Inside the Open Mainframe Project
The Open Mainframe Project advocates for Linux adoption in the mainframe computing environment and aims to make the mainframe "visible to the world."
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At the All Things Open conference held recently in Raleigh, NC, I sat down with John Mertic, director of program management for the Open Mainframe Project, as well as Leonard Santalucia, chair of the Open Mainframe Project Governing Board. I wanted to learn more about what the project is, what it does, and how it serves the developer community.
The Open Mainframe Project is a Linux Foundation Project — more mainframe organizations use the Linux OS than any other platform. "We're driving the use and advocacy of Linux in the mainframe architecture," Mertic explained. At its core, he said, the Open Mainframe Project intends to serve a focal point for deploying and using Linux in a mainframe environment. It's also looking to bring the mainframe community together to share resources.
"Mainframe is not anything new. The oldest computing community is the world is mainframe. But mainframe is invisible," Mertic said. "The Open Mainframe Project is all about making the mainframe visible to the world."
A large portion of the Open Mainframe Project's goals touch upon education. The Techbriefs section of its website includes downloadable resources on various open source projects (Docker, MongoDB, and Blockchain) and their relationship to Linux on the mainframe. It includes a Community Forum where experts answer questions, and the project is on Github as well.
Its mission to educate also involves offering scholarships to students to attend conferences like All Things Open, partnering with schools and other organizations to get more students to see the mainframe as a viable career option, holding interviews with journalists like myself looking to understand the basics, generally breaking down barriers to open source adoption on the mainframe, and much more.
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