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Ch-ch-ch-changes

Editor's Letter
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The late, great David Bowie came to mind as I thought about the topic for this column. Turn and face the strange.

The inadvertent theme of this month’s issue of MC Press Magazine has revealed itself to be changes.

MC Press Magazine 2017 07 read the July issue

For starters, you may have noticed that the MC Press Online website underwent a total remodel in July. Positive comments from readers indicate that they’re pleased with the new look and functionality. If you haven’t looked at it yet, I encourage you to do so. The email format of our newsletters has been updated, too. And, of course, we have here the third issue of MC Press Magazine. Everything about the look and feel of MC Press Online is nice and fresh and bright now.

This month, I’m reminded of other changes I’ve witnessed or experienced over the years. We all know that IT is all about change, but, in some cases, I’m thinking of different kinds of changes than you’re probably thinking of right now.

In my years in this industry, I saw the name of the AS/400 change several times before it became the IBM i. As Dave Shirey continues his exploration of the Watson products, he’s noticed that IBM seems to have already renamed some of those products. Does that qualify as change or not? Hard to say, since that’s been IBM’s modus operandi for as long as I can remember.

Meanwhile, Steve Pitcher is wondering who is going to replace all of the current RPG programmers when those folks retire. Pretty soon now you're gonna get older. I can think of quite a few people who have retired from this business in the 20+ years I’ve been around, and I’m sure most of you can too. What concerns Steve is that it appears that educational institutions are abandoning computer science curriculums. That’s a troubling change indeed. I wonder how long it will be before we’re saying to educators, You've left us up to our necks in it.

Other changes we address in this issue relate to how you do things or perceive things. Did you know that you can do some complex filtering in SQL with the help of Common Table Expressions (CTEs)? Well, you can. And Joe Pluta is just the guy to tell you how. In Rafael Victoria-Pereira’s “RPG Academy” column, you’ve recently been learning about debugging. This month, Rafael shows you how to get your debug session going with the ILE Debugger.

Carol Woodbury thinks you should change the way you look at the IBM i Audit Journal. Are you putting it to its best use? It can benefit you in more ways than you might realize. John Ghrist introduces you to an assortment of Watson cybersecurity products that might make you decide to change your approach to securing your network and system. If you’ve been slow to address your company’s security, you may someday find yourself saying, I still don't know what I was waiting for.

For our MC Press Magazine exclusive article that you can read only here, we offer Alan Seiden’s perspective on open source. Although the concept is no longer brand-new anymore, its advent was a huge change from the way things had always been done in the past.

We’re in IT, a world where things are always changing…fast. Time may change you. Time may change me. 

Victoria Mack

Victoria Mack has been an editor and author for MC Press Online (formerly Midrange Computing) since 1994 and has held the position of Executive Editor since 2001. Victoria is also a freelance editor, author, and educator.  

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