Our friends at Data3 did a wonderful job and the event was very successful with more than 100 of the faithful gathered together to hear about the "latest and greatest" in all things IBM i. The location was beautiful too - just outside the downtown core right alongside the channel into the main harbor. In fact one of the sights at the hotel is to watch the daily arrival and departure of the large and very modern ferries, which the locals affectionately refer to as the "booze cruise." Two or three of these leave Stockholm each day and make the overnight run to Finland or sometimes, apparently, simply into the nautical equivalent of no-man's land. Why? Because Sweden has very high taxes on liquor and apparently these cruises take long enough for you to qualify for a substantial duty-free allowance. As our friends Trevor Perry and Alison Butterill noted, this accounts for the people getting off what appears to be a cruise liner carrying only tiny overnight bags--and very large bags of duty-free items!
But telling you how lucky we were to have been teaching in such a gorgeous location was not intended to be the point of this blog. Instead we wanted to pass on a story related to us by our hosts of one Swedish company's successful approach to the problem of finding new RPG blood. Like many of our customers, the company faced an aging RPG population. While some of their work is outsourced, the organization felt the need to have a strong in-house core to the development team. The solution was to hire recent computer studies graduates and have them trained in RPG. Those of you who read our blog regularly will know that this is an approach we have long advocated, and we have been involved in several such programs. It was encouraging, therefore, to see others successfully using this approach. The training consisted of a three-week classroom period, followed by four weeks of practical hands-on experience and then an additional week in the classroom. Needless to say, crucial to this effort to persuade these new hires that RPG did not mean "Role Playing Game" was the use of modern tools like RDP--no green-screen chains for these newcomers!
If you can read Swedish you can find the details in Data3's excellent magazine. We tried Google translate but it just isn't good enough to publish in that form. So, we hope to work with our friends at Data3 to produce an English version, which with luck we can share with you in next month's IBM i EXTRA eNewsletter.
It is nice to hear a story with a happy ending! But Jon will probably never persuade Susan that herring is a real delicacy worth exploring.