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IT Toolbox: Mainframes Back On the Map

By | May 18, 2020

Published on May 17, 2020 by IT Toolbox

It seems to have all started in the USA with a sudden demand for COBOL programmers to work on state unemployment insurance systems. Suddenly, people started remembering that mainframes were doing important work for an organization – and had been quietly getting on with mountains of work since before many people had joined that organization.

It also led to some very strange headlines. Because the first System/360 mainframes became available in 1964, headline writers seemed to think the current technology was from the sixties and talked about mainframes as being 50 or 60-year-old technology. A quick check on the IBM website would have shown that IBM is still making new versions like the z15 Model T02. It’s a bit like describing jet-powered aircraft as 70-year-old technology or your new car as 130-year-old technology! But, perhaps, it’s our fault for not championing the mainframe and what it’s capable of. People with iPhones used to spend hours explaining (as if they’d designed themselves) what their little computer was capable of. Mainframers might learn from them and help spread the word about modern mainframe capabilities.

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