The folks at COMMON in Europe created an interesting survey that asks IBM i folks about what "concerns" them about IBM i. (By the way, the survey is written in PHP using an open source content management system called Joomla and guess what OS it is running on?) While I absolutely love this machine there are many things that concern me so I jumped at the chance the let my voice be heard and here's why.
Years ago I became a charter member of the COMMON Americas Advisory Counsel. This group was created to, essentially, resurrect the old requirements process and provide direct feedback to IBM Rochester to make improvements to IBM i. This came about as the result of a blanket email that went to all members of COMMON in North America. In the application the email asked for a charter requirement. In other words, what would you want IBM to do to IBM i to make it better. Well, it is probably no big secret that my charter requirement was to ask IBM to either enhance Net.Data or bring a scripting solution like PHP to the platform. Not only was my application accepted, but so was my requirement. I was thrilled to become part of an influential community within the IBM i community.
Over the next several years as I watched my PHP requirement evolve into the partnership with Zend and THOUSANDS of IBM i people around the world enjoying PHP running natively on IBM i, I also had the chance to provide input and requirements on many other aspects of IBM i. Some of them include Blades, simplified interfaces, and even a confirmation screen for potentially dangerous commands like PWRDWNSYS and ENDTCP. As you might have guessed, some requirements were accepted and some were not for various reasons. However, while sitting in a keynote presentation by Steve Will at the recent OMNI Technical Conference I was commenting to someone sitting next to me about some of the many things IBM has brought to IBM i that were the result of mine and other peoples requirements. This made me quite proud that our contributions were perceived as valuable and that proved that IBM was listening!
A couple of years ago I left the advisory counsel for a number of reasons, most notable was that my role had evolved from customer to ISV and that I found myself focused on other initiatives. But this survey gave me what I was looking for in a fast and easy way to communicate some of my recent requirements. You can always create a requirement at COMMON or by going online. But when something is easy I just love it!
It took me a whopping 5 minutes to fill out the Top Concerns survey and I encourage you to do the same. The designers of the survey are also awarding a prize which you can choose to decline. All responses are anonymous, unless you would prefer to include your name in the description field.
This is a great opportunity for a great platform. Please find some time to cast your opinion. Even if it is just to say thanks for a wonderful operating system!