Who is the real Generation Z? YOU are!!!
Are you a proud mainframer? Good. Enjoy it while it lasts. As far as I am concerned, we should get rid of the word “mainframe”. With a bleeding heart, I have to admit. But I am ready to accept that the word “mainframe” brings up so many bad associations in the minds of so many people that I think it will be easier to just change our name.
For decades now, we have tried to explain to Managers, Architects, Journalists and many others that the word “mainframe” is not synonym for “Expensive”, “Inflexible” or “Outdated”. And somehow, we have not been able to do that in such a way that it changed their attitude towards the mainframe. Given the right evidence, they will sometimes agree that the mainframe is not as bad as they thought, but it was never enough to really change their attitude. So here is my plan; let us ban the word “mainframe” from any public conversation. When we are amongst each other, it’s fine to use it, but when we have a dialog with non mainframers, let’s use a better name.
At an event recently, I had a chat with a manager from a company that owns a mainframe and a large distributed environment. I described IBM’s new EC12 to him as; a new Enterprise Server, larger than anything he currently had, capable of running everything virtualized, with the ability to run multiple operating systems and the power to host millions of transactions in one single box. And strangely enough, he was immediately interested and asked if it would really help him to reduce the complexity of the datacenter. He was all for it until I mentioned the word Mainframe. The expression on his face was enough..
So from now on, I will call a mainframe; “Z-Series”, “Enterprise Server” or “ZServer”. And I will call you Generation Z. Despite the fact that Wikipedia describes Generation Z as : Many members of Gen Z are highly "connected" having lifelong use of communication and media technology like the World Wide Web, instant messaging, text messaging, MP3 players, and mobile phones earning them the nickname "digital natives” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Z) I have decided that only mainframers (for the last time, I promise) have really lived through all the stages of the digital revolution. We deserve to be called Generation Z.
If you have better suggestions, please let me know. But until a better alternative comes around, I’ll stick to the above…
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