As our regular readers know, we're fans of simplification in our code. Today's application needs are getting more complex every day, but we advocate that developers strive to hide as much of that complexity as possible. Open Access is one tool that can help in that aim; subprocedures are another. The nitty-gritty detailed code must be there but it doesn't need to be in the forefront.
When it comes to talking about our beloved IBM i system to non-i people, simplification is also important. Most of us understand the things that make our platform unique (e.g., single-level storage, object orientation, TIMI and the integration of not only DB2 but also most of the other bits and pieces needed to make a business application system run).
But can we explain these concepts in a few words, holding the attention of the listener while getting across succinctly the value of these concepts? Most of us can't. We get caught up in the technical details that seem so cool but can sometime muddy the waters of understanding the business value.
Here's help. Hopefully you all followed the 25th anniversary celebration activities earlier in the year, including the publication of 25 vignettes, each celebrating one aspect of the power of our platform. We looked forward to reading each one as they came out--25 nice rah-rah moments for the IBM i community.
Recently, we've gone back to revisit some of those vignettes in a slightly different context, using them as vehicles to advocate for the i platform to the uninitiated. Rather than simply relegating these to the annals of history or preaching to the choir, maybe we could make use of some of them to preach to others.
You probably read them, but how well do you remember them? For example:
- How is TIMI like a pair of shoes?
- How can car keys be used to describe the value of single-level storage?
- What does Harry Potter have in common with IBM i?
- An operating system without an integrated database is like a hotel room without a bed--unthinkable.
We all need to be advocates of our platform. Even if you don't know of any potential threats to the platform in your own shop, it's still wise to ensure that the powers that be truly understand the value of what you have.
Do yourself, and your business, a favor by arming yourself with some of the simple analogies embodied in these vignettes so that you can drop them into conversations and meetings to illustrate the value of IBM i.
From our System i Developer iAdvocate page you can download the whitepaper that IBM created with the 25 vignettes and you can also get a set of PowerPoint slides in case you get a chance to insert some of these into a presentation. You may even want to remind yourself and your colleagues of these gems by downloading and printing a poster of the 25 vignettes here.
You'll also find many other iAdvocate resources on the Web page mentioned above. It never hurts to be prepared for the occasion that may arise to advocate for the best platform there is!