IBM 3270 Green Screen

What’s next for green screens?

The great thing about green screens is that they are so easy and so quick to use. Basically, a screen appears, you enter some information, press tab, enter some more information, and press enter. It’s quick, it’s simple to use, what’s not to like? And that’s how so many mainframers feel. They’ve been using green screens since they were really green to get their work done accurately and efficiently. ISPF, SDSF, and SMP/E are just so straightforward to use with a 3270 display.

Read More

What’s waiting round the mainframe corner?

Anyone who has been working on mainframes for any length of time knows that things are always changing. Many people can remember when DB2 was new (1983), the client-server period, and the need for Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). And, I’m sure, can come up with a much longer list. I don’t want to look backwards at old ideas, I want to take a whirlwind look at what’s coming soon to (at least) a presentation near you.

Read More
drone delivery

2020 vision

I was working recently with a mixed bag of people from a company, who were trying to predict the future and see how that company needed to change in order to get where they thought they ought to be going. One issue came up fairly quickly, and that was that 2020 isn’t that far ahead. As a result, the group started to think about 2025 as date for the changes to be made. The room had a mixture of IT people, execs, a variety of managers, and a number of people from different parts of the organization. I thought it would be interesting to contemplate some of the ideas that came up at the session.

Read More
DevOps

Bringing DevOps to your mainframe

The days of waterfall software development on a mainframe are coming to an end. It’s no longer tolerable for end users to have to wait two years for a new application to be written and delivered to a spec that, by then, is two years out of date. The inflexibility of the waterfall methodologies make them uncompetitive in the modern mainframe environment. What’s needed are the faster, more flexible, processes associated with Agile and DevOps ways of working. But what does an organization need to do in order to move from their old way of working to this new way – a way that can bring regular and frequent updates to any application to suit the needs of the users?

Read More

No pain, no gain?

The way you learned about mainframes was probably a mixture of courses, working with a more experienced colleague, and trial and error. And once you became a bit of an expert, it didn’t end there. You needed to learn more about Liberty profiles, about RESTful states, about network security, etc. The list of things to know about just continues to grow. And you’re not going to gain any more knowledge without experiencing the pain of learning.

Read More

The Majority of Mainframers Are Above Average!

Imagine what you’d think if the latest IT survey—perhaps even the Arcati Mainframe User Survey—said that the majority of mainframers are able to perform above the average. Would you think that sounded right? Or, would some small piece of a math lesson from long ago keep nagging away at you, arguing that some people would be average, some would be below average, and the rest would be above average—but not enough to be the majority. But is that right?

Read More
big data big opportunity

Big data – big opportunity

You’ve heard people talking about it and finally your organization has decided that there is a business case for going down that route, but what does big data involve? What do you need to know? After all, mainframes have always been able to store large amounts of data, and, importantly, retrieve that information quickly. Isn’t that what IMS databases were designed to do? Firstly, when you start Googling like mad to find out some information, you need to search for big analytics and perhaps even big workflows as well as just big data. But before you do that, let’s run over some basics.

Read More

Does working on a mainframe make you happy?

We’re all familiar with the ups and downs of daily life working on a mainframe, but does it make you happy? Perhaps the best branch of psychology to use to see whether mainframers are happy at work is positive psychology. Positive psychology uses scientific understanding and effective intervention to aid in the achievement of a satisfactory life. Its focus is on personal growth.

Read More

New Hope for Mainframes

For a long time now, the still young at heart mainframers have been making plans. Unfortunately, it’s not plans for how to improve mainframe performance or reduce costs, it’s what to do once they retire. And the bad news is that more and more mainframers are retiring. What can those organizations that are still running their main business applications on mainframes do?

Read More

Will Mainframers adopt DevOps?

Mainframes are under siege. You might like to picture the mainframe department as some medieval castle surrounded by invading troops. There’s no actual fighting going on, but gradually the forces of distributed computing are waiting for the survivors inside the fortress to die of hunger (or in our case, retire through old age). One day, there will be no-one left to defend the castle – one day, there will be no-one left to run the mainframe.

Read More