Skip to main content

A 2017 Writing Recap: A Productive and Interesting Year

A brief look back at some of the topics explored in IT Trendz throughout 2017.

Blue, yellow, and purple vector cubes floating on a dark blue background with IT Trendz text header.

In this post, I begin a brief look back at some of the topics I explored in 2017. Since you’re reading this post, you’re aware of IT Trendz (and hopefully a regular reader), but here are some articles that you may have missed that appeared in IBM Systems Magazine and in Destination z.

Articles for the IBM Magazines

The articles that I wrote for the IBM magazines reflected three of my preoccupations of 2017:  REXX, APIs and modernization. I have a profound interest in REXX and enjoyed taking a deep dive into the language to see where it has gone since I was a serious REXX programmer in the late 1990s.

I have been working with APIs for the last two years. My interest in them is how this new programming paradigm, especially when linked with microservices, provides new ways to make use of data that’s contained in legacy systems. The API community calls legacy systems “systems of record.” APIs bring with them some programming innovations that provide significant productivity improvements over some alternative programming methods.   

Modernization has been on my mind and in my writing since I participated in a small project a couple of years ago where the application I was exploring was frozen in time. Since it wasn’t improved for decades, the feeling was that the application needed to be replaced. This got me exploring all the many alternatives to application replacement, as it can be so painful.

Here are the articles that I encourage you to review:

Articles for Destination z

I wrote six articles for Destination z on a wide range of topics. Are you familiar with Destination z? It’s a community consisting of IBM Z users, educators, business partners and IBMers. Together, this consortium forms an alliance designed to educate clients and prospects on the latest technology, trends and resources, and have a place to learn and connect.

Here’s a list of the articles with a brief description to encourage you to look at the article:

“Planning for the Future:” This is the first article on Java and application modernization on IBM Z. This article provides a quick introduction to Java and modernization ideas on the platform. The second article in the series will discuss eight compelling reasons why Java does and should play a key role in application modernization on IBM Z.

“Test System:” On mainframes, application programmers and system programmers operate in different circles. They have really different jobs. However, they do collaborate with each other, especially when system programmers launch a new middleware release or when application programmers are deploying a major new application. Testing is a place where they often unite.

“Enterprising Skills:” According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, 80 percent of the world’s daily business transactions rely on COBOL. With 220 billion lines of installed code, COBOL is still at the core of enterprise computing programming languages. However, enterprise computing is a lot more than just COBOL. What else does a mainframe programmer need to get, maintain and grow with enterprise computing?

“Learning Opportunity:” To be successful in enterprise computing, a developer must have substantial skills in three main areas:

  1. The developer must have a variety of domain-specific skills like COBOL, JCL, CICS, Db2, SQL, test methodology and a working knowledge of different approaches to the system development lifecycle.
  2. The developer must display basic effectiveness with strong verbal and written communication skills.
  3. Education, certification and experience; the skill and tenacity learned in a degree program, or certification achieved through study and testing, gives a developer a competitive edge in the marketplace.

“Enterprise Computing Community Conference 2017 Recap:” In June, I attended the ninth annual Enterprise Computing Community conference hosted by Marist College with collaboration and support from academic and industry partners and sponsors. Partner and sponsor financial support is strong, and the conference has no admission or registration fees. Enrollment is capped at 300 attendees and meals are included for the entire conference. Overall, the quality of the sessions was high, including my picks for the top five talks of the conference.

“Business Plan:” Organizations are changing the way they do business to increase revenue, lower costs, improve efficiency and better compete through the use of emerging technology like APIs, mobility, B2B innovations and the cloud. In many cases, these new technologies make use of existing enterprise computing interfaces, data and middleware programs. These changes are taking place as part of the cycle of change, disruption and transformation that has been fostered by IT for more than a half century.

Blog Posts

Next week, I’ll recap some of the main themes in the weekly blog posts that I wrote on series like IT management, things they didn’t teach me in school, system and application testing, and areas of innovation in IT.


Stay on top of all things tech!
View upcoming & on-demand webinars →