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IBM i Pulse: September 15th, 2017

Posted by Tim Losee on Sep 15, 2017 9:00:00 AM


Glad to have you back for this week's IBM i Pulse! Each week we will be taking a deeper look at this week's IBM i news. This week we are looking at fixing the lack of RPG programmers, The discovery of Node.js, and the future of AI. 

But First... 

Ted Holt has yet another great article on IT Jungle, this time Ted discusses Removing Unwanted Trailing Blanks with LPEX. Enjoy!


Lack of Available RPG Skills Not a Hard Problem to Fix

by Dan Burger

You can't always judge a book by its cover, and that was particularly true in the subject of Dan's latest article. Sean Corpuz went from a part time security guard to a full fledged RPG Programmer. How? Initiative. 

Sean originally began working for Chinese Laundry (a well known international woman's footwear company) as a night and weekend security guard. He needed a job while getting his degree in Physics and this fit with his schedule. After showing the initiative to create a training document for his fellow security guards, Sean was promoted to security manager and from there had access to their internship program. He caught the eye of CIO David Wright who suggested him for the RPG programmer internship where he was quickly enrolled in a online course to begin his internship.

“The RPG concepts initially were very difficult to grasp,” Corpuz says. “Especially because the course that was provided to me used fixed format RPG. For the first year and a half I was in an abyss of confusion. The learning process hurts. It’s a headache. It gives you restless nights, but I wouldn’t be where I am unless I had managers and a group that that allowed an open forum of ideas.”

This internship proved vital to Sean's future and gave him an opportunity that he normally would have never had in a field he didn't even know about.

We always try to have an intern on staff,” Wright says. “The older guys learn from the interns who ask a lot of questions and provide a new perspective and keeping it fresh. Mentors learn by sharing their knowledge and teaching others. There’s a lot of doom and gloom about the lack of RPG developers and skills, but it’s not hard to fix that problem. If every shop had an RPG intern program, that problem would go away pretty quick.”

There is a lot of fear on the lack of RPG programmers that are out there, but Chinese Laundry is proving that you don't have to worry about the lack of RPG programmers, you can make them yourself! If more IBM i shops had intern programs the problem would quickly disappear. 

Read the whole story here!


Discovery of Node.js by a Java Developer

by Dave Ranjan

Dave has been a long time Java Developer and supporter. He is unapologeticly a "Server-side guy" as he likes to put it. He had no interest in UI or anything that wasn't directly with his side of the server. When it came to other languages he was always able to defend Java over all of them with easy, but when Node.js came along and allowed JavaScript developers to work on both the front and back end, he was at a loss for words. So he did some research on a few questions he had. Here is his journey through those questions:

  1. What is Node.js After All?

Node.js is a library written for V8 (an implementation of JavaScript written in C++). This allows you to run standalone JavaScript applications, execute JavaScript source code, handle memory allocations for objects, and much more! 

What was really interesting for Dave was 2 features that he always wished Java had: Event-driven and Non-blocking I/O. Having Node.js event-driven programming you can give a callback function which will be eventually called when your database is done doing what it is doing... no longer having to wait for it to finish to continue working.

  2. Why Node.js?

  •  Asynchronous I/O - All I/O intensive operations in Node.js are performed asynchronously to helpscale to large volumes of clients.
  • Language - Node.js only uses JavaScript, no need to learn one language for front-end and one language for back-end.
  • Simplified Build Process - No need to write specifications in XML (which wasn't designed to support programming logic), everything is in one language. 
  • JSON - When a database gives out data, Node will automatically give you the results in JSON format. 
  • Fast and Scalable - The speed of Node.js has never been questioned. Data comes in and and answered as quick as lightning. 

To see the rest of Dave's journey though JavaScript and Node.js, check out the full article below.

Profound Logic has bought all in on the power of Node.js with our newest product Profound.js. See the full scale of how Profound.js can use our agile modernization process to give your GUI a whole new look and feel today.


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The Future of AI: 10 Scenarios IBM is Working On

by Jason Hiner

We all know that AI is a broad term used on many different fronts. So broad that it can be confusing as to how it can be utilized for your business and even if AI is something that you can use. Jason put together a list of things that you may not have even thought AI can help you and your business go to the next level.

  1. Understanding PDFs - Watson can process large amounts of data at once for you.
  2. Understanding Obligations - AI can quickly recognize and flag changing rules, regulations, laws, and requirements. 
  3. Image Captioning - AI can quickly make valuable connections between data and images capturing.
  4. Automatically Building Videos - Taking its image capturing ability and combining it with natural language processing, AI can also create beautiful videos based on your specifications.
  5. Cognitive Assist for Data Scientists - AI can sort and organize massive amounts of data to help researching scientists.
  6. Radiologist Assistant - Watson can now read medical images to help combat against errors and assist Radiologists to complete tasks faster.
  7. Operational Research - AI can cut your operation research time to almost nothing, saving you time, effort and man power.
  8. Conversing with Deep Instance Knowledge - Using chatboxs and Watson's natural language processing, AI can process large data sets on any subject.
  9. Cognitive software DevOps - IBM is hopeful that AI can help with DevOps in the life cycle of software and cognitive UX as well. 
  10. Scaling Deep Learning - The biggest leap for AI seems to be its ability to deep learning. Taking massive amounts of data and creating usable and scalable information for the future.


November 15th-17th Profound Logic will be hosting our 2nd annual PLUS Seminar for their customers. Get the most value from your Profound Logic investment and assure your modernization success. Register here today!

One of our focuses for 2017 is the continued adoption of Node.js in IBM i shops. Click here to read our white paper on Why Node.js Is The Solution Your Company Needs.

Also, Profound.js 2.0 has been released! See how Profound.js 2.0 can help modernize your IBM i today!

And there, you're all caught up! Sounds like we have an interesting 2017!

Topics: Events & Education, Application modernization, IBM i applications, Node.js, Profound.js, IBM i, RPG, AS400 modernization, IBM i Modernization, Agile modernization, iSeries, Legacy Modernization

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