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Introducing the New RPG Developer

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  • Introducing the New RPG Developer

    ** This thread discusses the article: Introducing the New RPG Developer **
    ** This thread discusses the Content article: Introducing the New RPG Developer **
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  • #2
    Introducing the New RPG Developer

    ** This thread discusses the article: Introducing the New RPG Developer **
    Joe, are you planning to cover XP-style development using RPG? Or is the 'X' more a... marketing device? --buck

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    • #3
      Introducing the New RPG Developer

      ** This thread discusses the article: Introducing the New RPG Developer **
      Joe, are you planning to cover XP-style development using RPG? Or is the 'X' more a... marketing device? That's a darned good question, Buck. And it illustrates why we're reaching out to the newcomers. Personally, I'm too old school to have much use for Extreme Programming, at least as a total concept. Pair programming and design through refactoring just don't make sense to me. I do like the idea of lots of unit testing, although we had unit tests back in the days of cave computers. But I digress. The idea is to make this publication the voice of the next generation of RPG programmers, and if somebody out there really thinks that XP programming can be applied to RPG, then I'm certainly willing to listen. If they can boil one facet down to 1000 words or so that make a workable tip to share with someone, then I'm all for it. And THAT is what the Extreme in XRPG means, Buck: somebody with an idea that pushes the envelope of traditional programming. It's more the original meaning of Extreme, as in the X-Games, which XP appropriated to mean something very specific. BTW, Paul Tuohy tells me that he has been using the term Extreme RPG for years now, so I might be in copyright infringement here . Joe

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      • #4
        Introducing the New RPG Developer

        ** This thread discusses the article: Introducing the New RPG Developer **
        As always Joe, you put it all so eloquently. I have been one of the voices predicting the "end" of RPG for quite a while. I have moderated my stance on that to a degree. However, I still maintain that the developer that only knows RPG is not a very hot commodity and is not likely to be sought after by companies. As I mentioned in a separate posting, its all about finding the right tool for the job. RPG is well suited for many functions and has grown to a point where it is easily integrated with other development tools (e.g. Java, PHP, C++, etc...). So there is no reason to remain focused exclusively on RPG as your development tool as I know some RPG developers still are. Great article Joe. I look forward to seeing where the new RPG developer goes. Jeff Olen Olen Business Consulting, Inc. Email: [email protected] Phone: 760.703.5149 Web: www.olen-inc.com

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        • #5
          Introducing the New RPG Developer

          ** This thread discusses the article: Introducing the New RPG Developer **
          is a well-known exponent of the "agile" development movement, which contrasts with the traditional waterfall method. It adopts the real-world view that software development is a chaotic process, although in a controllable manner. It's based on the fact that most projects, with any real complexity can not be overseen (a user knows what he wants when he sees it). So, an application is "molded", constantly refactured with constant interaction with the user. There is no strict seperation between the roles of analyst and developer. The roots of XP are in the language called "smalltalk", which gives a very dynamic and adaptable programming environment. However, RPG is not a good language to use for XP-style programming, because it doesn't have the necessary concepts (like OO) to provide for the abstractions to be made when architecting an application along the way. An OO language maybe is not mandatory for XP, but it's certainly very much needed if one adopts this style of programming. With objects, one can encapsulate and abstract out common logic (or behavior) during the refacturing process. Parts of the problem domain which are good understood can be abtracted out and generalized. Parts which are not yet understood can be completely separated and molded later as soon as requirements are more detailed. gr. jacobus

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          • #6
            Introducing the New RPG Developer

            ** This thread discusses the article: Introducing the New RPG Developer **
            One big problem I see with Agile Programming is that technical documentation is sparse until the project is complete. And, with any project, the requirements grow as the project progresses, but the deadline does not change. So management believes they can throw *MORE* resources (programmers) at the project and still meet the deadline. Additionally, how do you agree on the deliverables if they are not documented? How will you know when all the undocumented deliverables have been delivered? So, how will those new programmers (maybe offsite, maybe in another country) get up to speed on the project requirements with sparse documentation? The current programmers on the project have to *STOP* programming and *VERBALLY* give them the requirements. Programming comes to a screeching halt. And giving technical requirements verbally allows for misinterpretations and confusion, further delaying the project as programming work has to be redone/retested. I believe that documentation must be done up front, even if not in a formal format, so additional resources can easily be added to the project. They just need to know how to read, and can ask any unanswered questions. Then documentation is updated just prior to the project going live. But I am certainly a big fan of time boxed interations. Chris

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            • #7
              Introducing the New RPG Developer

              ** This thread discusses the article: Introducing the New RPG Developer **
              As gently as I can, Jacobus, I must completely disagree with the phrase "most projects with any real complexity cannot be overseen." I've overseen quite substantial projects, with over a dozen programmers writing code for multiple platforms and delivering over a million lines of code with full NLS support in a dozen languages, all delivered on time and on budget. The systems were thick client Windows/iSeries applications written in C and RPG, and while we didn't use any OO languages, we used plenty of good programming techniques (data hiding, encapsulation, you name it). Is it easy? No. Do requirements change during development? Certainly. But here is the reality: Programming projects do not require object orientation. They simply require good architecture and proper project management. I've seen agile development projects go off the rails just like any other programming project. It's not the tool, it's the people. Anyway, if you insist on your opinion that OO is required to write code, even in the face of the fact that I have managed large production projects quite well using procedural languages, then we no longer have a common point of discussion. To insist that your opinion is correct in the face of contrary evidence is simply to argue for argument's sake, sort of like quibbling over naming conventions or bracket indentation. It's ultimately irrelevant to the real task of delivering code. Joe

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              • #8
                ** This thread discusses the article: Introducing the New RPG Developer **
                I'll take this opportunity to squawk about documentation. First...If you can't document what you are going to do, the impact of change to work-flow, process-flow, reporting, monitoring these changes, and such...Then who the heck needs technical
                documentation up front?

                Give the technical doucmentation to them when you're done coding whatever it was that they couldn't say they wanted...!!!

                As for technical doucmentation...You should do and if you do-do...That is: Completely document your code so non-programmers can read your comments and know exactly what the program does...

                Please send a recent picture so we can start carving a statue in your likeness and then everyone can help haul it up to Mt. Rushmore...

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