Modern economy literally runs on mainframe systems. When we make a purchase with a card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, that transaction goes through, on average, seven different mainframes spread across at least four different continents across the world. You can’t buy a cup of coffee or a car without mainframe computers being involved. That’s how critical they are to the modern economy.
Mainframes have been around for a very long time, which also means that many of its UIs and technologies still resemble those created back in the 90s. The Open Mainframe Project is trying to bring mainframe technologies to modern developers and vice versa.
Zowe is one such technology that was created for modern developers and users who want to leverage mainframes for modern workloads.
In this episode of Mainframe Matters, Open Mainframe Ambassador Joe Winchester sits down with Swapnil Bhartiya to explain how Zowe LTS is helping people get started with mainframes, and what to expect in the LTS V2 release. He explains the dilemma they are having with the mainframe skills gap and why it is so critical to fill these gaps if we are to continue to develop modern technology.
Key highlights from this video interview are:
- Many people who grew up with Unix or Windows struggle to get started with using mainframes. Zowe’s initiative is to help people get started, and build up the next-generation of mainframers. Winchester discusses what role Zowe plays in the larger ecosystem.
- The purpose of Zowe is twofold: to attract the next generation of mainframers and to modernize the interface. Winchester goes into detail about this two-pronged approach and why it is important to span the gap of skill and generation.
- Although we now have cloud-native technologies, the critical components of the modern economy still go through mainframe. Winchester explains how the mainframe is the backbone in the modern world and where it fits into modern architecture.
- Winchester shares his insights into why there is a need to attract the next generation of mainframers and fill the skill gap.
- Zowe LTS was first released in 2020 and was grounded on a set of APIs. Winchester explains how they will transition to version 2 and what will still be supported with version 1.
- Winchester details how long each LTS version is supported and how it works.
- The key focus of Zowe LTS version 2 is enterprise computing. Winchester discusses the features they have brought in to accommodate running at scale and accommodating that growth. He explains how version 2 will make time to value much quicker and the other benefits.
- Zowe Chat has just been launched, which aims to integrate chat technology into the Zowe code base. Winchester shares why he feels this has a lot of potential and is something to get excited about.
- Winchester discusses the adoption they have seen with the Zowe project and what some of the most popular components have been.
- Winchester explains how they will be participating in the upcoming Open Mainframe Summit, what they are planning, and why it is a must-see for the calendar.
- Cloud-native technologies are changing at such a rapid pace and it is not yet clear how they will evolve in the future. Winchester explains why it is important for developers to learn mainframe to ensure the continuity of modern technology. He takes the example of COBOL and why there is such a call for more COBOL developers.
Connect with Joe Winchester (Twitter)
The summary of the show is written by Emily Nicholls.