A funny thing happened on the way to the future...' - Why Mainframes Still Matter

For the cool kids of enterprise computing, mainframes are considered something of an embarassment; technology of a previous era, long superceeded with its clunky interfaces, all staffed by a curious breed who measure time in epochs. Recent events like the Cobol Covid Crisis of 2020 highlight the risks of technical debt at the heart of our critial infrastructure...and yet there's another, overlooked story about this first general purpose enterprise platform. With design goals familiar to anybody working on BEAM, mainframes pioneered many of the innovations the cool kids take for granted and continue to serve up impressive solutions to the problems we face in a high stakes computing world. Moreover as the Linux Foundation Open Mainframe project celerates its fifth year, ideas and technologies continue to converge, presenting a future where the platform may enjoy a rennassance or at the very least exchange its frumpy image for new found credibility.

OBJECTIVES

Offer an alternative to the "Technical debt" "Legacy systems" view of mainframe technology, to highlight historic innovations, discuss new developments including the Linux Foundation's Open Mainframe Project and show how the techicaly objectives of BEAM and mainframes are aligned

AUDIENCE

New comers to tech, retro enthusiasts, mainframe sceptics

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