Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mainframe Goes Mobile

by Brenda J. Christie with Eloy O. Cruz-Bizet

I recently came across a blog piece on Stack Exchange that was trying to explain (from a non-IBM Mainframe point of view of course) why young programmers aren't attracted to mainframe technologies.  The usual reasons came up: 

  1. Mainframes aren't sexy
  2. I'll never conquer the world working on a mainframe
  3. No simulator like something you could load onto a virtual machine
  4. If you start working on a mainframe that is all you ever will do

Some of these assertions are, of course, made out of ignorance. For example, an Open Source mainframe-like emulator named Hercules, runs under Windows, Linux, Solaris, just to name a few operating platforms.  And it simulates System 370, ESA/390 and the 64-bit zArchitecture.  The Hercules simulator, for example, allows a PC to create code similar to that you would code on an actual mainframe.  PC's are affordable development platforms to consumers and by extension to software developers.  A mainframe on the other hand, whose cost starts just short of millions of dollars is usually only purchased by large organizations.  As a new feature on "IT through the Prism of Time,” I have provided a navigation link, above, to a list of organizations using mainframe computers.  If you would like to see who they are, please click here or click the navigation link above.  For a clear idea of the how a Virtual Machine works, and why it would be used, as well as its history, click here. Other than who owns a mainframe, the prospect of working in a mainframe-like environment using a PC excites me.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Importance of Pursuing Employee Engagement

by Brenda J. Christie

The Candle Problem

In an earlier post, The True Cost of Bad Leadership, I wrote about an HBR article that focused on how companies can loose revenue due to the behavior of some of its leadership.

A more recent article, "Why Employee Engagement Is Critical to Corporate Success" which appeared on Mashable, looks at the potential for revenue loss attributable to employees who are bored, dissatisfied or disengaged.

Webster's dictionary defines the verb, 'Disengage' as "to stop being involved with a person or group : to stop taking part in something."

Some of the stats attributable to this sense of not being involved  or part of something are quite alarming:

Monday, August 11, 2014

System Programmers Versus the Dreaded Application Programmer: It's the Application Programmer's Fault

by Brenda J. Christie with Eloy O. Cruz-Bizet

Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

Today's post has its genesis in an article which appeared in Enterprise System Media entitled, "Reducing the Potential for CICS Storage Violations."  It's all about that, but it doesn't miss the opportunity to blame those careless application programmers for sloppy code which can bring an entire CICS region down with the dreaded SOc4.    And yes, there are sloppy application programmers out there just like there are sloppy system programmers out there as well.