People and Performance
In this edition, we're looking at people and performance. Mainframe technical people are essential to keeping our mainframe systems and applications running and relevant. In our first opinion article, we suggest six ways to keep our mainframe people happy. We argue that this helps us retain them, and makes them more productive.
In our second opinion article, we propose that these mainframe people need a long-term direction for applications and systems: are they staying, or are they going? Without this commitment, these applications and systems will become less reliable, efficient and relevant, and those supporting them may look to move on.
Finally in our technical article, we look at some ways of improving REXX code performance, and do some tests to see how relevant these are today, and the savings that can be found.
We hope you enjoy this issue.
opinion: Commitment Issues, And How They Risk Your Legacy Applications
In many sites, I've seen legacy mainframe applications that in a state of limbo. They're important, they're running well. But the future is uncertain: will they continue to run, or will they be retired or replaced? I believe that this uncertainty is one of the biggest risks to these applications.
opinion: Six Ways to Keep Your Mainframe Staff
Many of the sites I visit are justifiably concerned about retaining their mainframe technical staff. Most staff members are over 50 years old, and yet are critical to keeping the mainframe running. These sites find it difficult to find new mainframe talent for many reasons, from headcount and budget limitations to a lack of existing experienced, local talent.
You'd think it important that these sites retain their existing staff to keep things going in the short term, while planning for 5-10 years down the track. And yet I often meet disillusioned, unhappy staff that are counting down the days until they can afford to retire or move on.
So, in this article I thought I'd put down some ways I think sites can retain mainframe staff by, well, making them happier.
technical: Improving REXX Performance
REXX is sometimes seen as a forgotten issue. Word on the street is that IBM is not doing any more development on REXX. However, I often come across REXX routines that could use some tweaking to perform better, or use less CPU. Often these REXX execs run in batch, working through large files.
So, I thought we'd look at some of the ways to make REXX perform better, and do some testing to see if they're still relevant.