October 2001 Monthly Meeting

October 16, 2001

New Software Development Tools and Skills

Presented by
Ron Jones of Genesis Software

For iSeries/400 software developers the tools and skills that have served them so faithfully over the past ten years are beginning to show their age and limited reach. Many programmers continue to use tools like PDM, SEU, and SDA without realizing that there are other options. Alone these tools will never provide the capability to create the next generation of distributed and web-enabled applications.

In some cases new alternatives leverage and/or automate the existing capabilities of native iSeries/400 tools. In other cases, the tool requires a complete quantum leap in how the development process is approached. In most cases these new tools also require the acquisition of new skills to achieve the desired productivity level.

In this presentation we explore some of the newer tools that can replace and/or supplement the familiar ones already in your toolkit. The tools we'll examine include some IBM products like CODE/400, VisualAge for Java, and WebSphere Studio. As well as "internally developed" tools like iCompiler (a pre-compiler tool), and Objex (a VBA-based scripting tool). While time will preclude us from taking a low-level detailed look at all these tools I will present some hints and tricks that I've found useful in my experience with these tools.

Of course having a tool without the skills to use it does the developer little good. In this presentation I also discuss some of the "key" skills that any developer needs to effectively use this new generation of tools. These skills include object-oriented design, XML, SQL-based data access, and IDE (Integrated Development Environment) understanding.