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A blend of opinions & news from mainframe thought leaders on topics like DevOps, Agile development, code quality, data, security and COBOL.

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and Coding – Are these the Fundamentals of the Future?

By | February 5th, 2014|Agile Dev|

Back in early December, President Barack Obama spoke during Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) to highlight the ongoing available opportunities and demand for current and future programmers: "Don't just buy a new video game, make one!" he said. "Don't just download the latest app, help design it! Don't just play [...]

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Will IT and the Business ever get along?

By | January 29th, 2014|Featured|

Ever hear this before? Marketing: “Keep IT out of this.  If they get involved they are going to slow the project down with too many internal processes and we’ll never get the app we need, when we need it.  Let’s get some agency quotes and go from there.” Or this? [...]

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The Yin-Yang CIO

By | January 28th, 2014|Featured|

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions, usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. The Romans named the month of January in his honor. Is it possible for the CIO to have two faces, [...]

Breaking Down the Walls for Faster Application Problem Resolution

By | January 13th, 2014|DevOps|

Throughout my career, I’ve seen a lot of mainframe technology experts who did their job extremely well – but simultaneously had little or no collaboration with the other technology experts in their organization. And not just across environments, like distributed and mainframe, but often between groups, like operations and development. [...]

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Santa Has a Mainframe

By | December 20th, 2013|DevOps|

Just think about it: “He sees you when you’re sleeping.  He knows when you’re awake.  He knows if you’ve been bad or good.” – how can Santa do all that?  Consider that these events alone would generate over 600 million transactions per day. Let’s do the math.  There are over [...]

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IT Leadership – What Works and What Doesn’t

By | December 11th, 2013|Featured|

Working in the IT field for over 15 years, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve worked for companies ranging from fewer than 10 employees to those with thousands and a spot in the Fortune 500. Over the years, I’ve worked for managers that utilize many different leadership styles, from “Mr. Major [...]

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‘Tis the Season . . . For High Mainframe Performance

By | December 4th, 2013|DevOps|

(Jump to infographic) As the holiday season approaches and online consumer activity increases, the performance of your business-critical, customer-facing applications becomes exceedingly important. In a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive, on behalf of Compuware, 2,025 U.S. adults age 18 and older – among them, 1,191 smartphone and/or tablet users [...]

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5 Tactical Design Changes for Better Digital Performance

By | November 26th, 2013|Featured|

Short-term fixes often have to do with the technology, but that’s hardly the only source of performance issues. Design can play a prominent role in performance problems as well.  Designers are always pushing web technology to support their elaborate creative, and too often the designs are implemented without question by [...]

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Surveys say: This is the New Face of IT

By | November 20th, 2013|Featured|

The Society for Information Management (SIM) recently released the results of its 34th annual survey of IT trends. Nearly 600 Senior IT leaders responded to this year’s survey from 484 unique organizations that average $4.36 billion in revenues and employ an average of 8,629 employees. With the advantage of asking [...]

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Why IT Projects Fail?

By | November 5th, 2013|Featured|

Earlier this year, the Harvard Business Review published the results of a study by two business school professors at Oxford University, titled “Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier than You Think?” The study was the largest-ever examination of IT change initiatives, reviewing 1,471 projects, and comparing their budgets and [...]

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Why is Performance Missing from Customer Experience Discussions?

By | November 4th, 2013|App Performance, Customer Experience|

Are digital leaders taking technology performance for granted? Would brick and mortar store managers take the same approach to customer experience? Last week I was at the RAMP Advanced Commerce & Mobile Retail Services Summit where I had the chance to interact with senior digital and marketing leaders talking about [...]

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3 Challenges Faced by Today’s Programmer

By | November 1st, 2013|Agile Dev|

We live in a world awash in tech. However, that hasn’t made it any easier to be a programmer. You’d think that our society’s reliance on technology, software, apps, and connectivity would make things easier for programmers. In fact, it makes things a little bit harder. Before you decide that [...]

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Hiring a Great Programmer is Like Trying to Hire a Great Quarterback

By | October 31st, 2013|Featured|

Nearly impossible. PROGRAMMER = QUARTERBACK Attribution: atlanticcommunity Quarterbacks are easy-to-find but hard to hire.  Because quarterbacks are so valued, great quarterbacks are 'locked' contractually into their teams and rarely move from team-to-team.  They are given positions of great authority and leadership and are appraised on their ability to [...]

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10 Questions to Avoid a Classical Business War Room Scenario

By | October 30th, 2013|App Performance|

I personally don’t like the term “War Room” when describing a firefighting situation that many software companies have to deal with when systems go down or have problems. The way these war rooms typically play out is that key personnel (engineers, operations, business) are summoned into a room until the [...]

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5 Successful Characteristics of Chief Digital Officers (CDO) I’ve Met

By | October 22nd, 2013|Featured|

Attribution: westmidlandspolice We’ve heard by now from Gartner, and Forrester and, well, everyone, about a new evolution of the CIO – the Chief Digital Officer (CDO). A C-level executive hybrid with enough tech savvy to maintain the respect of IT but with the business understanding and foresight to [...]

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Best Practices for Performance-focused DevOps

By | October 17th, 2013|App Performance|

Based on my recent discussions – 80% of the problems that cause War Room scenarios are caused by only about 20% of problem patterns. Most of them are related to performance or architectural issues in the application or in the infrastructure that supports your application. A recent study concluded that 80% of development time is wasted with triaging and fixing [...]

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What Kind of Developer are You Looking For?

By | September 17th, 2013|Agile Dev, Workforce|

A good developer is hard to come by. I recently read a classic post from Tammer Saleh about the most important trait a developer can have. His verdict? The most desirable trait a developer can have is judgment. Why Does Judgment Matter? Developers have great jobs. They get to work [...]

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I’m Not Scared of DevOps and you Shouldn’t be Either

By | September 5th, 2013|Agile Dev, App Performance, DevOps|

DevOps is speeding towards the IT world like a freight train and the hype around it is deafening. There is no reason to be afraid of this change as it is the natural reaction to the agile movement that revolutionized development just a few years ago.  By definition, DevOps is the [...]

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Mainframe and Cloud – Oil and Water?

By | April 3rd, 2013|Code Quality|

I came across an interesting article last week entitled “Tassie retailer rejects cloud for mainframe.” It described how an Australian supermarket chain was bucking the “cloud computing” trend by upgrading to the latest Unisys mainframe technology to run its core business, including a 20+ year-old application suite. The article highlights [...]

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