Copyright: loveluck / 123RF Stock Photo

 Our 2019 Speakers

Steve Will

Chief Architect - IBM i

Steve Will is Chief Architect for the IBM i operating system. He's an award-winning speaker, author of a top IBM i blog, and one of the most sought-after voices at customer briefings and events. Steve has worked on IBM i and its predecessors since before the creation of the AS/400.

Steve will be presenting the IBM i roadmap, strategies and client examples.

Jose Acosta

Midcore Solutions

Jose Acosta is the President of Midcore Solutions. A consulting firm specializing in helping companies bridge the gap between IBM i and new technologies. Jose has more than nineteen years of Information Technology experience developing custom software solutions for IBM i.   His experience spans in RPG, web application development, business intelligence, database design, and integrated business applications.

Laravel is a great PHP framework designed to help you easily handle essential tasks like sessions, authentication, or input validation. During this session, we will explore the basics and benefits of using Laravel to build web applications for IBM i. You will gain an understanding of Laravel’s Blade templating engine, MVC structure, routes, and building quires using Eloquent.

Patrick Behr

Application Architect

There are many benefits to testing, and it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Come find out how test-driven development will help you:

* Inspire confidence by ensuring that all your code is always tested

* Know exactly what you should do and when you are done

* Encourage simple application designs

* Fearlessly refactor and redesign application 

There are many benefits to testing, and it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Come find out how test-driven development will help you:

* Inspire confidence by ensuring that all your code is always tested

* Know exactly what you should do and when you are done

* Encourage simple application designs

* Fearlessly refactor and redesign application 

Larry Bolhuis

Frankeni Technology Consulting

Larry has grown up with computers since his father became a CE in 1967. He obtained a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Calvin College in 1982 and soon after began working on IBM midrange equipment with the S/34 and S/36. Larry began working on the AS/400 at its introduction in 1988. 

After spending many years as a developer Larry began working on communications, networking, and systems management tasks. Years of working with SNA, SDLC, SNADS, APPC, APPN followed by Token Ring, Ethernet, and TCP/IP taught strong communications troubleshooting skills. In addition to networking on the IBM side Larry learned the infrastructure components of the network including switches, routers, and firewalls, working chiefly with Cisco equipment. 

In 15 years as an IBM Business partner Larry worked with IBMs systems from design through implementation and migration. He has worked on the smallest and largest and everything in between. He has been involved in many Beta and other early release programs with IBM. Larry has held more than 30 IBM certifications on the AS/400, iSeries, System i and Power Systems, including IBM Certified Advanced Technical Expert and is a contributing author to many IBM Certification tests. 

Session Abstract:

 In this session we will discuss: 

  •  What are PTFs?
  •  Why do I need them?
  •  How do I get them?
  •  Which ones do I need?

In this session we will describe PTFs, Cumultative PTFs, and other PTF Groups. We'll discuss how to find out what you have, how to get them, and how to put them in place. We'll help you determine what PTF strategy is the one for you and your system. 

Learning Objectives:

  • What PTFs, and PTF Groups are and why you need them.
  • How to get PTFs and load them onto your IBM i.
  • The use of Virtual Image Catalogs and Virtual DVD drives to save time and problems in the PTF process.
  • How to determine which PTFs you need for your system.


IBM i System Administrators or developers tasked with Systems Management

Session Abstract:

A new application? I can do that! A new server? I can do that. Lots of new disk? I think I can do that. More CPW and memory? Oh boy, how am I gonna do all that?!  

  • You know you have the legendary lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in the industry with Power Systems and IBM i. You already understand that total Cost of Acquisition (TCA) isn't the only number to focus on. So what are the things you should consider to help reduce TCO even further?
  • First will look at all the impressive electrical power and heat reductions possible with the newest Power Systems hardware including SAS Drives, Small form factor drives, SSDs, and of course POWER8 and POWER9 Processors. We'll consider maintenance costs and number of cabinets required as well as operating system license costs. From here we'll consider how advanced power management, intelligent PDUs, along with the newest CPUs can save you money.
  • Next we'll step back from the system itself and explore the relationship between system power and UPS and cooling costs. We'll discuss data center issues including space, power density, and cooling costs and finally look into some ideas for alternative cooling that can save significant energy and money.
  • Understand the total investment in a server including purchase, maintenance, license and operating costs. Learn about common data center mistakes in cooling and options for alternative cooling. Learn some ways to extend runtime on UPS and lower electrical use during peak demand.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the total investment in a server including purchase, maintenance, license and operating costs.
  • Learn about common data center mistakes in cooling and options for alternative cooling.
  • Learn some ways to extend runtime on UPS and lower electrical use during peak demand.


Session Abstract:

This session is a live build of an IBM i guest partition. We will create each of the components needed through the HMC for both the host and the guest. Then on the host we'll create the IBM i NWS configuration objects and storage and connect those pieces. Finally, we'll create the partition itself, and being the IBM i install, all in 60 minutes!  
Audience input will influence the build!!  
In our session we assume only that the system has an HMC attached and an existing IBM i partition that does not own all resources in the system. 

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand just how simple it is to create a guest partition on IBM i.

2. Learn the components required to turn your standalone partition into a host partition.

3. Learn some of the options that influence how the guest partition is installed and started and stopped.

4. Lean a few tricks for customizing your host partition so you don't have to remember every time!

Chris Bremer

Dynamic Solutions International
Chief Technology Officer

Chris Bremer holds a Business Administration degree from John Carroll University. His history in engineering data storage software gives him a unique perspective on cyber security. He has 35 years of experience in the tech field and still lives and breathes technology. If he is not skiing, he is either thinking about how to make a product better or coming up with a new product.

This session will be a discussion of the processes and procedures for backing up an IBM i.  We will be talking about the different options and the pros and cons.  This session focuses on the concepts rather than products.

This session is more product specific; an update of backing up the IBM i using VTLs and covering the possibility of of using the cloud for IBM i backups.

Erwin Earley

Rogue Wave Software, Inc.
Sr. Solutions Consultant

With over 20 years working in the IBM i community, previously at IBM and now with Rogue Wave Software, Erwin has worked with a number of technologies on the POWER platform including cloud (PowerVC), Dev/Ops solutions (Docker, Chef), Open Source technologies (Linux, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP). Erwin has expertise in a variety of technologies including virtualization, storage, networking, and operating systems including AIX, IBM i, and Linux. Erwin is a frequent speaker at various user groups and technical conferences and has authored numerous articles on Linux, PHP, virtualization, and systems management.

While we all know that installing Zend Server on IBM I provides us with the PHP engine – you may not be familiar with how PHP runs on the platform and the tools that are provided for managing the environment.  In this session, we will explore the structure of how the PHP engine runs on the I platform including a description of the subsystems employ8ed and some basic troubleshooting.  We will also take a look at the 5250-based management system (zsmenu) for managing the configuration files, jobs, and subsystems, as well as the Zend Server Web GUI for working with various features of the basic edition of Zend Server including server configuration management, monitoring, and root cause analysis.

What the heck is PASE anyway? Is it QP2TERM? Is it QSH? BASH? It's none of the above! These technologies live in the Portable Application Solutions Environment for i, or PASE for i. PASE allows one to port IBM AIX applications to the IBM i. Basically, PASE allows for a UNIX like environment on the IBM i, and this session will cover everything you need to know about this powerful tool at a pace everyone can understand.

Open Source solutions continue to be in vogue for businesses large and small and you might be surprised at the wealth of Open Source solutions that are available for you to leverage directly on the IBM I platform.  This workshop will explore a number of popular open source solutions available or IBM I including PHP, SAMBA, node.js, and Ruby.  Along the way we will also show you how you can install/enable tools such as bash, git, zip, perl, and others in the PASE environment.  This workshop will open your eyes to what is possible on your IBM i

Charlie Guarino

Central Park Data Systems

Charles Guarino has been an Information Technology consultant for the vast majority of
his career. He is also the founder and President of Central Park Data Systems, Inc., a Long Island and New York City area based IBM midrange consulting and corporate
training company. In addition, he is a professional speaker presenting at technical
conferences and events across the United States and Europe. He is a frequent
contributor of articles and webcasts for the IBM i community, with topics covering a
broad range of IT topics and strategies. Charles is a member of COMMON’s Speaker
Excellence Hall of Fame and The Long Island Software and Technology Network’s
Twenty Top Techies. Recently Charles became the proud recipient of the Al Barsa
Memorial Scholarship Award. Additionally, he currently serves as a board member of
COMMON and also participates on COMMON’s Strategic Education Team (SET). Other professional endeavors have included being the president and monthly Q&A host of the Long Island System User’s Group LISUG

“New” RPG Free Form enhancements? Well sure, but that happened at 7.1. Time marches on and so do the enhancements. Today’s RPG is living, vibrant and ever-evolving, keeping pace and meeting the requirements and needs of TODAY’S programming community.

If you haven’t been keeping up you are missing out on the many new treasures that will not only improved the readability of your code but also the reliability. Long live RPG!

There’s the long way and then there’s the short way of doing stuff. RDi, with its full collection of shortcuts easily speeds up your source code development. This session is a live demonstration of the what, wheres, whys and hows of the most popular shortcuts. Just using a few of them can really make a difference. Use them all? No contest.

Session Abstract:
What are the steps to getting your source code stored in a Git repository, be it on IBM i or externally, such as on GitHub? We will go through the entire process step by step so you can learn the fundamentals, using the eGit perspective in RDi.

Learning Objectives:
We will discuss an introduction to Git and how to successfully manage source and repositories from RDi.

Developers and managers who are interesting in learning more about the Git source versioning control system.

Description coming soon.

Chris Hird

Shield Advanced Solutions, Ltd

Chris Hird is President of Shield Advanced Solutions (Canada) Ltd an independent company who have been providing High Availability software since 1997. He supports the Open source initiative on IBM i and has developed a number of solutions which are available via GitHub. Chris continues to provide technical insights to the latest features of IBM i and how to implement them in your own environments via his online Blog.

What is High Availability and why do I need it?

In this session we will discuss the answers to these questions:

  • How much will it cost?
  • What makes up a High Availability Solution?
  • What technologies are used?
  • What to look for in a good solution?
  • What are the different stages of availability (HA, DR etc)
  • How to ensure you get what you need?

In this session we will discuss the following burning questions:

  • What is all the fuss about?
  • Where can I use it?
  • Is it safe to use?
  • How do I get started?
  • Why PASE?
  • How can I link IBM i native to Open Source?
  • Can I use it for my ILE development?

Wim Jongman

Remain Software
Chief Technology Officer

Wim Jongman has been working in open source since 2005. Wim is an occasional contributor to the open source Eclipse Git projects, committer for various other projects and the project lead for Eclipse Nebula which provide rich user interface elements.


Mike Larsen

Central Park Data Systems
Project Manager and Senior Developer

Mike Larsen is a Project Manager and Senior developer at Central Park Data Systems and has been working with IBM i systems for over 20 years.  He specializes in RPG, CL, and SQL and recently has been working with PHP and Python.  Current projects have given Mike the opportunity to work with generating and parsing XML and JSON from SQL and consuming SOAP and REST web services.  Although his main area of expertise is on IBM i, Mike has a passion for learning other languages and how he can integrate other platforms with IBM i.


Details to come.  Mike Larsen wrote an article for IBM System Magazine on this topic and will share it with the group!

Amal MacDonald


A discussion of results of Syncsort’s Security Survey.  Insights on why you need security

Mike Pavlak

Fresche Solutions
IBM i Strategist

Mike Pavlak has been working with IBM midrange solutions since 1992 and IBM Mainframes before that. After years of developing applications using RPG, CL and PHP he managed IT development and IT for power protection manufacturer Tripp Lite. Mike joined Zend as a Solutions Consultant in 2008 working with the sales team and spreading the news about Zend solutions in the IBM midrange arena. Mike lives in suburban Chicago with his wife, five kids, two dogs, three cats, a leopard spotted gecko, Russian tortoise, two rabbits, half a dozen fish and a fancy mouse.

Modernization is a very overused word in the IBM i lexicon. In this session we decompose the word and the many approaches with practical results on what is working and what isn’t. We’ll look at tools, techniques, the latest buzzwords in the industry and how they stack up against our precious IBM i. Is there any hope for our platform past 2020? Come find out…

Learning Objectives:

1) Explore types of tools leverages in the Modernization space. (not vendor specific, this is
NOT a Fresche sales pitch)

2) Review techniques for modernization such as database, code and open source

3) Develop skills at building a roadmap toward modernization

Batch workloads were a fundamental component of IBM Midrange environments. In this session we will explore the history and evolution of batch processing in IBM i environments. Modern approaches to asynchronous processing and alternatives to the "nightly run" have made shops much more nimble.
All aspects of the batch processing world will be explored including alternatives to data backup
and HA processing. RPG is an excellent language for batch and business logic. Yet many will ask if PHP, Python or Node is good for batch? The first question we will explore is “why batch is
still being done?”.

Learning Objectives:

1) Understand the “why” of batch processing

2) Discuss alternatives to batch & asynchronous processing

3) Explore examples of the use of alternatives to the mythical batch processes.

API’s or Web Services are the foundation of modern development and consuming API’s is a great place to start.  This session will journey through fundamental Python exercises to a full blown Web Service call where we’ll gather the history of a given stock and load the results into a Spreadsheet.