From the Editor (September 2012)
Fall is my favorite season of the year. The only holiday that really interrupts its cool, crisp, colorful days for a celebratory pause is Thanksgiving (and my daughter's birthday if you want to count that, too). School starts, pantries and freezers are stocked full of summer's bounty, and football begins (Go Ducks!).
The theme is fresh starts, for sure.
There is no better time of year, in my opinion, to take a training course or start a new project (and barring any catastrophes, I'll be starting one myself—so watch for it).
That's why it's fitting that Brian May waxes poetic on starting an application modernization project in this month's cover story. Yes, you can put GUIs on those green-screen apps.
But the key is you have to get started. So as hundreds of men strut out of their locker rooms this season and kick a stuffed pig skin into the air to signal the start of 3 hours of sweat and tears, perhaps you ought to be kicking off a challenge of your own.
(As a side note, IBMer Tim Rowe blogs about application modernization on iProDeveloper.com in his Modern-i-zation blog.)
Of course, if your focus needs to be on taming your unwieldy RPG programs, then read Steve Kilner's article on using trace tools to modify and restructure them for improved maintainability.
In his Meat of the Matter column, Scott Klement teaches how to use escape messages to signal that a program has ended abnormally. In the database arena, Scott Forstie writes about CREATE SQL statements. And if you're learning a new language, check out how to make calls in Java with PCML and object mapping, and how to do them in PHP as well.
By the way, I hope y'all aren't getting tired of my little pep talks, because that's a big part of me—I love seeing people succeed and sharing the joy of their success. I'd love for you to share your success with me, so send me an email.