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The Last NASA Mainframe

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Andy Gravatt

I started my career as a programmer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center doing assembly language programming on mainframes. Part of me is sad knowing that this is no longer a skill worthy of inclusion on my resume, but I’m excited that NASA has finally moved on. My previous position was working as the software manager for the GSFC CIO, Linda Cureton (whose Blog is quoted in the article below), where we started moving all the business applications from the mainframe to the web around 8 years ago. It’s really tough to get rid of the legacy systems, but sometimes it has to be done.

For a wonderful picture of the NASA Mainframes, check out Stephen Shackland’s article on CNet:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-57376406-264/end-of-an-era-nasa-shuts-down-its-last-mainframe/

Is anyone still running mainframes? Are any of you going to miss them?

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Corey McCarren

Wow, that seems like a long time for mainframes to be around for! I’ll admit that I don’t know much about mainframes, but the article surprises me. I could definitely understand how people would miss them but it’s good to see government moving forward.

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Andy Gravatt

@Corey. It’s always difficult to watch skills that you built up over the years disappear and lose their relevance. Everyone in technology has to deal with it, but it doesn’t make it easier. There are a lot of mainframes all over the Federal Government. I won’t mention any names, but “You Know Who You Are!”

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