Google Hangout with DevOps leaders from IBM & Synchrony Systems [VIDEO]

S1 00:01

[inaudible] wherever you are in the world. Welcome to another, uh, Google Hangout in you are continuing series here at highlighting some of the most interesting speakers and sessions and topics in DevOps at this month’s IBM Interconnect Conference in Las Vegas. Really, really happy to have what what I consider an all-star cast today. And I’m going to ask them to introduce themselves because it’s Google Hangout and we can– it’s interactive. So, um, first, Hayden, why don’t you go first and just introduce yourself to the audience?

S2 00:40 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Yeah, hi, thanks. Uh, Hayden Lindsay. I’m at IBM, formerly of the rational division, now in the system software group with the reorg that occurred about a month ago. And I’m responsible for what we call DevOps or enterprise systems, which focuses on the unique challenges and opportunities around DevOps for our clients that have substantial investments in the system of record arena, which in many cases are applications learning and the mainframe or [inaudible] systems.

S1 01:20

Excellent. And Mike, we’ll just go in order. Why don’t you introduce yourself?

S3 01:25 – Mike Fulton, DevOps

Sure. My name’s Mike Fulton. I’m the CTO for DevOps for enterprise systems and spent a lot of my time getting out, talking to customers about the practical ways to actually get started with DevOps especially on systems [inaudible].

S1 01:45

Absolutely. And then last but certainly not least, Slavic, how about yourself?

S4 01:50 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

Yes, Slavik Zorin. I’m the CEO of Synchrony Systems. We are a company who primarily specialized, uh, for quite some time now in, um, enterprise application monetization and most recently with an event and this sort of, uh, the rise of DevOps, we have made, you know, appropriate changes and adaptations of this offering as well and we’re also similarly are, uh, introducing to the enterprise ways to rapidly deploy a DevOps solution in a context of enterprise application monetization.

S1 02:27

Sure. So guys what I– I’d like you to focus a little bit today talking about systems of records I think is important as systems of engagement. This was an article that we actually had on a few months ago, writ-written by Rosalyn Radcliffe, uh, from IBM. But it-it’s– you know, it was a great article, but it’s also a great topic for us to di-dive into. I, I always like to tell people that, you know, we live in an age where technology is being pushed and pulled and shaped by several megatrends. And these megatrends, right, today are mob-mobility and mobile, cloud, of course, and then big data. But that– you know, an-and they are real trends. There’s no getting around it. I’m, I’m interested in your thoughts. But that doesn’t mean that we’re throwing out everything we’ve done over the last 40 to 50 years regarding technology an-and things like mainframes, etc.

S1 03:28

And I think one of the challenges we, we hear about is how do I make– how do I stay– how do we keep this stuff relevant? How do we maintain our investment in this age of mobility, cloud, and big data? Is there still a place for, for all of this great technology we built up over 40, 50 years. Hayden, that’s, that’s a big part of your job right now. What do you think?

S2 03:53 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM


S1 03:55

That was a simple answer [laughter]. All right, three, four questions. No, but, let-let’s discuss [crosstalk]–

S2 04:00 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Right, so okay. I’m, I’m a smartass sometimes. All right, um, no, it’s absolutely relevant. However, and so we, we talk about cams, you know, clou-cloud analytics, mobile, social, and security, or we can talk big data and mobile and cloud, whatever. The fact is there are– there are always going to be trends, megatrends, what have you, that present opportunities if embraced and embraced in a timely manner relative to the competition, and of course, those things are problems if you don’t. But you know, these are the hot ones these days. They certainly represent some very, very, very interesting opportunities. And the fastest way by far for, you know, enterprises that have substantial investment in their system of record, um, applications is to leverage them in the new context. But in order to do so, you know, you can’t leave things the way they are. And so that’s what– when we talk about DevOps or enterprise systems, it’s about changing in order to remain relevant. If you don’t change things, you will become obsolete, and that’s not in anyone’s best interest because you can’t afford to reinvent the wheel every time some new initiative or, or trend comes about.

S1 05:29

Sure. I mean, Slavik, I know you might have some thoughts on that one.

S4 05:34 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

Yeah, yeah. I mean, and I think this is a, a great segue for me what, what just Hayden said because being in the business of taking systems that ra-ran, for example, under older programming languages, but however, on the very robust, robust platforms, such as the IBM Z and I platform, we finding that a lot of customers actually for all sorts of reasons want to continue, uh, running certain very important software assets on those platforms still. So how do you– the question came to as how do you do that? What is the best value propositions for those customers to modernize and yet both retain the value, the security, the scalability and all things you get from the host environments that are where those enterprise applications can deploy today an yet be relevant and yet, you know, enable systems of engagement.

S4 06:26 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

And so what we have been doing in the context of DevOps, we’ve been basically taking the online portion of those systems and moving them to the web, moving them, deploying them on the cloud, and allowing the systems’ engagements to kind of get, get that deployment more rapidly with some of the important systems, so kind of basically in a nutshell, we would, say, take an important system that gives you value today where you want to get more mileage out of if that system was running on the cloud or certainly on the web. We’re going to rapidly transform it in the process, introduce for you the process or, or the methodology called DevOps, continuous builds, continuous integration, continuous deployment, continuous release, you know, service virtualization, all of those things that right now we have un-under IBM of stack.

S4 07:09 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

And so again, just, like, to echo what, what Hayden said, this is about getting, you know, strategic but important things off the ground and hitting the ground running while at the same time, you know, retaining all of the initial investments and all of the value that you have in the enterprise systems today.

S1 07:26


S3 07:27 – Mike Fulton, DevOps

Exactly, you know, like, like, grab a piece, a particular– a particular, uh, application, particular component of your system and start working on, on how to improve it. You don’t have to take your entire end-to-end system and try and fix it overnight. Grab the pieces that you think are, are most critical and start figuring out how you can improve your ability to develop, ability to test, how to improve the, the speed that you can, um, um, put out code thing. You know, a lot of– a lot of very basic problems like– you know, I do my– I do my builds in the night, and I need to run my tests, and it’s taking more than a night to run my tests. How can I get in there are reduce the amount of time it do– takes to do this. How can I understand the process, uh, speed it up? Um, those are things that the systems of record folks can really learn from, uh, systems engagement. Take a look at some of the processes, some of the, um, the, the methodologies they’ve got and start applying them where appropriate to, to the systems of record applications and figure out how to, to develop them better and faster.

S1 08:33

I, I agree. But you know what? Mike, you spoke about speed. And, and you know, there are some people say, “Oh, there’s no way these, you know, these old systems are going to be up to the speed of my, my cloud. You know, I got bare metal servers, and I’ve got all of the blue mix, and, and how are they going to– you know, how’s the Z system going to keep up with that?” But you know, I, I have a premise that not everything needs to run at the same speed, right? I, I learned from that fellow Carmen over at Nationwide, Carmen [Diado?]. I call it variable speed DevOps, guys that– you know, and I, I think that’s an important thing. It’s not– it’s not that everyone runs at the same speed. It’s that we, we ease through bottlenecks and constraints and we orchestrate.

S4 09:19 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems


S1 09:19

And to me, that-that’s key. I mean, Hayden, I– what do you– what are you guys seeing over there?

S2 09:24 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Well, I certainly think, you know, Nationwide is a great example of a enterprise company that has embraced DevOps, and they did so back even before– certainly before I knew there was a DevOps movement, five or six years ago. But you know, that’s we– how we describe it now. And they’ve had tremendous success. They’re a tremendous success story. But my view is that the back-end system of record things– coming from a place– most clients are coming from a place where they’re using decades-old technology. There is tremendous low-hanging fruit, and the first objective should be to sort of operate at DevOps speed for deployments to test environment. Forget about production [thing?]. You know, production upgrades, yes, they will need to be synchronized. But you know, with well– with the well, uh, done architecture, uh, the systems of engagement and systems of record apps can be decoupled to a reasonable degree, which can also decouple the delivery, uh, cadence in many cases.

S2 10:44 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

But there’s no reason not to set the bar that, that the systems of record teams are shooting for at exactly the same pace. It just may be that it’s not even necessary to update your core banking app, you know, or your, you know, whatever the back-end app is. It may simply not need to have the same frequency of delivery to production, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the capability to do so if a hot fix is needed, for example [crosstalk]. I think practically speaking, what Carmen said is absolutely true, but we should es-establish a bar that says we could if we needed to because we don’t know how things are going to change in the future. But–

S3 11:31 – Mike Fulton, DevOps

‘Cause if you don’t set the bar [crosstalk]– yeah. If you don’t set the bar, your, your competitor’s going to. And so you’re going to need to be able to move, move reasonably fast and you’re completely right. I like the variable speed notion you brought up, that that’s a reality. You need to be able to separate apart the systems of engagement, systems of record, be able to build them, uh, independently, be able to test them independently. But, but you also need to be able to increase your efficiency. You have to increase your efficiency in all parts of your system. And systems of record is no, no exception.

S1 12:05

I’m sorry. Let me– let me be a little efficient here myself. You know, we’re going to be taking questions from the audience on Twitter. If anyone would like to follow along, we’re at #IBMinterconnect if you’d like to ask a question on Twitter that we could bring up. But let-let’s jump back in here. You know, all of us, all of you are speaking at, uh, Interconnect in, in areas related to what we’ve been talking about. Um, and we’re going to have– I understand, Hayden, there was some recent new z13 announcements. But, uh, what I wanted to bring you back to was the idea of they’re not mutually exclusive and, and you know, we can make one as fast as we possibly can. We could keep doing our cloud stuff. But really, for me, it’s about hybrid cloud. Right? An-and I think at least for the foreseeable future for us, that’s, that’s where, where the action is, right? I don’t think anyone’s moving 100% to the cloud. And there aren’t a lot of companies who are going to say, “I’m not going to move anything to the cloud.” There’s going to be hybrid. Slavik, I’m sure that’s probably what you’re seeing in your company an awful lot? Yeah. I, I think Slavik might be on mute.

S4 13:22 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

Not anymore. Okay? Not anymore [laughter]. Yes, uh, so indeed, that is the case. And I think you kind of sometimes have to, uh, lead by example, if you will. Um, we internally, uh, are big consumers of the cloud right now. And even for us, the solutions that we provide are, are hybrid solutions. There is a platform we call MLP. Stands for modernization life cycle platform, where all of the engagements are transparently conducted. And it is now a combination of a cloud platform that gets for vision dynamically, um, and I’ll talk a little bit about it more when I have an opportunity, um, as well as obviously other solutions that are pot-potentially are desktop and maybe run as plugins in the eclipse environment. So that’s one, you know, perspective even ourselves, how we have to modernize and how we have to adopt our own practices in the way that we interact with customers today and the practical example, and I will– uh, hopefully will touch upon that a little bit, uh, further during this, uh, um, talk is obviously our experience on putting an application, uh, a pilot application for Bay Area Rapid Transit of that mean– you know, the, the system that’s their mission-critical system that manages status of train cars and we are using Bluemix and the DevOps capabilities in Bluemix. We’re able to put a– to put together a pretty complex, you know, but, you know, pretty nice, um, useful, mobile pilot application for them in production, running on Bluemix as a cloud mobile application and with an infrastructure, a new infrastructure, like [no JS?], for example, while talking to [on friends’?] database behind the firewall in a secure fashion using things like consumable services that are published on Bluemix called, for example, cloud in-integration, mobile back-end integration and things like that. So yes, uh, we’re seeing, uh, the hybrid cloud adaptation, um, as a big movement right now in IT.

S1 15:22

Sure. Hayden, you know, I, I wanted to go back to, um, the, the mainframe and, and some of the things that we’re do– IBM is leading the way, probably, in, in terms of working in hybrid clouds and, and with newer technologies. I know you’re doing a, uh, a session with– is it Kurt Vigner from Forrester?

S2 15:47 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Kurt Bittner, yes.

S1 15:48

Yeah. An-and you know, you– and that touches on this. You want to give us a quick little synopsis, maybe about what we might be learning there?

S2 15:59 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Well, yeah, so actually it’s Kurt is going to talk about some DevOps best practices that– based on some research that Forrester has done, has come up with. Here are eight best practices around DevOps. And then I’m going to do, do a talk that tries to map some of the DevOps best practices in the enterprise context to, you know, in some of the solutions we have to support that to his best practices. And actually, then, Mike, who’s on this Hangout, going to do a bit of a demo and then we’ll talk about what’s new. So we’re trying– you know, one of the things that is– well, can’t be overlooked is that, you know, you’re not going to mature in, you know, the DevOps arena by just popping in a new tool or two. You really have to adapt your development processes. We have to adapt the culture. And oh, yeah, you probably don’t want to be using, you know, green on black ISPF to do your development or, you know, decades-old source management systems or what have you. You need to employ new tools in order to support the new practices and support a culture of innovation and, you know, speed and agility and so forth. And so that’s what we’ll talk about and sort of the premise or the, I guess, the question that I pose at the start of my portion of the talk is, you know, we’ve got all of these unicorns, using DevOps parlance, you know, people that, you know, the born-on-the-web companies that, you know, have eye-popping statistics about how frequently they deploy in the production. Have Amazon doing it every 11.6 seconds.

S2 18:06 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

And you know, you see this, and it would be not unexpected for our enterprise clients who’ve been maybe doing more traditional [water?] file development using these quite old tools and processes. So [they?] think that’s just a bridge too far. It’s unobtainable and therefore will be disregarded. And you know, the question I pose is can these horses, if you will, the traditional companies, cross the chasm and, and become unicorns? And in fact, there are a growing number of examples of clients that have done this, like Target, like Nationwide, many others. Um, but we’ve got to give people confidence to begin moving in this direction and then figuring out, you know, all right, let me bite off this small amount first. And it’s sort of like what Mike was commenting on earlier. You can’t– not only should you not, but you cannot do it all at once. So where do you get started and gain some success, gain some confidence. And as I said, for the mainframe space, focus on a test environment first. That’s why we talk about production because that might freak people out. And then down the road, we might bring production into the conversation.

S2 19:24 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

But so anyway, that’s, that’s sort of what we’re going to be talking about and i-it’s really almost a– it’s sort of a teaser for the many more sessions that we’ll have that will go into much greater detail and each of these areas.

S1 19:37

We-we’re going to try– actually, hang on. We’re going to try at the end here to put something with, uh– or we’ll put it on Twitter and we’ll put it up on, all of the sess-sessions that all three of you are on. But speaking of horses to unicorns, who would think BART, right, Bay Area Rapid Transit, whatever it stands for– who would think of BART as a unicorn? But, but Slavik, you, you guys have, have done some amazing transformations over there, huh?

S4 20:05 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

Yeah, I mean, so this is not uncommon. I mean, we have, uh, the application actually that eventually ended up having its, uh, sort of a, a– what do I call it? Just a-another, um, an add-on, uh, mobile application, if you will. But the original one as well has undergone some modernization because it would run on, on, on, on an old [Windowing?] sort of, but also desktop gooey environment and it required modernizations. They needed to integrate the systems with other, uh, internal systems of record, actually. And so– and those systems of record were, were often newer, some off the shelf, so they needed to really– and they were web-based. So it was important for them to move to the web, and that was one of their initial, uh, parts of the modernization is to get their mission-critical system to the web.

S4 21:01 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

And so that was our initial engagement with them, and then subsequently after that, where mobile and the operational side of things, it became interesting to– as the workforce there– you know, sort of the business often drives that. That’s really sort of the case because more and more in today, just like we– most of us are sitting there, not all of us, but most of us are sitting there and working from remote locations, from our houses, from anywhere, from Starbucks, the, the– you know, the mobile workforce progressively became mobile. I should say the workforce there progressively is becoming mobile, even in an organization like that. So the demands on having something in your hand, something more portable, is clearly there. And we’re seeing that in, in– all across the board. And really, that’s the need, and that’s the reason that that, uh, pilot project was born all together.

S4 21:50 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

And as I mention it, at last year’s Innovate, it was confluence of events couldn’t be more perfect because IBM just released, uh, Bluemix platform, the, the platform as a service solution, and it just was the perfect place for us to do all of that. Um, and, uh, you know, really a project like that that would start, you know, in April and actually be fully functional with, uh, live demonstrations in early June is quite staggering to do something in such speed, and that was a perfect example how if you, you know, kind of marry the, you know, the combination of cloud platform with the servers, but at the same time, also they built in DevOps and application life cycle capabilities that now you have access from Bluemix. You’re able to do something like that, you know, in a matter of– you know, like we said, 15 days as opposed to working at it for six months.

S1 22:41

Absolutely. An-and you know, I just want to mention, you know, back to our original hooking mainframe and zSystem technology to, to call it modern or ultra-modern cloud kind of stuff, but that, that is part of that BART story as well. And, and Slavik, you– if I’m not mistaken, that is the subject of one of your, uh, Interconnect, uh, sessions, isn’t it?

S4 23:07 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

It is. And one of the sessions, I think, is going to be on Tuesday, and we– actually, it’s going to be a technical breakout session. We will show some code. The people like to come and take a look at how this thing is put together. We will show the composite services capabilities. We will absolutely spend significant amount of time showing the DevOps portion of the platform, really– it’s really sort of the jazz net and the whole– what, what now is called, uh, I think IBM DevOps Services, um, and all of the capabilities and how, um, these things are integrated, how they’re built, the application. We will run it as well, so you will see the mobile app running against an unpremised database, so that’s the intent of that, um, of that session.

S4 23:47 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

And then also a session toward the end of the conference on Thursday when we talk about our platform for continuous modernization, what we call. We will also mention some of the other customers as well, uh, not sure if by name, but certainly by reference and projects, whereas there really are kicks and big, um, you know, 30 to 70 big enterprise systems that also have undergone a transformations whereas they’re right, right now running on the web, with web sphere, using kicks transaction gateway to get access to the services still running in Cobalt that they rely on. So this hybrid architecture, um, is also quite important, uh, you know, to mention, and we’re mentioning that as well in the session on Thursday. I think it’s going to be at 1:00, uh, called platform for continuous modernization.

S4 24:32 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

And finally, I know there’s going to be a panel on DevOps. I’m not sure exactly what that date is. But there is going to be a panel which talks about mobile to mainframe and the DevOps best practices, so that is going to be another session, uh–

S1 24:45


S4 24:45 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

–uh, during the conference. Yes.

S1 24:47

As I mentioned, we’ll have all these session and links to them up on as well as the Interconnect site and social media following the Hangout. But let me— let me turn the, you know– for people listening out there who say, “Oh, this sounds great. Yeah, I’d love to not have to throw out the millions of dollars we’ve invested over the years in mainframe technologies and stuff.” But let– you know, we’re making it sound easy. Mike, is it that easy? Can you give us a little background on, on really what we’re try– again, nothing’s ever that eas, y.

S3 25:19 – Mike Fulton, DevOps

Yeah. No, it’s, it’s, uh, it-it’s a challenge. And, um, you know, like, most programming tasks, it’s a, a, a matter of breaking it into chunks and, and figuring out how you want to address each chunk, figuring out what priority you want to attach to different things. O-one of the things that we’ve heard from a lot of different customers is, um, that they’re really struggling with the first step in, in moving towards DevOps in my opinion, which is– which is how to be more reactive. And, and one of the stumbling blocks that they hit is, is testing. So you know, uh, you know, the philosophy on systems of engagement is you, you make a change. You pump it through your test cases. That takes seven minutes. And then you– and then you throw it out to the world and life is, is wonderful. Well, on systems of record systems, a lot of the times, it might take a day a or a week to run through the test suites today and, and if it takes that long, uh, you’ve got a fundamental problem. So you know, one of the things we’re, we’re looking into and I’ll talk a little bit about at, uh, at, uh, Interconnect is exactly, uh, how you can go and learn how your tests work, understand the tests, and really come up with ways to, to optimize it, so what we’re calling test optimization.

S3 26:39 – Mike Fulton, DevOps

Uh, and not just test opt– test optimization for the build, but what it means for a developer to, to run his optimized test through the system, what it means for a tester to focus on the, the key tests, um, for changes in the system and, and, and that can be a, a really important first step in, in moving from, you know, a very slow waterfall-type model where it may take, you know, um, weeks to go through each stage of the cycle to a– to a much more, uh, reactive mode where you can– where you can develop, deploy, uh, iteratively much, much faster. So–

S2 27:14 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Yeah, Mike, to your point, you know, actually, I think there are a lot of clients that will be happy if they could get through their test suites in a day because I, I was visiting with a client in Australia a few days ago, and they told me that, you know, it took them 16 days to go through their test [inaudible]. Now, their test bucket obviously was not automated. And I congratulated them on having a test bucket [laughter] that, you know, the, the problem is you can imagine that, you know, small-batch delivery is out the window when you– when it takes 16 days to go through the test cycle because they don’t know which test cases are testing which parts of the system, and they don’t know if they have duplicates, which is, you know, another area of test optimization [inaudible]. And so you end up with large batches of changes, a tremendous amount of waste, and human capital waste, time waste, delay in delivery, and so that ends up– I do believe in many cases that is where the biggest queue or the biggest bottleneck is.

S2 28:27 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

I was just with a client a week and a half ago, financial services, and they had zero automation. And yet they have two people. I was really impressed. They have two people that have been designated as their DevOps champions, and so they’re– you know, they’ve acknowledged that they need to good down this path and in our conversations with them, it seemed fairly apparent that their testing was if not the area of low-hanging fruit, certainly one of the few areas of particular low-hanging fruit, so– but you know what? There are a lot of places that, that are entry points where people can get started. But yes, testing, if you– if you can’t– it’s gonna take days or weeks to get through your test bucket. It’s gonna be pretty hard to get to unicorn land [laughter].

S3 29:18 – Mike Fulton, DevOps

Yeah, it’s not– it’s not the sexiest area in the world, but, um, you know, being to focus in on that, make it faster, automate what you can, reduce the redundancy, um, you know, and in some cases, get your test cases into source code control, right? You know? Um, a lot of companies haven’t got type of thing done. So there’s a lot of simple best practices, not necessarily simple to do, but simple to understand the benefit of them and just get started.

S2 29:47 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Yeah, but, but back, you know– Alan, back to your question. You know, when you think about is it as easy as this sounds, the fact of the matter is you have a test suite that takes 16 days to get through, the, the, the element that’s not easy is where do I even start as far as beginning to automate. And it can be viewed as a daunting task, and so that’s just one of the– one of the areas where, you know, we have to help people understand it’s not an insurmountable problem. Get started. Make progress. And you know, when you look back, as Nationwide can do now, as can a number of enterprise customers these days, look back to where they were five or six years prior or three years prior, they’ll be amazed at the progress that they’ve made. But it can be viewed as a mighty tall order, so you know, it’s not un– it’s not unexpected that people are skeptical, you know, and/or intimidated about getting started in this space.

S1 30:56

Yeah. But you know what? To Hayden– to your point, I think I’ve heard you say this in the past. The funny thing is that if you’re a young programmer, maybe not here in, in the US, but in other parts of the world, it’s actually more lucrative to, to learn how to do this on, on mainframe systems than it might be working on the latest, working on rails or, or whatever your, you know, your language of the day is that you want to, you know, these new systems are running.

S2 31:26 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Right. Well, I mean, one of the things that a lot of– there’s a lot of [fud?] out there. You know? An-and you know, so it’s not uncommon for people who like to make money by generating some anxiety, uh, to say, “Well, you know, all of the Cobalt programmers or PO1 programmers are going to retire,” and “Oh, my goodness. How are we going to support those systems?” and then suggesting a variety of alternatives to that. My view is Cobalt is a programming language just like, you know, Javascript or Java or Small Talk, which is what I wrote for 10 or 12 years. You know, and by the way, I learned C Code before that going to work for IBM for one summer for about 10 weeks and picked up Carnegie and Richie and I read it and I wrote 3,000 lines of code. You know, programmers learn programming languages. You know, let’s don’t create unnecessary [fud?] out there, but how– you know, yes, so they can learn Cobalt, and it is, in fact, the case that the tables are turning and from a financial point of view, having that in your resume actually will differentiate you from people that know half a dozen scripting languages. And that said, no person coming up out of university who’s going to have been using Eclipse to do their projects or, or some other comparable IDE. Nobody wants to be last [PF?]. For those of who don’t know what that is, it is a green screen editor, 24 by 80, green on black, 30-plus years old, and has no business being in existence by so many– or used by so many people as it still is today.

S2 33:09 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

And so we need to give the young people that come into this craft and into this area that’s, you know, has a, a bright future, and we actually do master the mainframe program and all this kind of stuff, and we have tens of thousands of students participating every year. But they don’t want to use old, old tools. So we need to give a facelift to the interface or what people see when building for the platform. The z13 is the mo– you know, the most, you know, amazing machine on the platform. But if you– you know, if it is a face that’s 30 years old, it’s hard for people look past that.

S1 33:52

Yeah [crosstalk]. Sometimes it’s beauty is skin deep when it comes to mainframes, then, huh?

S3 33:58 – Mike Fulton, DevOps

Well, it’s a cool-looking box. Have you seen the z13? It’s a nice-looking box. It’s– I think it looks really cool, actually, if you pull it out.

S2 34:05 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Yeah, but then if you want to interact with it, if you have to use ISPF, then that interface too is pretty–

S3 34:12 – Mike Fulton, DevOps

Well, luckily, you don’t have to, though, Hayden. We have lots of alternatives.

S2 34:15 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

That’s what I’m saying.

S1 34:16

You know what, guys? We, we had an article a few months back on and it was Cobalt, the language that won’t die. And I forgot what the– they did an acronym for what it stands for. An-and it was one of our most popular, uh, articles. People– you know, some people laugh, but there– it is being modernized, right? A-as Hayden said, a language is a language is a language, but if the tools and the interfaces to work on it with are modernized, you know, it’s just another language at that point in the game.

S3 34:48 – Mike Fulton, DevOps

Yeah. A-any programmer worth their salt can pick up Cobalt in a week. They really can. I mean, that’s why it was so popular. It was designed to be an easy to use language, an easy to understand language. Uh, it’s very human-oriented. And– but it’s, it’s also important to note that you don’t have to code in Cobalt on the mainframe. We’ve got cutting-edge Java. We’ve got all the language you would want to work in. The reality is there’s a lot of Cobalt out there. You’re going to work with it, too. But, uh, a lot of– a lot of the new workloads are written in Java, running on WebSphere on, on the mainframe.

S4 35:24 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

So let me just give you a little thought experience here since, uh, in some ways a lot of this here also right now kind of unscripted, right, which is– which is cool. I want to give you a little bit of a kind of anecdotal thing. In, in, in ’90s, 1990, about that decade, early ’90s through coming to the Y2K arena if you recall, I mean, this was– I– and I was at that time in this hot [OO?] language called Small Talk. And I tell you, I had more people that I knew moved out temporarily for good half a decade. And you know, Hayden, what I’m talking about. And they would move to basically [kicks?] and Cobalt environments to do Y2K. Why they did that? Well, there was a lot of economic advantages of being in the space of solving problems in the Y2K.

S4 36:11 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

I actually think that it is inev-inevitable of what goes on right now. What is going on right now is that the modernization that right now Hayden and IBM is talking about around DevOps and that– it’s sort of like if you– the first thing you have to do is upgrade your tools. I mean, you’ve got to use modern tools, right? Modern tools will take you and help you automate and help you take advantage of all those things we’re talking today on. But who’s going to be really the consumer of those tools on a very large scale? It is going to be the new generation, perhaps Millennials, perhaps maybe the, the Gen XY, um, right, still? And I think this is natural because I see this a lot in the business that we’re at that a lot of the new or a lot of that– a lot of the organization that deals with interfacings to the old but very robust enterprise systems are sort of the new people in the company, right, because the older people that have been there for 20, 30 years, they’re not going to be there for another 20, 30 years.

S4 37:04 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

So I think it’s only a natural consequence that a lot of the modern tools are– it’s just a question of time, and those who are going to be embracing it proactively are going to be probably ahead of the game, most likely, right, because they’re going to be in the innovators. They’re going to be the early adopters. And then you’re going to have those that will follow in the mainstream. So, uh, again, if you just look at that whole Y2K transition, it was very interesting to see how even some of the high-end developers jump onto that bandwagon because again, it was very economically interesting to be there and to solve those problems at that time.

S1 37:35

Well, it’s a flat, flat world and, and even programmers follow the dollar, Slavik.

S4 37:41 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

No question about it.

S1 37:42

I think it’s a great example of it. Um, just real quickly, guys, we’re at 2:38 East Coast time, so we’ve been on almost 40 minutes, and I, I wanted to remind anyone listening if you do have any questions, you can ask them in the question slot. I think if you go to your top left, you might see a, a– in your screen, you’ll see a QA. And they’ll show up here an-and we will try to get to them. But let, let, let us– let us return back. [inaudible] bigger to Interconnect, right? Guys, I don’t know how much– how much of our audience or the people who are going to listen to this afterwards really understand. I mean, this is a new Interconnect. This is a, a– certainly a bigger Interconnect an-and a better one, too. Hayden, as, as the VP of the group, why don’t you tell our audience a little– I mean, just how big is Interconnect 2015?

S2 38:34 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Well, we’re hoping it’s going to be, you know, 20,000-plus attendees, which is a mix of clients and perspective clients, business partners, analysts, press, and of course, other IBMers. Now, Interconnect is replacing three conferences that we did in the past that were sort of a– that were aligned along some of the brands we had, so Polk’s historically was in February, and that was the Tivoli or CNSI brands conference. It didn’t mean others– I went there as a rational person, former rational person. You know, but it was predominantly around, you know, the Tivoli portfolio. Impact was generally in April, and that was the WebSphere conference, and then Innovate was the rational conference. That’s the one that I went to. And now, of course, I went to Impact on– you know, every single year as well. And so there was overlap, and we ended up having to give the same talks at the different conferences and we just decided, hey, let’s bring all this together and, you know, of course, as it turns out, it’s– you know, we no longer have those three divisions. We still have a WebSphere brand, a [inaudible] brand, rational branded products, but we don’t have those divisions any longer.

S2 40:02 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

And there’s so much overlap it just seemed like, you know, do one big conference. Cover things once. And sometimes we might end up having to give a talk twice because the venue’s not large enough to seat everyone, but for the most part, it’s more efficient for us, and we also think it’s bigger– of more importance is it’s more efficient for our clients, who wanted to hear what the WebSphere folks were saying but also wanted to hear what the rational or, or Tivoli people were saying as well, and so go to Vegas and see it all and the only down side is that we’re so big we have to be in the MGM and the Mandalay Bay, so we get our– we will get our exercise [laughter] going between venues. But we’re excited about it, and it’s, uh, starting two weeks from this past Monday, so– and actually, there’s some, some activities on the Sunday prior, so whatever that is, the 22nd, I think.

S1 41:00

Absolutely. An-and, and Hayden, I– having been to Vegas many times, that Mandalay Bay to MGM is– for anyone who needs their cardio or a good, good workout, that’s– that is a nice walk for sure. Um, [inaudible] you get them both in at the same time. Slavik, I, I wanted to come back to you a little bit in whatever time we have left here. Um, you’re doing two, three different, uh, sessions, but you’re not an IBMer, obviously. Talk a little bit about your relationship or your company’s relationship with IBM ’cause obviously you, you know Hayden and Mike well. You know, how, how does that work? I mean, it’s such a– when we talk about IBM, we think of a monolithic, you know, big, blue structure. But the fact is you’re, you’re walking, living proof that the strength of IBM in a lot of ways is the strength of its business partners. And I, I just– I know we didn’t discuss this previously, but want to throw it out at you.

S4 42:04 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

Sure. Well, I mean, first of all, I, I will say it’s a symbiotic relationship for sure. IBM relies on– IBM can do a much better job even in terms of numbers and charts as to what percentage of their business is actually delivered by more local business partners. And this is so important when you’re developing your channel and everybody knows that. But I think what is so unprecedented, uh, at least in our experience when it comes to wor– having a business partner like IBM is that just to give an example of– we’ve been able right now to move more rapidly than probably our competition into the DevOps platform and the DevOps tag because we as a business partner are capable of having access to the entire software catalog of IBM and actually deploy a lot of the solutions internally based on them.

S4 42:49 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

So we first and foremost kind of, uh, we, we, we, we eat, you know, sort of our own, you know, not to be crude about it, exactly what we preach. We follow what we preach. So we first become experts by deploying this, so we have access to all the enterprise software, starting from the database and, uh, WebSphere, Tivoli products, and of course, right now, rational products and things like things like urban code and, and what have you. And that has enabled us to be early adopters as I just mentioned and to build what we call today an integrated environment, whereas before, it used to be a very siloed and specialized, you know, solution. And Hayden knows a lot about the, the, the difficulties about this business where in, in just not so recent, you know, past, I mean, the way migrations, which is what makes them so difficult, you used to deliver code. And we talk about here agility and just being able to build and deploy something, and everybody underestimated the difficulty of what it takes to take a system an-and this, you know, massive amounts of source code, sometimes millions, and try to just build it appropriately and rapidly.

S4 43:54 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

So imagine now if you are undergoing some kind of a modernization of a system that’s running in the older 4GL environment, let’s say, web. How do you do– how do you build that? So that’s one of the big advantages that we’ve had is that we’re able to utilize the whole jazz platform that IBM delivers, the whole ALM application life cycle management stack, the whole DevOps stack, and now, with the advent of the cloud, and on top of this, we’re able to integrate that as an entire solution, so from day one, we no longer just deliver to the customer source code. We deliver to the customer the actual solution. They’re able to build, deploy. They’re able to use DevOps actually from day one, from the very first delivery. We could not have done this not in the same way if we did not have that kind of a relationship that IBM offers to its business partners, which is, again, real access to its software catalog, access to the support structures they have in place, the real tight relationship we’ve developed with Hayden’s lab and other labs right now and Bluemix and cloud. I mean, it’s really– it’s really magnificent, right? I mean, this is, uh, a lot of op-opportunities are out there for companies to probably listen to this and realize how beneficial it could be to, to develop this business partnership because it’s– like I said, it’s a very symbiotic relationship.

S2 45:09 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

We love our business partners, but we would love to have even more [laughter].

S4 45:14 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems


S2 45:14 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Never have too many partners.

S1 45:16

No, you can’t. Hey, guys, I’ve got one more question for each of you, an-and we will– we’ll call it a wrap unless we see any questions from audience. But besides your own session, what are you most– what’s your– you know, what are you most looking forward to at Interconnect 2015? And you can’t say the Aerosmith concert [laughter].

S2 45:39 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Well, I am–

S1 45:39

Mike, why don’t you go first?

S3 45:41 – Mike Fulton, DevOps

I’m looking forward to some of the new areas of technology that, uh, you know, when you’re deep in the trenches every week, you don’t get a chance to play and see, so I really enjoy going down to the, uh, to the place where they got white coats. I don’t know if they’ll have the guys with the white coats this year, but, uh, going down there, seeing the new stuff that’s coming out, the new technology, the new concepts that IBM and its partners have got, um, that’s all always really cool.

S1 46:09

Yep. No, no doubt about that. Uh, Hayden, what about you?

S2 46:14 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Well, I will definitely be seeing Aerosmith because I normally skip the entertainment ’cause I don’t generally find it– well, I won’t disparage it. I’ll just say that Aerosmith is somebody that I want to see, number one. And number two, I, I end up getting my days filled by– with meetings with clients and business partners, and it’s a great, great use of time renewing relationships with partners, renewing relationships with clients, meeting new clients, and then seeing some interesting talks when I have a break in that, so you know– and yes, I like the white coat area, just to see what kind of cool new stuff is coming down the pike. But, uh, I really enjoy the time to meet with clients and partners. And some people I only see once a year at an event like this or it’s every two or three years, and so, um– a-and I also think that happens to be one of the benefits to the attendees. They can interact with one another. IBM doesn’t have to be in the middle of every conversation, you know?

S1 47:19

Slavik, how about yourself?

S4 47:21 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

Certainly all the things we’ve heard I would echo. But I, I would also say that to me, this particular conference is so interesting because we cannot always every year. Every year we would focus on the conference where we have most of our engagement areas at IBM as you– as we know, IBM is a very large organization, and it’s important to focus on one, uh, and sometimes we will go one or two conferences, but it-it’s never very easy to make it to all three conferences, especially if you want to bring a team, uh, for small companies, and this is ext– exciting right now to have, as Hayden explained, three brands’ major areas to kind of unify and now to hear the diversity of the customers who are going to be– you’re going to see a lot with– that are more the newer echelon, where a lot of the web applications have been developed and cloud applications and WebSphere arena and whatnot, but you’re also going to see now a lot of z customers, and now I think that interaction’s going to be spectacular. I think this is a– this is also in my– I’m guessing that’s one of your strategic reasons, not just to make it easy, but of course to make it easy for everybody else, but to finally have all of those, um, all of those people interact together an-and to see what can come out of that as well, so I’m excited, of course, to be finally also part in one time with all the mix of the participants that are now– who otherwise would have to come to the individual conferences.

S1 48:42

Gotcha. I’m going to save the last one on that for me. What, what I’m so excited– and I will be there. What I’m really excited about is as someone who kind of bought into the DevOps Kool-Aid three years ago and, and started about a year ago, I am just blown away that at a conference even from a big player like IBM, we’re going to have over 300 DevOps-related track sessions, workshops. Call them mini events, whatever you want to call it, but 300 DevOps-related, uh, sessions or things going on in, in the course of a couple of days. And if that doesn’t– and you know, we’re sitting here talking about using DevOps on mainframes to clouds to hybrids and everything else. If that doesn’t show you that DevOps is real and alive and here, I don’t know what else does. So, uh, really looking forward to it. Hayden, you’re the VP, though. Everyone else seems to work for you. We’re going to give you last, last word here on, on the Hangout and inviting people to Interconnect.

S2 49:49 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

Well, yeah. I mean, I think it’s– for all the reasons we’ve said, it’s– uh, should be an exciting conference. I think the difficulty will be determining which sessions you’re going to skip because you– there’s something else you want to go to, but, um, uh, I think it’ll be a great event. We’ll see. You know, I certainly figure I’m going to get plenty of exercise because I think it is about a 30- to 40-minute walk from the meeting rooms in MGM to Mandalay Bay, but, um, I think it’ll be great. There’s a lot of– lot of stuff on the cloud an-and, and analytics and DevOps and mobile and just you name it. It’s going to be there. And hopefully, we have a great attendance.

S1 50:32

I hope so, too.

S2 50:33 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

But– and weather in Vegas in February, late February, is certainly better than it is in the Northeast at the moment [laughter].

S3 50:41 – Mike Fulton, DevOps


S1 50:41

Or Vancouver. Hey, guys, we, we’ve got one question that just showed up. Sorry for showing up late. Would someone give me a major takeaway? Well, the good news is you’ll be able to watch this whole thing on YouTube in about two minutes. Uh, but he had– this fellow actually doesn’t understand the difference between DevOps for mobile and DevOps for mainframe. And it– you know what, Mike? Is there a difference or is DevOps DevOps?

S3 51:06 – Mike Fulton, DevOps

I think there’s some differences. I mean, the, um, the types of tools you’re going to use are a little different. So I think the general processes, the general understanding what DevOps, uh, I think is, is pretty similar. But how you go about it, uh, how you attack it’s different. Um, you know, maybe one of the big differences is a lot of mobile apps may be newer than, say, a, a, a mainframe app. And so the fact that you’ve got potentially a lot of legacy code to contend with on a systems of record mainframe application versus probably a lot less on your systems of engagement, and I think that can make some big differences in how you go about attacking the problem and transforming your, uh, your application to use DevOps, um, but [crosstalk] similar.

S2 51:57 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

You’ve got 20 or 30 years worth of, you know, code and practices and culture and tools that need to be upgraded, so it’s way less about greenfield development and using brand-new tools and more about adapting from where they are today. But as Mike said, it’s absolutely correct that the concepts, the processes, the culture that you strive for are the same, but you’re– in most cases, clients are coming from a different place because the mainframe development started, you know, two, three, four decades ago, and that certainly was not when, you know, the prior version of that mobile app development was started.

S1 52:40


S2 52:43 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

That’s a different, different problem, but, but– and there’s more low-hanging fruit as far as I’m concerned but also some unique challenges.

S1 52:50

Yeah. Yep. Okay. I, I think at that point, then, we’re going to call it a wrap. Hayden, Mike, Slavik, thank you so much. Audience, thank you for listening in. Just a quick reminder. This will be available on YouTube in a couple moments. I, I believe it’ll be on our site as well in our special section called DevOps and Interconnect. And, um, the– a listing of where these three gentlemen will be appearing at Interconnect, Interconnect 2015, will also be on, on the site as well. And you can follow along on #, uh, IBMInterconnect on Twitter. Mike, Hayden, Slavik, thanks again very much. This is Alan Shimel for, and thank you for joining in today.

S2 53:38 – Hayden Lindsay, IBM

You bet, Alan.

S3 53:39 – Mike Fulton, DevOps

Bye [crosstalk].

S4 53:40 – Slavik Zorin, CEO, Synchrony Systems

Take care. Bye-bye.