Welcome to TUG's eNewsletter "TUG Buzz!" for January 4, 2012

IN THIS ISSUE:

  1. TNS Earlybird Prices Extended
  2. Next Meeting of Members — January 18 at Mid-Range (Agenda Update)
  3. "The Paperless Society" — article by Gloria Seltzer

TUG Night School EarlyBird Pricing Extended

Blog

Please register this week for our upcoming classes which deal with developing dynamic web applications:

We will extend the 2011 pricing for you… so its only $350 for the JavaScript and $200 for the HTML5 if you use the booking code: EXTEND2011.

Notice we have now added an RPG Open Access Class. Follow the link at http://tnsseneca.wordpress.com/iseries-classes/ops203/  This class replaces OPS203 and will be taught by Garry Kipfer with the support of Barbara Morris and the IBM Canada Lab. Check our blog for more details.

Night School (TNS) 2012 Calendar

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Enter your Comments on our Blog
Link Course Name Fees Start Days Instructor
Open Platform
JavaScript
$350 Jan 09 4
Vic Metcalfe
HTML5, CSS3
$200 Jan 11 3
Larry Petropoulos
Mobile
BlackBerry Dev
$350 Feb 06 4
Wallace Trenholm
System i
Rational Web
$400 Feb 15 5
Claus Weiss
SQL for i
$350 Mar 12 4
Russell Pangborn
RPG Open Access
$350 Mar 28 4
Garry Kipfer
PHP on i
$275 Apr 16 3
Mark Buchner

TNS QR code

QR code for TNS Registration

Register

Register for TUG Night School at www.tug.ca/tns/TNSReg.html

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Next TUG Meeting of Members
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LOCATION: Mid-Range, 85 Idema Road, Markham, Ontario
ADMISSION: Free to all TUG members ($40 non-members)

AGENDA:

4:30 Sign up & Greeting


5:00 Session 1: The Evolution of the Data Centre

  • Speaker: Jeff Willar - MidRange

6:00 Intermission (Buffet Dinner & Networking)


7:00 Session 2: - Toolkits for PHP Web Application Consolidation

  • Speaker: Mike Pavlak - Zend
  • IBM and Zend have been working very hard to deliver a new Open Source toolkit called XML Service. This project is now implemented in the latest version of Zend Server and Zend Server Community Edition for accessing IBM i specific resources like HLL Programs (RPG & COBOL) , Data Areas, Data Queues, Spooled files and much more. Coupled with a compatibility layer which makes the transition to the new toolkit virtually painless for existing PHP applications, this new solution ushers in a new era of PHP and IBM i integration. Mike will explore the Object Oriented model of the new toolkit as well as the existing Compatibility Wrapper that will intercept requests made by the existing i5 function calls and handle them via XML Service. Then Mike will also delve into the process of integrating Open Source applications on IBM i which can save IBM i shops the time and trouble of spinning up additional servers to satisfy day to day requests like company intranets. Open source applications, classes and functions will be reviewed live on a Power Systems server running IBM i in the cloud.
  • Mike Pavlak has been working with IBM midrange solutions since 1992 and IBM Mainframes before that. After years of developing applications using RPG, CL and PHP he managed IT development and IT for power protection manufacturer Tripp Lite. Mike joined Zend Technologies as a Solutions Consultant working with the IBM sales team in 2008 and enjoys helping IBM i customers explore PHP as a state of the art solution for application modernization. In addition to several roles as a volunteer with COMMON the premier IBM midrange user group, Mike also teaches PHP classes part time at Moraine Valley Community College in Suburban Chicago. Mike lives in suburban Chicago with his wife, 5 kids, 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 rabbits, a leopard spotted ghecko, russian tortoise, fancy mouse and bunch of fish.

8:45 Wrap Up and Door Prize draw

Register now for the TUG MoM at www.tug.ca/reg_meet_form.php

register

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Article Mike Pavlak

The Paperless Society

By Gloria Seltzer

The Paperless Society is an utopia in an electronic age where everything has gone digital:

  • Email, text messages, Twitter, & Facebook replacing letters
  • Tablets replacing books
  • Digital images replacing photo albums
  • Document images replacing hardcopies
  • GPS (Global Positioning Systems) replacing maps
  • ‘Googling’ the web replacing researching materials in libraries
  • Internet banking replacing cheque deposits / withdrawals
  • Credit / debit cards replacing cash payments
  • Plastic $100 bills replacing paper bills

We have built a highly efficient society with bits and bytes of information traveling at lightning speed to our immediate circle of family and friends, our bankers / suppliers / vendors, acquaintances and strangers across the globe.  We are also saving trees and going ‘green” with the message ‘Please consider the environment before printing < anything >’

The Technology Revolution

I grew up watching my parents use the abacus.  I memorized the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division tables in grade school.  I used the slide rule in high school, and the hand-held calculator in university.

I entered the work force and used clunky computer terminals with green screens for emails and system applications: ‘legacy systems’ which are still around today with attractive GUI (Graphical User Interface) for data input and verification.  As the computer and chip got smaller, we used laptops and notebooks instead of desktops.  As the computer and chip get even smaller, we use personal hand-held devices like the iphone, ipad, ipod, blackberry, etc.

 The New Generation

As babies are exposed to computers playing BabyMozart, BabyEinstein etc., they learn quickly to interact with computers.  As children, they play computer games where actions only require a click of the button.  Children turn into couch potatoes playing computer games which turn into a major industry.  They do not exercise, do not participate in sports, become obese with the early onset of juvenile diabetes and heart diseases.

High school and university examination questions are multiple choices with answers requiring only a click of the button.  Our whole world and wealth of civilization: history, geography, science, arts, opera, concert, music and movies are at our finger tips.  Other people’s research can be accessed and  plagiarised to qualify for master and doctorate degrees.  High profile leaders have been caught red-handed plagiarising other leaders’ speeches..       

People walk around talking to themselves, until you realize they are on their cell phones.  They get on the subway or bus with their enormous computer back packs which take up standing room and keep hitting you, cell phone in one hand and tablet in the other.  They cross the streets talking on cell phones and drive their cars talking on cell phones or tweeting, totally oblivious to the potential danger of causing serious or fatal accidents.  They go to washrooms with their cell phones and Blackberries.  One time a co-worker said she dropped her cell phone in the toilet, but luckily that was after she flushed the toilet and it was clean.  I said ‘Why would you need the cell phone in the toilet and how would you know it was clean?  Isn’t mother nature’s call more important than a phone call?’ 

The New Work Force

Whole generations of human beings are transformed into cybernetic slaves serving their machines.   They no longer know how to read and write.  They grew up ‘chatting’ and ‘tweeting’, and their spelling, grammar and sentences are atrocious.  They think everybody including their superiors at work are their friends.  They do not know how to think and imagine.  They have no interpersonal, communications, organization, analytical, integration, or problem solving skills.    

My co-worker 'David' spent much of the working day surfing the web.  He went to meetings with senior management with no pen and no paper, when everybody else brought pen and paper.  He put his arms behind his head and slouched in the chair with his legs stretched out as if he was lounging and watching TV at home.  He could not participate in discussions as he had no business nor systems knowledge of Capital Markets, nor did he learn anything from discussions from previous meetings, or reading business policies / procedures and systems documentation.  One time my manager asked him to do something, and he looked around frantically for a pen and a piece of paper.  He wrote down a few words, but he never did what was asked of him.   

Every active trading book in Capital Markets requires a book owner who is responsible for profit and loss and risks for regulatory attestation purposes.  David sent emails to global traders requesting them to confirm book ownership and assumed his work was done.  Traders do not always respond to emails, nor do they want the responsibility of book ownership.  There are also loan books, risk books, inventory books, test books, dummy books, and settlement books with no book owners.  The only way to have traders confirm book ownership is over the phone.  David froze on the phone and did not know what they were talking about because it was not a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.  Traders got frustrated and escalated to senior management.

Last week David sent an email to our department announcing that staff members were privileged to have been chosen to have a sneak preview of the workflow for common book opening by participating in User Acceptance Testing.  He did not demonstrate / walkthrough the system, nor provide a user manual.  Staff members’ feedback was ‘they were not thrilled to be chosen given their existing workload, the lack of instructions and the pending holiday season’.  Besides, David is not their manager.  I tested the workflow and found all the emails with approval tasks were sent to me because I was hard coded to receive all the emails from previous testing.  David insisted the system was working when it was not.  I contacted the developer who understood the problem, but he left prior to Christmas to escape from David.         

Social Network

Instead of studying or working to build a career and a life, people are spending their precious time on the web, Facebook, twitter and chat rooms.   This is a virtual reality where they publish their lifestyle, their hobbies, their friends, their opinions, their preferences, their pictures for the whole world to see, without thinking about consequences.  What they do not realize is that this is their digital foot print.  When they apply for universities or jobs, the social media is the first place potential schools or employers would look for negative indicators and justifications to screen / exclude potential candidates.  Life is difficult as it is looking for a job in this tough economy.  Why shoot yourself in the foot and jeopardize your future?

I was approached by many friends to join LinkedIn and to post my resume so I can reach thousands of people, and they in turn can reach me for potential job opportunities.  I never joined because once I post my profile online, I would have to maintain / update it.  I also have to monitor comments from other people, and counteract any negative feedback or criticisms to preserve my good name and professional image.  Besides, if employers do not read thousands of resumes for a job posting, they are not going to read thousands of profiles on LinkedIn to find their potential candidates either.  This is why they still rely on employment agencies to find their ideal candidates. 

Building good relationships with employment agencies and employers by working hard and smart, earning their trust, and establishing credibility; by delivering excellent customer service and exceeding their expectations remains the best approach to secure and keep a job.  A hiring manager’s critical question is not ‘Can the candidate do the job?, but rather ‘Can I trust the candidate to do the job?’  This is where the glowing references from  previous managers and the reputation of the candidate become the critical deciding factor for securing the job.  Ultimately, we are human and we need human interactions with the few who matter, and not the many who do not matter.  Humans are after quality; machines are after quantity. 

— Gloria Seltzer


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