tickner, Steve Will

Details: http://wmcpa.org/index.php/conference-2015/ibmi-conference-2015

Youngiprofessionals.com transition to new server

Update as of Jan. 26, 2015: youngiprofessionals.com now redirects to the new server.

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The youngiprofessionals.com site, which hosts XMLSERVICE, has been moved to a new server. Till the domain name can be directed to the new server, use this URL: http://yips.idevcloud.com/wiki/.

January newsletter

I’ve relaunched my PHP and IBM i newsletter. Here is the January 2015 edition, out today.

To subscribe and receive this free newsletter each month, go here: alanseiden.com/tips.

Comments welcome. Happy 2015–

Alan