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Posts Tagged ‘Blog’

i Can › About Writing “i Can”

August 6th, 2014 Comments off
This week marks the 5th year of “i Can” - five years already?! When I review the long list of blogs that have been published,...


Read the original at i Can.

Categories: Blogs, IBM Systems Magazine Tags: ,

Angus' Blog › Another challenge to step up

July 9th, 2014 Comments off

I received an email today titled “I Know Your Password” from IBM i iSeries & AS/400 Security News . You can read the web version of the email here:

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=b85bbed4-f6e4-4923-a4b5-7761ad3030d5&c=e3344840-62f9-11e3-b628-d4ae52844372&ch=e3d93ad0-62f9-11e3-b6f9-d4ae52844372

I was taken aback by the utter branding confusion throughout the email, and having talked to Dan in the past, I thought it was time for another attempt at reason.

Here is the response I emailed…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It’s time….

Now that it is 20i4, and IBM i has been with us for 6 years, it is time to start leading with the current and future platform branding – that is, IBM i.

While you continue to send emails out with iSeries and AS/400 as the subject, you are propagating the myth that there is some kind of question about the branding. And there is not. The platform is IBM i. It was, in the past, System i – then before that, iSeries – and before that, AS/400. And while some customers still think mistakenly that they have an old branded server, this is usually not the case.

Can I encourage you to step up to the platform’s future and start using the correct branding? That is, IBM i.

It is not “IBM i (iSeries and AS/400)”. It is not “iSeries and AS/400”. It is not “AS/400, iSeries, IBM i”. It is also not “IBM i, iSeries AS/400”. It is not “IBM i AS/400”. It is not “IBM i, iSeries”. All of these are found in this one email. It truly is adding to the confusion.

And, if you are the “Top IBM i Security Expert”, why would you be promoting old platforms that are considered out of date and dead now.

I understand the marketing requirement to attract the audience who thinks it is an AS/400 or an iSeries, but using those terms ONCE in your email or web page is sufficient for the search terms to be found. It is, in 20i4, no longer necessary to feed the backward thinking of that part of the community lost in the dark green ages.

It is time to step up to IBM i. Can you do it? The challenge is laid down…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How about you – have you a favorite brand abuser you would like to contact? If you are not up to it personally, feel free to comment the link/s here, and I will address the abuse.


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › What does the term User Group mean to you?

June 9th, 2014 Comments off

An awesome thing happened this week, and I am sure you all heard about it since I, um not exactly subtly, SHOUTED it from the roof tops. Steve Pitcher mentioned iThusiasm in his blog! He contacted me the week before and asked permission which I appreciated and happily gave and leads me to my point.

For the record, I am doing this because of the appreciation and respect I have for this community. So if you are interested in using my “brand” or quoting me, or mentioning iThusiasm I am going to trust you to do so responsibly. Let me know so I can promote it, brag, put it in a scrapbook – but if you can’t get pre-approval from me that is okay. Yes, I’ve been on enough boards to know all too well, some people aren’t kind. And IF something is negative or used inappropriately I’ll address it then. Until someone proves me wrong, if you want to talk up iThusiasm then run with it. Except if there is potential monetization, if there is any chance of that remember, I have twins to put through college in 10 years :)

So onto the post I have been trying to complete for over a week -

As I move forward with my iThusiasm endeavor it makes sense to tell you why I am doing this.

Like others who write/present/volunteer, etc. in this community I started on the AS/400 early in my career. Loved the paycheck and respected the system then came to value the user community for support and education. While I have moved into QA (testing) and am no longer working on the IBM i exclusively I still find tremendous value from the energy and intelligence of people like you. Interestingly my husband is also a long time IBM midrange guy and he is far more a traditional (albeit progressive) Lead Programmer Analyst. While I follow many of the same people he does I am getting insight into technology, leadership, trends and their testing ramifications. He actually understands what is being discussed and implements the suggestions and techniques into his work. He also attended his first COMMON Conference in 1980 or 81- several more since then, and has been around OMNI a fair amount (Chicago’s Local User Group).

I find myself in a position of seeing both sides of things. The daily point of view I live with is that of an experienced, established programmer 30-something years into his career with all the frustrations that it can entail. Someone who needs the content produced in a very relevant way. Someone who has seen all the worst the ups and downs have wrecked on professions (and the confidence of the professionals in them). This has resulted in an attitude approximating “Dilbert.”

Then there is my opinion, someone who has decided being involved with these groups and writing about things is my idea of fun. And sincerely believes in the power of this community.

One question that has come up often this month, and not infrequently this year, is “what is…this thing you are doing? COMMON? OMNI? Is that like a group or a job?” This gets asked of us by friends and family since about four or five times a year I drop out of family life and my Facebook feed turns into all #COMMONug/Omni/#IBMi/ techie geek babble. Fortunately our friends don’t require comprehension to translate it into, “Von has fallen off the planet again -invite Drew and the kids for a play date/hang out with adults evening.”

Soon after we returned from Orlando we were at a gathering with family and “What is COMMON?” was asked. Just as I started to reply I was called away due to a juice box malfunction and handed off answering to Drew. He eloquently answered, “A User’s Group.”

Gee, thanks. That was useful.

In this case the solution was easy, I let the curmudgeon deal with child hydration and resumed the conversation. However, I started thinking about how many people would have a hard time answering that question. Especially when asked by a boss (why should you go?), co-worker who might attend an event (why should I go?), new hire who needs some education, spouse? (Really Honey, I know it looks like I am going to DisneyLand for a week without you and the kids but I promise not to have fun there…)

What is COMMON? A group of professionals who work on the IBM i or p operating systems on the Power Systems platform, which hosts multiple education events per year. The Annual Meeting and Expo in the Spring and Fall Conference are in person events delivering education, community building, and vendor exposure.

Anyone who gets that explanation already knows what COMMON is, right?

So here are my definitions. User’s Groups are a way for professionals in a given specialty to work together and get education on topics relevant to business. By forming a community and communicating with each other we leverage each other’s experience and knowledge to enhance our own efforts and deliverables. What does that mean? If I get stuck writing a new type of interface I know what blog to read, or send a note to someone I am connected to on LinkedIn, or ask a buddy to lunch and I get over the hurdle. Likewise, when I have found a great article on something our company has embraced as an initiative I pin it to the wall of my cube so my team members see it.

Conferences or Days of Education and the like are times to get more comprehensive education and exposure. There are times the attraction is getting full days worth of information on topics like PHP, Modern RPG, SQL, new IBM releases from the best minds delivering that content. Other times attending is beneficial to new employees, people changing departments or becoming crossed trained. They come with their colleagues to an event and get exposed to all the technology that feels foreign. It is a great introduction/foundation and allows the team to bond during down time and social events.

In the case of the conversation I stared referencing a cool thing happened. I described our platform as “used to be the iSeries or AS/400.” Prompting our friend to exclaim, “AS/400! I used to work on one of those, saw them all over the place.” We told him it is still around and he went on to say he hadn’t seen a Green Screen in ages. Which of course led to talking about nothing needs to be Green Screen anymore (except for that one person in one department that won’t believe it is correct unless it looks exactly the same…) The neat thing about this was it gave Drew a chance to talk about what he actually does as a programmer, something the people who like him are interested in. And it is cool how powerful a robust BUSINESS MACHINE coupled with strong programming skills is, there is a lot there to talk about.

My question to you is – what does the user community mean to you? What would you like to see from User Groups? Are you involved in your Local User Group, do you have one? What sparks your iThusiasm…?

DISCLAIMER: all thoughts and opinions are solely that of Yvonne (Von) Enselman. There is no approval from any group I may serve or my employer. (Specifically COMMON a User Group, OMNI User Group, and Kronos)

 


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › AS/400 Programmers are lazy!

June 9th, 2014 Comments off

Arguing with another set of suspects on LinkedIn IBM i Professionals, I discovered that people who continue to use the AS/400 branding are lazy. They don’t care to spend a small amount of effort to learn something new about their own platform. They see branding as “I don’t care” or “it doesn’t matter”. And then they spend hours arguing about why “I don’t care” or “it doesn’t matter”. Imagine how amazing our platform would be if the lazy AS/400 programmers spent their time learning, education, and promoting the IBM i platform rather than defending their laziness.

OK, so ‘lazy’ is harsh. It is just fear – them being afraid of change. No. Wait. Lazy is not so much of a stigma as fear. Lazy it is.

What is your experience when trying to get a died-in-the-wool AS/400 programmer to up their game and modernize their (a) use of branding, and (b) skill set??


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › Googling IBM i – or Binging?

June 5th, 2014 Comments off

There have been a lot of people who have complained that you cannot google “i”. And, while this is just a complaint, it has merit. No matter that the platform brand was given to us as “IBM i” when it was announced – so many years ago now, people are still ignorant of the branding requirements of any web search engine.

It is becoming clear that the average IBM i programmer really does not give much of a crap after they have finally worked out it is no longer an iSeries or an AS/400. Take our favorite midrange mailing list. This week, we have had these two headlines posted to the group.

  1. Can IBM i SMTP send on a port other than 25 {link}
  2. Any Problems Foreseen Copying Certicate Store from One i to Another i? {link}

How are we supposed to google “i”? Well, we should not have to, unless the ignorant continue to post web conversations without using “IBM i” in their subject or content.

The second part of this equation is what you should use to search for IBM i content? There are two schools of thought, one says use quotes around “IBM i”, the other says there is no need for the quotes. So, I tested. Here are the first pages of the results. As you can see, quite similar. I encourage you to test for yourself.


Googling comparison – First page

Googled - Page 1


Googling comparison – Page down

Googled - Page 1 page down


Googling comparison – Second page

Googled - Page 2


Binging comparison – First page

Binged - page 1


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › How do you fool a fool?

June 3rd, 2014 Comments off

In my web navigation, I try to avoid the AS/400 mines laid everywhere – mostly from ignorance and stubbornness. I am constantly surprised at all these smart technical people stuck in the far past. I understand it is human nature to close down as you get older, and live in a shrinking comfort zone of your own choosing. But, seriously, there has to be some limits.

Take this attempt at an April Fool’s joke posted THIS year on this site! Titled “IBM Eyes End of Support for AS/400“, it was meant to scare people into thinking IBM was dropping the platform. The first paragraph showed the true colors of the poster: “Well, sure. Someday. Everything becomes unsupportable eventually. But not to worry. Nothing imminent. Just a little April Fool’s humor to get your day going.“.

Let’s review. If we assume the platform is called AS/400, this might be funny. Let’s assume the platform is not called AS/400 and has not been called AS/400 for FOURTEEN years. Actually, that is not an assumption, but the reality. So, the humor part turns out to be “Well, sure. Someday.” – because IBM dropped support for AS/400 many many somedays ago!

Seriously, April Fool’s is turning out to be full of fools lacking the actual funny part.

Now, if only this particular fool would step up to IBM i and promote a platform that IBM is actually still supporting, I may not get as much crap on my feet from stepping on so many internet land mines…


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › Recruiters without a spine

June 2nd, 2014 Comments off

We live in a world of fast paced technology innovation, yet there is a large part of the IBM i community who are stagnant and lost in the past. Recruiters are in a unique position to help move our platform forward, yet while companies and programmers continue to use old branding in reference to IBM i, those recruiters tend to follow along. It would seem they would rather have the business – and the money – than take a risk and educate their customers on what is happening in the IBM i world. Twitter is full of #AS400 hashtags proclaiming all the available jobs on that old platform. This indicates a mentality of headhunter, as opposed to professional recruiting.

This week, I discovered an email promoting iSeries from a recruiter. Their page is here. I found they have no Twitter presence (supporting my theory that AS/400 and iSeries programmers don’t use social media). Surprisingly, they have a Facebook page, where I posted a plea for them to step up to IBM i. Here is what I wrote:

Your pages and advertising lead with AS/400 and iSeries. However, the hardware platform was replaced 6 years ago with the IBM i OS running on Power Systems – that is a lifetime in IT. When you use old branding, you are not supporting the future and direction of the platform, you are encouraging some of the community to wallow in the past. You are showing an unprofessional lack of knowledge about what you are selling and you are not supporting all those developers who want to move into the future and not live in that ‘glorious’ past.

What would it take for you to consider changing your marketing direction with an emphasis on the future? One where you lead with IBM i and where you use AS/400 and iSeries for SEO or as a reference to the past only. One where you educate the customer about the IBM i and Power Systems platform – rather than denigrate the platform by allowing the uneducated customer to drive the conversation and us back into the past?

Our platform is incredible. Calling it an old name makes it look old and not so incredible. The community often needs a nudge to head to the future. You, as a team of ‘professionals’ and ‘consultants’, can either consult and be professionals, or headhunt. Until you recruit IBM i resources, you will remain just headhunters…

Please step up to IBM i and its future.

If you visit that Facebook page, surprise, surprise – my comment has now disappeared.

Let’s all call our local recruiters and enlist their help in promoting IBM i and its future. Let’s talk to them about how damaging it is to continue using old branding. Let’s help them understand that the old branding could be used as SEO or ‘past experience’ requirements, but the jobs and recruitment activity should lead with IBM i.

Until recruiters get their own spine and stop headhunting, let’s tap a few on the shoulder and turn them to point in the right direction!


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › iThusiam!

May 23rd, 2014 Comments off

COMMON’s Annual Meeting And Exposition 2014, held in Orlando, wrapped up about 2 weeks ago. My voice finally recovered early this week, and I am down to less than 500 emails I need to deal with. If I spend most of the holiday weekend doing laundry and sleeping my household should be back to about normal come Tuesday. While it would be impossible to keep up that level of activity, education, interaction, and going out for any more than a week I know I don’t want to let go of my experience.

While I was still in Florida I was getting connection requests via social media, finding new people and companies to follow on Twitter, looking into some of the great vendors who supported the event. I started organizing my notes and cards, favoriting articles, and all the while  certain comments kept resonating in my heart. I don’t want to wait until Indianapolis in the fall, or Anaheim next spring to connect with my new friends. I want some way to share the great materials that keep me engaged throughout the year.

Since I became involved with COMMON 2 years ago the most consistent comment people have made to me is they like my enthusiasm. They see, quickly, after meeting me, that I truly believe in this platform and community and I want to do everything I can to keep it strong.

iThusiasm!

From Merriam-Webster

Enthusiasm: Strong excitement about something: a strong feeling of active interest in something you like or enjoy

: something causing a feeling of excitement and active interest: a hobby that someone feels enthusiastic about

Full Definition

1a: belief in special revelations of the holy spirit

1b: religious fanaticism

[NOTE: pretty well sums up my reactions to Trevor Perry’s sessions…]

2a: strong excitement of feeling: ARDOR

2B: Something inspiring zeal or fervor

[NOTE: Ardor? Maybe a little much but I have come to care deeply for many of the friends I’ve made. And as a Quality Assurance professional my appreciation for the stability of the IBM i approaches fervor..]

iThusiam is my vehicle and brand to communicate my opinions and support for the IBM i on Power Systems, the professionals who support it and are supported by it, and the user groups (both local and large) that bring us together. It is a way for me to share the links that show up in my feeds and lead to great articles and opinions. It is a place to be honest about things like how cool it was to meet Amanda Blackburn after reading her posts on Facebook for well over a year. It is a way to share the energy we get from each other, and hopefully to attract and support the next generation. 

Mostly I want to champion the amazing community I have found myself in and share the efforts of so many bright and interesting individuals.

So please, join me and keep the conversation going -

FaceBook – LinkedIn – Twitter (@enselman) – #iThusiasm and groups are on FB and LinkedIn

Blogging under Vergere on Angus the IT Chap

http://blog.angustheitchap.com/?author=3

DISCLAIMER: all thoughts and opinions are solely that of Yvonne (Von) Enselman. There is no approval from any group I may serve or my employer. (Specifically COMMON a User Group, OMNI User Group, and Kronos)


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › IBM i Disconnected, Disaffected

May 20th, 2014 Comments off

I wrote this piece for the December 2013 COMMON Connect magazine. I found it again in an unrelated google search, and thought it should be reposted..

Enjoy!

Everyone knows our platform is the best business platform on the planet. Period. No matter what other server proponents say, we have the best return on investment, the best scalability, the best reliability, and the best applications. Yet, we seem to be constantly fighting a battle against competitors and naysayers, who tell the world we are out of date and no longer relevant.

Running IBM i on Power Systems affords us many advantages. From a virtualization perspective, Power Systems provides complete integration with multiple IBM i instances and other operating systems. Live Partition Mobility and HA/DR offerings allows us to deliver, manage and support IBM i 24×7 without regard to the physical server location. In the recent Technology Refresh 7 for IBM i 7.1, RPG is now a completely free format modern language, which suits business better than any other language. Ruby on Rails is now native to IBM i, adding to the strong PHP adoption over the last few years.

Why then, does the world appear willing to move companies away from this incredible platform? The answer requires us to be introspective. If you ask any community member, the majority will respond and aim blame squarely at IBM – whose faults, it seems, are many. Which is ironic, given they are the provider of this wonderful platform. If we look closely at our community – and that includes each and every one of us, you
will find a level of dysfunction afforded to most families. Discuss the platform with a random sampling of community members and you will hear a plethora of responses.

At the Enterprise2013 conference, at least six names/brands were mentioned when talking about the platform. Five years in, many people still do not realize that Power Systems is a new platform – not just a rename or a rebranding. Before listening to IBM i sessions, attendees were mixed in their opinion about whether or not the platform could “do that”, in reference to modern technologies, modern architecture, modern software solutions, etc.

When our own community does not have a consistent approach to what the platform is or what it can do, that becomes proof to the outside world that our platform is stuck in some dark age. It is beyond time for us to counter that. To us, individually and as a community, IBM i is a large part of our world. If we were to act as a united community, imagine how quickly we could expose the misinformation spread by the naysayers and prove to the world the value of our platform to an IT organization.

IBM will continue to market in their own time, their own ways, and with their own money as they see fit to suit their business goals. IBM i is simply one very small part of that picture to IBM.

Ask yourself if you are doing all you can to support and promote IBM i, along with your peers in your local community, and your IBM i family around the world. Your task, should you choose it, is to tell the world that IBM i on Power rules. Are you up for it?


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › What does it take?

February 20th, 2014 Comments off

Last night at a user group, I was given the excuse “It is still named Windows!”, in response to a discussion about the correct branding for the IBM i platform. And, this particular complainer was quite sincere. There seemed to be no purposed for this ‘excuse’, but a tired old platitude that had not quite worn itself down to nothing.

Having thought about it for a while, I realized something important. That complaint is about branding. It is about whether or not IBM should have rebranded. And quite simply, that argument is out of date. IBM ~did~ rebrand our OS to IBM i in 2008 to match their Power Systems branding. It is done, over, fait accompli.

It is time to stop using that excuse. One down, four million to go.


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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