Interview with Roland Hughes, Creator of "The Minimal You Have to Know" Collection

At the moment, Tyler R. Tichelaar of Reader Views is wanting ahead to Roland Hughes, who has talked about his sequence "The Minimal You Have to Know," together with "The Minimal You Have to Know to Be an Open VMS Utility. " Developer, "1st Impression Publishing (2006)," "The Minimal You Have to Know About Logic to Work in IT," Logikal Options (2007) and "The Minimal You Have to Know About Java in OpenVMS", Logical Options (2006).

Roland Hughes is president of Logikal Options, a VMS platform-based enterprise utility consulting agency. Hughes serves as Senior Advisor with over 20 years of expertise in utilizing computer systems and working methods initially developed by Digital Tools Company (now owned by Hewlett-Packard).

With a level in pc info methods, the creator's expertise focuses on OpenVMS methods from quite a lot of industries, together with heavy equipment, prescribed drugs, exchanges, tax accounting, and {hardware} resellers, to call however a number of. Working in these industries has strengthened the creator's distinctive abilities and gave him a complete perspective on the function and worth of OpenVMS within the business.

Mr. Hughes' technical abilities embody the next instruments that allow him to grasp and improve OpenVMS purposes: DEC / VAX C, DEC / VAX C ++, DEC BASIC, DCL, ACMS, MQ sequence, DEC COBOL, RDB POWERHOUSE, SQL, CMS / MMS, Oracle 8i, FORTRAN, FMS and Java. With so many technical languages, Hughes can share his information extra simply with different programmers. This guide sequence is an try to move on a few of his information and abilities to the following technology.

Tyler: Thanks for coming to see me at this time, Roland. Would you first inform us what differentiates your books from different books about Java and VMS?

Roland: It's simple for OpenVMS. There are at the moment no different utility growth books in print. There are a selection of system administration and integration books, however none concentrate on utility growth and even language utilization.

As for Java, I didn't drink Kool-Support in Java City, and you'll not discover my physique in one of many heaps found there. I work with Java if I've to. This isn't and may by no means be the language of selection for anybody aware of utility growth. My guide on Java plunges straight into the powerful stuff: calling system providers, utilizing runtime libraries, studying and writing RMS-indexed information, interacting with the consumer on a VT-320 terminal. You'll not discover every other Java books that speak about such issues as a result of their authors don't perceive sufficient in regards to the language to attain this.

Tyler: You stated that Java ought to by no means be the language of selection for anybody significantly concerned in utility growth. Why is that and why do different authors have hassle understanding it?

Roland: First you need to outline "severe utility growth". Whereas WEB could be a important revenue part for a lot of corporations, it ought to by no means be a severe utility growth. All the severe utility growth takes place on the again finish. We name this SOA now. You put in a small WEB service that makes a safe name to a back-end course of that does all of the work.

Java is unsuitable for the event of back-end servers. For a similar motive, nearly all 4GL instruments weren't appropriate. They're interpreted. OK, they're p-compiled and that's interpreted. With an interpreted toolkit you cannot get sufficient energy, ruggedness and safety.

Should you have a look at a lot of the SOA implementations now, they're constructing little WEB providers that use a proprietary messaging system to speak to an present back-end written in COBOL, BASIC, FORTRAN or every other language that the commerce press has lengthy forgotten About.

Your query is a separate reply: "Why do different authors have issue understanding them?" They're authors, not skilled software program builders. They're paid by a advertising conflict chest, which has given cash to one of many huge publishers. The massive writer provides them an advance of $ 4k- $ 5k and asks them to drink the kool assist with this guide. In addition they inform them that they need to subject 5 extra books per contract this yr. How a lot ability, information and analysis is in a know-how guide printed by a serious writer? Zero. They're busy producing oatmeal for the lots.

Once I wrote "The minimal it's worthwhile to know to be an OpenVMS utility developer," I took an unpaved yr to put in writing this guide. If I had labored for a writer, this guide would by no means have been printed. Assuming I might have written it, the guide would have been divided into 9 completely different books, every of which was a watered-down shadow of what the guide I'm at the moment publishing is.

Tyler: What do you assume ought to be the language for utility growth and why?

Roland: This reply actually relies on your platform and the toolset you're working with. Should you select to work solely with RMS-indexed information, DEC BASIC is the instrument of selection. You should be conscious that you've got restricted the scale of your utility and your group through the use of RMS-indexed information as an alternative of a relational database. As soon as a single listed file spans a number of drives, entry may be very sluggish.

You resolve, for no matter motive, a primitive relational database is your most well-liked information storage methodology. You select MySQL as a result of it's free. They're restricted to C / C ++ as the event language on most platforms whenever you use this database.

Should you select to make use of the most effective database know-how RDB in an OpenVMS cluster of absolutely distributed databases, you'll be able to actually select any language supported on the platform, even Java, because the Java guide on this sequence reveals.

In at this time's world, select your instruments first: display screen administration, database / storage, messaging. Then choose one of many languages ​​that can work with the instruments you could have chosen for the working system you wish to run.

Tyler: Would you inform us about OpenVMS and its function within the pc business for laymen?

Roland: OpenVMS was and is essentially the most superior working system humanity has ever created. Within the 80s of the VMS, the enterprise world broke down clustering and set the usual so excessive that no different working system was close to the implementation. There are various working methods and working system suppliers that declare they've clustering, however it's unfaithful. It's worthwhile to develop a brand new definition of clustering, normally as much as "we will spell the phrase clustering, so we now have to have it". No model of Unix or Linux clusters. That is one thing that Oracle goes by means of the arduous manner with its RAC10 product and a few well-known journey website crashes.

Introducing OpenVMS at this time as a model new working system would entice your entire IT business. The vast majority of the IT business is watching over the truth that, whatever the variety of 800-dollar PCs on the blades, this platform just isn't secure sufficient to run your small business.

Tyler: Roland, I've to confess, I'm not overly computer-savvy and I discover it troublesome to speak with IT folks due to the jargon and technical facets of the know-how. So I'm stunned and happy to fulfill somebody who writes books about computer systems. Why did you resolve to be an creator of know-how?

Roland: I work loads on this space and that's very misunderstood. The business has been diminished to 4-color glossies, and MBA specialists make tough choices based mostly on which product seems to have essentially the most 4-color glossies within the press this week. We've to vary that. It's a very disturbing angle in higher administration that IT workers are just like the box-stackers on an meeting line. This has led to a loopy onslaught on offshore IT, flooding this nation with H1-B staff. These choices have an effect on not solely the economic system but in addition the enterprise. From the 1970s to the 1980s, the enterprise benefit of a enterprise was the IT division. This outlined how your small business expired and left your opponents behind. Now there's a pattern to make use of precisely the identical software program as everybody else. They now not have a enterprise benefit, so MBA's start a value conflict to outsmart their opponents. All a non-IT particular person has to do is learn the SEC's bulletins, which look at accounting practices, inventory choices, and the rash of different scandals to see the place the worth conflict is heading.

Doomsday folks have preached that we are literally working a world conflict within the Center East for oil. Until the present developments change, we are going to wage a world conflict to get again our supply code and know-how lengthy earlier than we struggle for oil. Somebody has to put in writing down what we have to get well from this conflict lengthy earlier than it occurs. You will need to additionally level out that it's coming.

Regardless of the off-shoring contracts, many corporations now not personal their software program. The info facilities internet hosting it are positioned in a distinct nation. If the house owners of this middle disconnect the community, how does the corporate work?

Tyler: Wow, Roland. I by no means considered this international sort of know-how. What do you assume is the answer to this case? Is the state of affairs one thing corporations want to unravel for themselves, or is authorities intervention crucial?

Roland: Firms won't resolve it for themselves. They've run headfirst off this cliff and are too busy searching for one other worthwhile rip-off that may bypass the jail (like inventory choices which were in existence for years).

State intervention will happen, however not for any motive you may assume. For an extremely massive and silly firm (comparable to Oracle or Microsoft), 70-80% of its supply is hosted on off-shore providers (each corporations now have an identical angle in off-shore work, should you can imagine the numbers, that they're floating round.)). Sooner or later, an entity or social gathering with a fanatical nationwide coverage will take management in that nation and nationalize all supply code. (Cuba did this when Castro took energy, and different international locations did the identical factor, so I'm probably not stretched right here).

Think about what occurs if these million greenback Oracle merchandise should not offered as Alah DB or one other radical title for $ 50 per copy. Monumental marketing campaign cash is being deposited for the re-election campaigns of all federal officers, and Congress is making conflict on the nation that has finished so to guard Oracle (or Microsoft). Tens of 1000's of your little kids come residence in physique luggage as a result of corporations have been too silly and too grasping to appreciate that this off-shoring factor was a nasty concept.

Check out GM and the opposite huge corporations that shut down all of the software program wanted for every day operations. What occurs if the Third World nation offshore is similar? With out GM, there are billions to "license" the now nationalized software program, all the factories and gross sales idle, leaving a whole bunch of 1000's on the similar time unemployed. The identical factor occurs. Marketing campaign contributions change fingers and your kids come residence in physique luggage.

What scares me essentially the most is that the offshore corporations will implement this themselves. Infokall, USTech and the opposite main offshore corporations are based mostly on a mannequin of slave labor. They see articles in enterprise magazines complaining about expertise snipping, and there's a scarcity of expert builders keen to work for what they're keen to pay for. Most of them are at the moment opening places of work in Korea and different international locations, which seem Indian requirements after third world. These guys will retreat in a single day from their residence international locations and open the door to a radical group supported by hundreds of thousands of unemployed IT staff.

The transfer to Korea was actually scary. US troops have already shed blood there.

Tyler: Roland, let's return to your books. In your web site, you state, "These books present IT workers with the data we really need, not the data magazines want." What do magazines say IT folks want, what they don't do, and why did the magazines go fallacious?

Roland: It's important to perceive how business analysts and commerce magazines have labored over the previous 20 years to know why each should not good sources of knowledge. Each are financed by promoting {dollars}. each will deny it, however there it's. When a brand new product comes onto the market and a supplier opens its conflict chest, its first enterprise is to change into a paid subscriber to a number of Trade Analyst corporations. Consequently, their merchandise match these within the IT business that subscribe to the service. As well as, Massive-X consulting corporations obtain the brand new product. Within the weekly commerce press there are plenty of articles that say that this new product is a mega-trend and the largest factor that has hit the business because the semiconductor.

This results in tough choices that begin numerous "pilot tasks" in numerous corporations. All of those pilot tasks require a license for the product. The vendor then publishes this large variety of licenses he has bought (even when it's a short-term 120-day factor) and out of the blue it appears like a practice goes down the hill. It's not so. Till the brand new product replaces the precise core methods bread and butter within the firm, it's nothing greater than a flash within the pan. It takes a minimum of seven years to exchange and arrange a core enterprise system.

A core enterprise system is outlined as the whole course of: order entry, buyer administration, stock, warehousing, choosing, delivery and billing.

Let me say it one other manner. The language with the biggest put in base on this planet is COBOL. That is the language of many core enterprise methods. There are hundreds of thousands of recent COBOL traces of code which have already been written at this time and added to the billions of traces in manufacturing. What number of weekly or month-to-month IT magazines do you write about COBOL? None. It's a mature know-how that doesn't put plenty of money into advertising.

Right here's an attention-grabbing query so that you can do your personal analysis. Simply what number of school IT programs have COBOL as a obligatory course?

Tyler: Roland, I'm notably fascinated by your guide "The Minimal You Have to Know About Logic to Work in IT." Their web site means that logic is now not taught in school and IT workers are prone to be unemployed. What's the drawback with IT school programs for you?

Roland: School programs are affected by many issues, most fall into two classes: financing and period. I truthfully thought that Y2K would repair school programs. There was proof. Two years earlier than the millennium, a number of forward-thinking corporations purchased an IBM mainframe for a neighborhood junior school. They put in it and offered instructors. The ruling physique of the faculty was knowledgeable that it could educate this course and actively have interaction college students. These corporations knew that even when they graduated 50 college students per semester, they may not meet the wants they'd in two years.

The time period is a harmful entice. It opens the door to actually lazy habits. Should you have a look at the faculty textual content market, the one books that professors think about are full of assessments, Scantron response playing cards, overheads, and lecture notes. The teacher doesn't have so as to add something to the course and in lots of circumstances doesn't.

The colleges don't have huge monetary sources. Even many non-public schools educate solely what they get totally free relating to know-how. Help for a mainframe or midrange pc requires some huge cash and particular pc rooms. It's cheaper to distribute donated PCs on campus and solely educate what's free on them.

The colleges have been tempted to hunt a market financed by a vendor's conflict chest. As corporations stated they wanted IT professionals with WEB information, schools solely taught WEB abilities. All different information anticipated by IT specialists was not taught. Ultimately, you had somebody who might design a very nice WEB website, however couldn't talk with or perceive the backend enterprise methods. Why are you paying a graduate of this sort $ 65Ok / yr if you may get the identical unqualified particular person in a 3rd world nation for $ 10 / day?

I've discovered only a few schools at this time that educate IT workers logic. The reason being which you could not perceive how logic helps them if you don't educate them the 3GL enterprise languages, comparable to COBOL, BASIC, C, and so forth. Logic is tough to know in a single place and click on on WEB World.

Tyler: Roland, after I launched you, I discussed that you're the President of Logikal Options, a VMS platform consulting agency for enterprise purposes. In case you are being requested as a enterprise guide by a college that wishes to start out an IT scholar program, what would you do to arrange the scholars for the longer term?

Roland: College students need to spend the primary three weeks (earlier than partaking in this system) to check the expansion of offshore corporations, the wage charges in these international locations, and the unemployment fee of IT workers within the US. You additionally must be knowledgeable about all different profession alternatives. It's worthwhile to learn the articles which have appeared in enterprise and IT publications, stating that IT workers at the moment are "labor" moderately than educated, as we have been categorized within the 70-80s.

As soon as the candidates have gone by means of it ... In the event that they assume that they begin with 3-4000 within the first three weeks, they've to inform the one scholar who in spite of everything needed to study IT to go to a different faculty ,

Given the truth that situational administration has been created on this nation and globally, I normally cannot advocate each school scholar to check IT. Till a tragedy of huge proportions happens, IT won't be a rewarding or well-paid subject. IT is now not revered by corporations. MBA workers full a one-day coaching session to learn to use Microsoft Entry to create a Contact Supervisor. You'll then obtain a certificates for managing IT tasks. That's how we acquired the place we're.

Personally, I don't assume you'll discover an IT curriculum in US schools in lower than 5 years. The very last thing I learn is that enrollment in IT packages has dropped greater than 80% nationwide. MBA's need to thanks. Some schools have fully closed the syllabus, leaving just a few programs in WEB web page design and Java coding for the WEB.

Tyler: What recommendation would you give at this time to college students occupied with an IT or programming profession?

Roland: Proper now I'd inform them to not observe. Change into a nicely borer or a diesel engine mechanic. IT is heading for a practice wreck and we're lower than 5 years away. The mad rush to deal with IT workers like crate-stackers has resulted in IT salaries being reduce and fraud within the H1-B program being huge. A small backlash in opposition to the offshoring has already began with some abortions. The massive hammer will fall if extra H1-B staff are arrested by the Homeland Safety Authority for terrorist acts. Thereafter, the H1-B visa will likely be abolished. Off-shoring corporations will really feel restricted. You'll not see that 1000's of IT workers are slipping on trip visas to work tax-free for a lot of months. IT workers are re-respected as information staff, and salaries reward those that know.

Tyler: Roland, what distinguishes your books and meets a necessity that school programs have missed?

Roland: Logic is the essential instrument of IT. If you don't perceive the logic, you don't perceive the essential ideas of IT. You haven't graduated. you got one

Tyler: Roland, I used to be stunned your guide "The Minimal You Have to Know to Be an OpenVMS Utility Developer" is the primary guide on the topic in ten years. How is it potential that know-how is altering so quick, how is it potential that ten years have handed with no guide being written about it?

Roland: That's simple. HP is the third proprietor of OpenVMS. It began with Digital Tools Company, which developed an working system that was 30 years forward of its time. Compaq purchased DEC and as a PC firm had no concept what to do with a midrange system. Lastly, HP purchased Compaq. HP has had a extremely unhappy excuse for a middle-class working system for a few years. You will have heard of it: HP-UX. They make investments some huge cash within the advertising of this decrease product. If this cash was used to market OpenVMS, the HP-UX product would disappear inside three years. HP can solely service OpenVMS, and the working system can add hundreds of thousands, if not billions, to the underside line.

The put in base for OpenVMS is massive. Firms that use it know what high quality is. You additionally know that the provision of an OpenVMS cluster is measured in many years, not hours, as in a PC community. A few of you could have learn the article in "ComputerWorld" a while in the past. Because the Twin Towers fell, the buying and selling corporations that used Cluster OpenVMS methods at a number of places traded till the tip of the buying and selling day. They'd lower than 15 minutes whereas the cluster confirmed that the opposite nodes weren't responding, then restoring and resuming their transactions. No different working system gives this degree of "Survive the Fireplace".

Put your self within the function of senior administration at HP. They've spent billions on this HP-UX factor through the years. OpenVMS has a big and dependable base put in by each firm that has been testing for years to get rid of it. Virtually nothing to do for OpenVMS signifies that it nonetheless provides hundreds of thousands, if not billions, to your annual outcomes. While you press OpenVMS, your flagship HP-UX disappears from the market. Are you telling the world that you simply have been fallacious, or are you continue to investing hundreds of thousands in HP-UX within the hope that it'll ultimately meet up with OpenVMS?

Tyler: In "The Minimal You Have to Know About Java in OpenVMS" is your first chapter, "Why Java?" Do you reply this query for us?

Roland: This query can finest be answered by studying the guide.

Tyler: Roland, total, what do you assume units your guide sequence aside from all the opposite java and programming books?

Roland: I used to be not paid to put in writing it. I wrote these books out of my very own time and printed them with my very own cash. I used to be not paid by any writer for bringing out six books a yr aimed on the lowest denominator of the market. This gave me the liberty to deal with the problems that I needed and wanted.

Tyler: Roland, what's the most effective a part of programming and writing about our ever-changing applied sciences?

Roland: Expertise actually doesn't change "consistently". It is a phrase that has been urgent the commerce press in our throat for many years. Expertise is all the time for previous and typically dangerous concepts. Essentially the most rewarding a part of writing is to have the ability to level out the thought of ​​what this week's concept is being reworked by the commerce press and business analysts.

Tyler: Roland, you've been busy with computer systems and programming for twenty years, as computer systems have change into extra widespread in households. You might have seen many modifications throughout this time. What has been the largest studying curve for you as you retain up with know-how?

Roland: The MBA perception is that what they see in a 4-color gloss just isn't a brand new know-how, however a refresher of know-how that both has not survived or shouldn't be washed once more.

Should you're studying this sequence of books, you'll discover a part by which I defined how PC's errors, the mainframes and midrange computer systems of PC, made a decade in the past. In a single part, you'll additionally discover info on how all these "new applied sciences" that permit builders to hyperlink on to databases on WEB pages are a simple jail journey simply ready to be hit.

Tyler: Roland, you appear to have a nasty likelihood of know-how within the subsequent few years. Should you had a crystal ball, how would you expect know-how and computer systems in fifty years?

Roland: Fifty is a really lengthy quantity. DEC had the most effective minds within the business and solely labored 30 years. There are actually three potential outputs.

Outcome 1: Win greed and corruption. There are completely no IT jobs within the US, Western Europe or England. In Russia, there is just one grateful. All IT work is finished by Third World nations. They bleed us dry. The previous know-how leaders now have a tradition for 2 courses, MBA and people incomes lower than $ 30,000 / yr, no matter whether or not they construct homes or work at 7/11. The domino impact attributable to the lack of IT staff has fully erased the center class by eradicating industries based mostly on their spending (costly properties, $ 70,000 SUVs, movie and music industries, and so on.). ). It's the second darkish age.

Outcome 2: The SEC saves the world. Throughout a quick response between business and main monetary scandals, the SEC stumbles into an accounting guide that covers up the failure of offshore tasks by a blue chip firm. They begin a really deep and public investigation. The corporate bosses go to jail and the bloody story of how the paper was about offshore failure is shaking the investing group. A cursory inspection of all listed corporations revealed that the observe was widespread. All listed corporations finish their off-shore contracts inside a month after which start an investigation into which methods are literally functioning. The mainframe and midrange methods working their core enterprise methods, even after the corporate publicly said that they've switched every thing to 800-dollar PCs working Home windows or Linux, are the one system that also works working. A decade of prevention occurs whereas college students are paid to go to varsity due to IT core competencies: logic, 3GLs, and relational databases.

Outcome 3: Greed alone wins. The off-shore corporations working in India needed to pay actual wages, and union union programmers needed to direct their operations to Korea and different corporations inside every week. Hundreds of thousands of unlucky IT staff take to the streets. Extremist teams are recruited and recruited. These are educated folks with some cash, not the standard extremist mass. A number of massive US corporations discover that their complete software program is being nationalized by a brand new extremist authorities. We're coming into an enormous conflict with an unsure end result. Something we wish could be destroyed by bombing or just deleted by the nation's present authorities.

Tyler: Roland, würden Sie unseren Lesern sagen, welche Web site Sie über Ihre Bücher finden?

Roland: Es gibt eigentlich zwei Standorte. Informationen zu den aktuellen Büchern finden Sie unter Informationen zu anderen Büchern oder meiner Firma im Allgemeinen finden Sie unter

Tyler: Vielen Dank, Roland, dass Sie heute bei mir waren. Es conflict eine echte Bildung. Ich hoffe, Ihre Bücher werden populär und führen zu klügeren und besseren IT-Entscheidungen und Arbeit.

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