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What I Learned at the Spring COMMON Conference 2017

Steve Pitcher

The best education doesn’t always happen in the session room.

Written by Steve Pitcher

I’m finally sitting down to catch my breath after a very long week at the COMMON Annual Meeting and Exposition in Orlando, Florida. I’m sitting in seat 24C on a flight from Orlando to Newark. I’m not kidding that this is my first opportunity to really relax. The conference was much busier for me than usual for a number of reasons. 

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Updating Your RPG Skills

Brian May

Updating your ILE and RPG skills will not only make you a better IBM i developer, but also make learning new languages easier.

Written by Brian May

My last article discussed learning new languages on IBM i. In that article, I also mentioned that before trying to conquer new languages, we should master our own. If you are not well versed in all that RPG has to offer, this article is meant to guide you toward the topics that every RPG developer needs to learn.

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Managed Services: A Shift in the IT Department Mindset

Steve Pitcher

IT departments need to be used as masters of applying technology to business rules rather than simply technology experts who happen to work for the business.

Written by Steve Pitcher

For many companies, IT has historically been an extension of the finance department because that’s where the majority of systems began. Paper processes for finance gave way to digital processes. Soon afterward, other paper processes became digitized for order management, inventory management, shipping/receiving, and so on…down to the shop floor. The last decade has been about extending businesses with the functionality that mobile devices have offered the world.  

IT is always in a consistent state of change.

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A Little Bit More About Meetings

David Shirey

In a recent article, it may have seemed that I thought meetings were the end of humanity as we know it. Didn’t mean to be so negative. The real question is whether meetings can be helpful. 

Written by Dave Shirey

Despite my negativity in my article about meetings, if we didn’t have meetings, what would we have? 

OK, greater productivity…but besides that. The truth is, you need meetings. Even if they are just informal meetings around the coffeemaker, there is a need for people to get together and talk about the issues they are working on, exchange ideas, get organized so that multiple people can work on an issue without falling all over each other, etc.

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The Day Meetings Swallowed the Earth

David Shirey

Does it ever seem to you that you go to work just to go to meetings and not to actually work? Yeah, the line forms to the right, pal. But is it really that way, or is it all in your head?

Written by Dave Shirey  

Raise your hand if you feel that you just aren’t involved in enough meetings in your work life. Hmmm, just as I thought, only a few hands raised. And I really think most of them are confused and actually want to leave the room for a few minutes.

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DevOps: Bridging the Gap Between Development and Operations

Joydip Kanjilal

Learn how DevOps can improve collaboration and productivity by bringing agility to both development and operations teams. Understand the challenges involved in adopting the DevOps culture and the strategies to mitigate them.

Written by Joydip Kanjilal

DevOps is fast emerging as a great way to build and deploy applications that can run both on-premise and cloud alike. DevOps is a philosophy that attempts to bridge the gap between application development and operations for better productivity and reduced costs, risks, and cycle times. If your organization is contemplating a move towards DevOps, many factors need to be considered before this culture is adopted.

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Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday

It’s the holiday season, and everyone is in the gift-giving mood. Be sure you don’t forget to invest in your company and career.

brian mayWritten by Brian May

It’s a special time of the year. Family gatherings for the holidays, football season, and time in the woods all make this one of my favorite seasons. The month of December is also unique for IT departments. December is certainly not business as usual for most of us.

It’s time for budgets. That may mean requesting budget items for next year or spending surplus budget before the end of the year. It’s often when project work slows down a bit as end users, and IT staff alike, take time away from the office. It’s a time when stress is often at its lowest, and it’s just easier to get some things done.

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TechTip: Evolutionary Change and the IBM i Developer

Dont fight evolution! Adopt new stuff!

rick flaglerWritten by Rick Flagler


The topic of this article resulted from several recent events:



  • The June anniversary of the AS/400 launch and its 27th birthday
  • A television campaign by a national cable provider regarding ability to CHANGE
  • Debate about RDi vs. SEU concurrent with developer comments that IT managers wont spring for RDi because of its expense in the IT budget
  • Recently released totally free-format RPG programming techniques

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