Friday, December 23, 2016

A Retirement

No, not mine. Someone much more eminent.

It's with very mixed emotions that I open the blog to my good friend and long time associate Mr. Dan Cruikshank.  Before I hand it over to Dan, a few words if I may...

I have had the pleasure and privilege to work with, for and along side Dan for 20+ years, on four continents. As with most people who have experienced Dan's unique wit and wisdom, I am better off for it.

If you have heard of database "modernization", you can thank Dan - he invented it.

If you have used IBM Data Studio, you can thank Dan - he was the first to promote it.

If you have applied data-centric programming technique, you can thank Dan - he championed it.

Needless to say, Dan's fingerprints are all over everything we do with DB2 for i.  Good for us!

Without further ado, here is Dan...



The time has come for me to retire. I wasn’t sure so I wrote the following SQL procedure for confirmation:

     IN p_Employeer VARCHAR(3),
     IN p_Emp_Key CHAR(6),
     IN p_Monthly_Retire_Income INTEGER,
     OUT Retirement_status VARCHAR(40))

Career: BEGIN
   FOR ever AS
      M_I_Done_Yet CURSOR FOR
     SELECT birthdate, salary
     FROM employee
     WHERE empno = p_Emp_Key
        IF p_Monthly_Retire_Income >= salary/12
          AND p_Employeer = 'IBM'
          AND YEAR(CURRENT DATE) - YEAR(birthdate) >= 65
                 SET Retirement_status = 'Congratulations';
             SET Retirement_status = 'Hang in there';
           END IF;
END Career

It appears I have met my goals.

In case you’re wondering, the above code and corresponding result were accomplished using the Data Perspective which comes with IBM Data Studio (and other IBM products).

I was fortunate enough to enter the IT industry at a time when the costs of owning a computer were drastically cut. The computer industry was in the midst of a revolution, and IBM Rochester was at the forefront with the introduction of the System 3. This system introduced the RPG language to a new breed of computer programmers; many like myself, did not have college degrees. Others had degrees in non-IT areas, for example accounting. I believe that there was one thing that we all had in common: we were the first wave of computer nerds. We were shy, introverted, acted inappropriately at times, were picked on and made fun of. The simplicity of the RPG programming language gave many of us a way to become heroes. How satisfying was it to take someone’s idea, concocted during a coffee or lunch break, and deliver a result almost overnight. We referred to that as “from napkin to code”. Today we call it “agile”.

The System/38 was called the programmers “dream” machine. It provided an interactive interface for coding, compiling, testing and deploying programs called the “Programmers Menu”. Who would ever need more than that? Then came the AS/400 and the Program Development Manager (PDM). Then came WebSphere Developer Studio client. Then came Rational Developer for i. Then came IBM Data Studio. Then came…  

I believe that RPG, DB2 and SQL were three of IBM’s greatest inventions. I worked hard to master all of them, and was fortunate enough to share my knowledge and expertise with IBM customers worldwide. I never considered myself to be a fantastic programmer. I was always better at fixing someone's program than writing my own. You know what they say “Those that can do, do.  Those that can’t do, teach”.

My career has been filled with many ups and downs. Let me share with you a few ups:

               Sometimes you must move on, in order to move up.
               When someone steps aside, be ready to step up.
               Do not be afraid to speak up, but learn when to shut up.
               Giving in is not the same as giving up.
               The tallest person in the room is the one who stands up.
               Fresh up with 7 Up.

I would like to thank all of the people who have benefited me in some way throughout my career. The list is much too long to show here, as it includes everyone I have ever worked with. You have all helped in more ways than you ever know. I only hope that the advice and guidance I have provided to you over the years has been more beneficial than not.

I am also grateful to those who have allowed me to do so much in my career, especially those I have worked with at IBM. Working for IBM is one of my greatest achievements, and I am proud to be retiring as an IBM employee.


  1. I got to see Dan for the briefest of times, I was hoping to get more time with him to glean his experience with optimization. He lead me down the data-centric rabbit hole and inspired me to push db2 modernization continuously. Enjoy the fruits of your labor Dan!

  2. Dan,

    Have a great retirement! (An early holiday gift to yourself?) Thanks for all you've contributed to the community over the years.

    Michael Q

  3. Congratulations on your retirement, Dan!

  4. I met Dan a couple of times, and had the greatest conversations! Enjoy your retirement!! You will be missed!