February 14, 2023 - Morning Sessions

Tame the IFS with SQL Services

Scott Forstie |  February 14, 2023  |  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CT

In this workshop format, attendees will get the chance to experience first-hand how to use SQL to bring order to the IFS!  Let the taming begin. 

Attendees should have a recent version of
IBM i Access Client Solutions (ACS)installed on their device of choice. 

Intro to Open Source on IBM i

Mike Pavak |  February 14, 2023  |  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CT

Open Source technology is BOOMING on IBM i and you don’t want to get left behind.  In this workshop we will explore the fundamentals of using open source technology on IBM i.  Concepts to be explored include but are not limited to use of shells, BASH, Python basics, Git, Open Source Package Management & YUM, CURL, CHROOT, ODBC and much more.  This session is ideal for ANYONE who is interested in what Open Source is all about, from executive down to admin. We will also briefly explore the three principle server side application development languages in the open source space today, PHP, Python and Node.js.   

Lesson objectives: 

1)      Understand how to install and manage open source tools on IBM i      

2)      Learn fundamental concepts of open source and how that applies to IBM i 

3)      Get a survey level perspective of dozens of open source projects & languages 

*How to quickly get started and demonstrate value on open source.  Start getting your feet wet.* 

February 14, 2023 - Afternoon Sessions

Deep Dive into the IBM i Performance Tasks

Dawn May |  February 14, 2023  |  1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT

This workshop will explore the IBM i Performance tasks and how you can investigate performance data using the Performance Data Investigator.  It will focus on Collection Services data, but will also cover Job Watcher. 
The workshop will begin with a presentation covering foundational material, with the rest of the workshop delivered as a demonstration on how to use the performance tasks in Navigator for i. 
- How to use Investigate Data to review Collection Services data 
- How to create and review historical data 
- Basic system monitoring with system monitors 
- Introduction to Job Watcher  
- Basic Job Watcher analysis 
- Managing your performance data collections 

Python Basics and Beyond

Mike Pavlak |  February 14, 2023  |  1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT

Python is a general-purpose language often referred to as the CL of open source.  While this is an excellent use for Python, it has emerged as a strategic language for application development, too.  In this workshop we’ll explore the implementation, syntax and application use cases of Python on IBM i.  From a fundamentals perspective you will see examples using the command line, shell environment, script creation, storage and execution.  As we progress through the workshop, we will delve into multiple database accesses including Db2, program calls as well as a brief tour of frameworks.  Then we’ll wrap things up with how open source applications built in Python can add value to your IT environment by expanding on some third party modules that are sure to increase developer productivity in any shop.     

Lesson objectives: 

1)      Understand how to install and manage Python & open source tools on IBM i      

2)      Learn fundamental syntax an architecture of Python Scripts and how they can be implemented on IBM i 

3)    Get a survey level perspective of several of Python based open source projects & modules 

RPG Wellness Check-up

Simon Hutchinson |  February 14, 2023  |  1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT

The “doctor” is in the house to help you to review of the health of your RPG code. Simon Hutchinson will go through the things he thinks that every programmer should be doing with their RPG to get the most from it in 2023. Come join in and see how many of these items you are already using, and how many you are not! 


Need to be free 

Getting off RPG cycle 

Control options 

File definitions 

Use of indicators  


Data structures 

Native I/O 

Subroutines vs Subprocedures 


Internal error checking 

SQL data types 

Delay job 


If, elseif, else, endif 

Read, chain, etc. 

New built in functions   


Timestamp improvements 


Getting off RPG cycle 


RPG complier directives 


Part two: Getting the most from your embedded SQL 

  • Multi row fetch 
  • Multi row inserts 
  • How much faster this is than all other ways of moving data from 1 file to another 

February 15, 2023 - Morning Sessions

Tackle Database Engineering (DBE) tasks with IBM i Access Client Solutions (ACS)

Scott Forstie |  February 15, 2023  |  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CT

This session will show how to use IBM i Access Client Solutions (ACS) to tackle some of the most important database engineering tasks.  The DBE needs to efficiently and effectively use a tool to understand, manage and adopt the data model, index strategy, SQL Plan Cache, Database health metrics, and much more. ACS’s database features are numerous. Come to this session to make certain you’re getting the most out of ACS. 
Attendees should have a recent version ofIBM i Access Client Solutions (ACS)installed on their device of choice. 

Learn From Experience: Principles of IBM i Administration You Need to Know

Pete Massiello and Steve Pitcher |  February 15, 2023  |  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CT

Join iTech Solutions’ Pete Massiello and Steve Pitcher as they discuss hard-earned tips and techniques from their combined 60+ years of managing IBM i.  This workshop will provide a comprehensive overview of the many decision points in modern IBM i systems management.   Pete and Steve will compare and contrast the many technology choices that keep IBM i administrators up at night.  The goal of this workshop is not to provide you with one answer; it is to equip you with the tools necessary to help you determine the best choices for your own IBM i environment.  


Topics will include: 

  • High Availability Options (hardware vs software replication) 
  • Backup and Restores   
  • Security 
  • Performance  
  • File Sharing  
  • Administration  
  • Cleanup  
  • IPLs 
  • Care and Feeding of IBM i 
  • How to do smarter hardware and operating system upgrades 
  • Migration Strategies  
  • To HMC or to not HMC 
  • To Cloud or On-prem   
  • Tape Encryption 
  • Internal vs External Storage 
  • Tape vs VTL vs RDX vs Cloud
  • IBM Navigator 

February 15, 2023 - Afternoon Sessions

VS Code and IBM i Workshop

Patrick Behr | February 15, 2023  |  1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT

Covering installation, writing code, and tips and tricks. Three large focuses will be using Visual Studio Code as the daily driver, setting up and configuring the RPGLE linter, and using git with your existing ILE RPG/COBOL/etc. Bring a laptop. Comes with interactive handouts that you can take home with you! 


  1. Understanding how to utilize all of Visual Studio Codes features when writing ILE code

  2. Writing the best and cleanest RPGLE code

  3. Learning how to use the available git tools and IDE tools with local RPGLE

SQL Basics

Sue Romano | February 15, 2023  |  1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT

SQL is the standard for defining, manipulating, and accessing your data on IBM i and on most other systems. What's the best way to get started with SQL without feeling overwhelmed? Why, join us for this session, of course! Even if you already use SQL, you're sure to learn techniques that will make you more productive. What's included? 

- Query constructs including scalar functions, grouping, joins, and common table expressions. 

- How to write procedures, functions, and triggers using SQL PL, the programming language of SQL 

- Accessing data on remote systems 

- And a lot more! 

Every Question You are Afraid to Ask about Life in IT after Graduation – An Interactive Workshop

Marina Schwenk, Steve Wolk, et al | February 15, 2023  |  1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT

It’s not enough to write good code or be a whiz at the operating system.  You will need soft skills to excel in your career.  But colleges have traditionally been poor at teaching this — great at sharing technical expertise, but less helpful when it comes to the business of how to get a job, keep that job, and advance in your career.  


Co-presented by N2i and the COMMON Business Development subject matter experts, this interactive workshop will address what to expect in your first job. But the real value to this workshop comes with your questions and in discussion with fellow attendees.  Come prepared to discuss your experiences.  And be prepared to turn your webcam on.   

Think of this session as a graduate seminar where your participation is key.   

Expected topics to be covered include:  

  • Getting a job 
  • Keeping a job 
  • Advancing in your career 
  • Time Management 
  • Selling your ideas to the business 
  • Everything they didn’t teach you in college