Two weeks ago I was fortunate to be part of the looksoftware team hosting the iBelieve event in New York.
These events have been so valuable to me on many levels, especially meeting with the attendees and speakers.
However, a particular highlight for me has been the opportunity to get some real quality time with Dr. Frank Soltis. Most, if not all of you, would have heard his name before, and if youve had the privilege of hearing him speak you will be aware of just how important and significant he is as a world-renowned computer scientist.
Frank worked at IBM for 40 years from 1968-2008, and as Chief Scientist his architecture was behind eight generations of IBM midrange machines from the System/38 through to the IBM i as we know it today. The longevity of this design with its fundamental technology independent machine interface (TIMI) layering is a testament to his foresight and just how right his design has proved to be. Despite significant shifts and advancements in hardware, infrastructure and software over the last 40+ years, the architecture currently at the heart of IBM i still stands strong.
When Frank retired from IBM in 2008 it wasnt a typical withdrawal from work. He often jokes that his wife defines his retirement as Frank now works six days a week instead of seven. Part of me thinks she is not actually joking. He has often stated that leaving IBM has allowed him to spend more time engaging with the community through user groups, business partners and individual customers, giving him the chance to be closer to seeing first hand the impact his lifes work has made in the world.
Whenever I spend time with Frank and learn more about his work at IBM it renews my passion and enthusiasm for the IBM i. As long as we continue to exploit its strengths and leverage its capabilities to support modern devices, the cloud and ability to integrate with other systems, I am convinced we will continue to see a thriving IBM i community for many more years to come.