Compuware | Transform the way your developers develop
January 3, 2019 DevOps, Mainframe Agility, Workforce

The Developer Experience That Will Transform Your Mainframe—and Your Business

Overview: Learn why the key to DevOps transformation on the mainframe is a well-engineered and superior developer experience, and what that looks like.


There are generations of talented developers whose extraordinary skill, creativity and passion can dramatically transform your business. But if you run your business on a mainframe, these legions of talent might not be able to help you.

These next-gen developers won’t be able to make your mainframe dance to the tune of today’s fast-moving digital markets unless you are obsessed with continuously improving their experience.

They need a frictionless, visually intuitive IDE that empowers them to execute mainframe DevOps best practices with the same ease they’re accustomed to using on other platforms. They must be able to analyze large existing code bases to understand dependencies and relationships and then manage code changes in parallel across different people and different teams.  They need analysis tools to help them keep up with two-week sprints—perhaps on code they have never seen before—and they need to test early and often. And they need to leverage the wealth of knowledge that lives with their peers.

They need a reliable and streamlined experience, not an unproven, unnavigable obstacle course.

Avoid the Obstacle Course

Even today, almost twenty years into the 21st century, too many organizations are expecting mainframe developers to know all kinds of obscure codes and manually figure out how programs work together, how to grab the right JCL, copybooks test data, etc. and then actually test and deploy.

This obscure nonsense has been difficult enough to navigate for lifetime mainframe pros who have been at their jobs for 30 years. There is no way—no way—we can possibly expect new generations of even the most skilled developers to work their way through such obstacle courses.

Great Developer Experiences: The Real Catalyst

The key to DevOps transformation on the mainframe is a well-engineered and superior developer experience. And you can tell how great a developer’s experience is just by looking at it.

What happens when they’re wrestling with a poorly documented application?

Does their IDE enable them to quickly visualize the application’s logic and dependencies?

How easily can they unit test once they complete changes to their code?

How quickly can they see a mistake affecting quality or performance?

Do they start each development session from a standing start or do they get a head start by importing knowledge from their peers?

Do they have access to frequent, quantitative feedback on their performance?

In other words, can they just get their work done without constantly trying to figure out how to get their work done?

Your business has a vast, incalculable investment in its mainframe applications and data. If you’re wise, you’ve decided to preserve and leverage that investment by modernizing your mainframe software delivery lifecycle out of obsolete waterfall-bound workflows and into modern Agile/DevOps best practices.

Ultimately, you need savvy, highly motivated developers to actually get the work done day in and day out. And you’re only going to be able to do that if you give them the intuitive IDE they’ve become accustomed to on other platforms—and if you allow them to use their other favored tools-of-choice from innovators such as Atlassian, AWS, BMC, CloudBees (Jenkins), Collabnet VersionOne, Elastic, Parasoft, SonarSource, and XebiaLabs.

If you want to unleash innovation in your enterprise, build a developer experience that makes developers genuinely enjoy working on the world’s most important applications running on the world’s most powerful computing platform. Compuware can show you how.

Please watch this video to learn more.

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.