I’m just back from POWERUp18 which is a conference focussed on users of the IBM i platform. Over those 4 days in San Antonio, I learned a lot about the platform, its users and the level of interest they have in using Node.js.
I had been asked to deliver a number of talks on Node.js and the work that we do in the community. What surprised me was how many other talks there were that involved Node.js. Node.js was mentioned as an important part of the open source strategy for the platform in the keynotes, and I counted 12+ talks that had significant Node.js content.
Startups and new enterprises like Netflix and Uber get a lot of attention for using Node.js, but it is great to see this level of interest on a platform that businesses use to ship fruit, rent construction equipment, and sell custom chairs. I’m hoping to be able to bring some of these stories to the Foundation’s Node.js collection and Node.js Application Showcase.
The focus of the conference is education and all of the talks were well done and provided good content, with sessions being 1 or more hours depending on the style. If you are working with IBM i, I’d recommend attending next year if you can.
Also important to mention is that we have a couple of great Node.js ambassadors in the IBM i community.
- The first is Aaron Bartell from KrengelTech. He has been active in the Node.js community’s user-feedback initiative, and delivered many good Node.js talks and labs at POWERUp18, doing a great job to evangelize Node.js.
- The second is IBM’s Jesse Gorzinski, who has been working to integrate IBM i support into Node.js, and also did a great job evangelizing Node.js at POWERUp18. Important note: as of version 10.x, you can now compile for IBM i directly from the community sources!
In addition, there were some good Node.js talks from Profound Logic, who is a Node.js Foundation member.
I think it’s safe to say that Node.js was well represented and there was a lot of interest in using Node.js. On the open source front, PHP has been available/used on IBM i for the last 10 years, but Node.js looks like it is gaining steam and interest as the way to go for new development. There are already npm modules that you can use to integrate with existing RPG code (the language of choice on IBM i) and the integrated database which makes it easy to use Node.js while levering existing assets.
Overall, I look forward to attending POWERUp again next year and learning about all the ways businesses using IBM i are using Node.js.
IBM and Node.js
IBM has made significant investments into the Node.js community. The company is dedicated to Node.js’ success and sustained adoption among varied types of deployments that run business-critical applications. Explore the tools that we created with developers in mind, and that make the Create, Deploy, and Monitor aspects of Node.js applications a wonderful user experience. Explore a vast number of tutorials and articles that cover precise information about a tool usage, a best practice, or a specific capability – rich with insights from field deployments. Ask for support, if you are in need of it. If you have significant business that runs on Node.js and want commercial support, you can choose a level that fits your operational model.