Back Where I Began — Because the Mainframe Matters!
Nearly 39 and over 7,000. That’s how many years Compuware has been in business and how many customers we now serve. I began working for Compuware in 1984. My bangs were big – and so were my shoulder pads.
Early on, the company’s leader described Compuware as a company that “helps people do things with computers.” My position as a Production Specialist was to make sure that the batch processing jobs that “cut the tapes” ran properly every night. The tapes contained Abend-AID, Compuware’s flagship fault management tool. Marketing for Abend-AID consisted of a poster with the headline, “What’s a nice programmer like you doing in a dump like this?” Underneath, a frustrated woman holding up a dump: pages and pages of hex code. The message and imagery were perfect. Without Abend-AID, programmers had to spend hours, sometimes days, (maybe even give up?) trying to decipher what went wrong with their program. (Yes, “program”…it was the 80’s.) Abend-AID turned a dump into a brief summary written in English. We’ve built a business on that premise. At its core, we enable IT to make sure their technology performs and when it doesn’t, we make it easy to find out what went wrong – in minutes. And if we thought it was important to ensure technology performed in 1984, my goodness – look at us now.
I’ve worked on nearly every product line in this company, but recently came back to the Mainframe team. Since “coming home,” I am struck nearly every day by how much knowledge is in this building and in our offices around the world. We still “help people do things with computers” every single day. And when I talk to employees that are in the field with customers, on the phone helping customers through problems, or those that develop our products, I’m also struck by their passion and pride for what they do. They have a lot to say and great stories to tell. And, perhaps most importantly, they have the experience and perspective to have credible opinions.
We’ll talk about the past. We’ll talk about the future. We’d love to hear your thoughts as well on the future of the industry and the role of mainframe within your organization.