An IBM i colleague today asked me for tips to make his presentations at COMMON and other conferences more effective and helpful.
I told him that I like to arrive a day early, talk to people, gauge the audience’s level of experience with PHP, IBM i, DB2, performance, whatever topics I plan to cover. I ask people what they hope to learn at the conference and from my talks specifically. With that information in mind, I adjust the content, emphasis, and pacing of my talks for that specific group. Such pre-conference socializing also helps attendees become comfortable talking to me, such that they may be more likely to ask questions and participate fully in my talks, which brings them alive for everyone.
Conferences and user events where I’ll be speaking in Fall 2016
At Alan Seiden Consulting, we specialize in all aspects of PHP with IBM i, from mentoring, performance help, troubleshooting, DB2 and toolkit, application lifecycle management, and development projects from very small to large and complex. If you have questions about tuning or optimizing PHP or IBM i performance, get in touch on our contact page.
Join me for the 2016 COMMON Annual Meeting and Exposition, May 15-18, with pre-conference workshops May 14. Don’t miss New Orleans!
Learn about IBM i 7.3, open source languages, security, and more.
Alan will speak about PHP, SQL, performance, and how to relax your neck, back, and shoulders at the keyboard. Also looking forward to spending time with the gang from “Club Seiden.” https://www.common.org
Join me and 27 other speakers at the Wisconsin Midrange Computer Professional Association (WMCPA) spring technical conference, March 15-17, 2016, at the Lake Lawn Resort on the shores of Delavan Lake.
Featured speakers: Alison Butterill, Tim Rowe. Speakers: Robert Andrews, Jim Bainbridge, Aaron Bartell, Stacy Benfield, Larry Bolhuis, David Brault, Chris Bremer, Jim Buck, Tom Cremieux, Gus Delgado, Richard Dolewski, Von Enselman, Byron Franz, Charles Guarino, Scott Klement, Richard Milone, Floyd Del Muro, Greg Patterson, Mike Pavlak, Trevor Perry, Jim Ritchhart, Richard Schoen, Alan Seiden, Grant Smith, Matt Staddler, Paul Tuohy
I’m proud to have written the foreword for BCD’s new eBook, Top 10 Reasons to Choose PHP for IBM i Web Application Development. In this free eBook, author Duncan Kenzie explains why PHP has become the mainstream solution for web and mobile development on IBM i. He also guides RPG programmers toward successful adoption of PHP in their shops.
This year’s ZendCon has a new location—Las Vegas—and more IBM i speakers than ever, including:
Tony Cairns (IBM)
Massimiliano Cavicchioli (Zend)
Jim Oberholtzer (Agile Technology Architects)
Mike Pavlak (Zend)
Stephanie Rabbani (BCD)
Chuk Shirley (Sabel Steel)
Shlomo Vanunu (Zend)
and myself, Alan Seiden (Alan Seiden Consulting)
Tutorial day, Oct. 19, is recommended at this premier PHP conference. I’ll present “Db2 and PHP in Depth,” a three-hour tutorial of techniques for using IBM i’s native database, which can help make PHP applications more secure, easier to write, and faster. I’ll also present new features of Db2 and PHP’s Db2 interface that were inspired largely by comments and requests of past ZendCon attendees. Special guest Tony Cairns from IBM is expected, too, for a lively discussion about practical PHP development on IBM i. Bring your questions.
Later in the week I’ll present “Create a welcoming development environment on IBM i,” based on my experience leading PHP projects for IBM i, and “Strategic Modernization with PHP,” which shows the possibilities on the IBM i platform and the strengths of various approaches. Expect to hear valuable advice from your colleagues, too.
I’m looking forward to attending talks, talking to sponsors, chatting with many of my blog and newsletter readers, meeting clients, and getting to know Rogue Wave, the company that recently acquired Zend.
I recently joined speaker and consultant Paul Touhy for a spontaneous, personal ‘iTalk with Tuohy’ recorded chat, described thus: “Paul Tuohy talks to development guru Alan Seiden about developing in PHP, the PHP for IBM i Toolkit, performance for developers and getting your work-work balance right.”
At last Friday’s OCEAN conference in Costa Mesa, Calif., IBM’s Dawn May and I presented “The Art of Performance Diagnostics,” showing how we’ve used tools that are free (Performance Data Investigator) and low-cost (Job Watcher) and included with IBM i to identify and resolve performance bottlenecks that would have been difficult using traditional green-screen tools alone.
One audience member said, “Developers should know about these tools! They aren’t just for system administrators.” With these tools and with documentation such as the IBM i Performance FAQ, performance expertise is within reach of developers as well as sysadmins.
How do IBM i performance tools help developers to be more effective? Developers can:
Respond to any reported slowdowns by looking at recent performance data. IBM i captures performance statistics transparently, enabling developers or admins to “go back in time” to look at past performance.
Even better, identify and resolve problems proactively during testing, rather than waiting for users to report problems.
Alan Seiden and Dawn May presenting The Art of Performance Diagnostics for IBM i at the OCEAN conference, July 17, 2015. Photo by Matthew Murtha
Exact name is required when calling a service program’s procedure
Some developers make a common mistake when calling a procedure in a service program using the PHP Toolkit for IBM i or any toolkit based on XMLSERVICE. It’s easy to supply the wrong procedure name, or the right name in the wrong case (upper/lower/mixed). Using this example of calling a procedure using the toolkit, we find the following (correct) program/procedure call:
This service program contains two procedures: ‘myproc’ and ‘orderHeader’. Thus, to call the former, we’d supply array(‘func’=>’myproc’) in the PgmCall method. If we wanted to call the second procedure, we’d use array(‘func’=>’orderHeader’), observing case sensitivity, which often matters (a topic for another day).
National University, Costa Mesa, Calif., 8 am-afternoon.In this all-day workshop, learn what popular open-source content management system Drupal can do for your company. Take advantage of IBM i's support for PHP and MySQL (MariaDb), learn the foundations of those technologies, and how to leverage with Drupal.