Old code is not bad code

December 5th, 2017

Voyager 1 fires thrusters for the first time in 37 years.

Running a propriety assembler program written over 40 years ago engineers at NASA were able to use the voyagers thrusters to replace attitude correction engine that had degraded over the last 40 years. This extends the lifetime of the voyager 1 probe for another 2 or 3 years.

Is there are finer example than this that old code is not always bad code? Old code also continues to fulfill vital roles for NASA
in the same way that it does for your business.

I did not start to write this article with the expectation that I would be comparing mainframe applications to rocket science but when the facts fit…rocketship

Just like the incredible continuing value of the assembler code running on Voyager 1 let us take a moment to remember the incredible value of the code living on your mainframe.

Re-purposing hardware and executing decades old code on it has significantly extended voyage 1’s life expectancy. We can use the same analogy for existing mainframe applications.

If we migrate the application using Heirloom PaaS we are changing the hardware environment but keeping the existing code and giving it a new lease of life. This will extend the lifetime of these applications and actually increase their value to your company. Migrated applications do not just run in a new environment, their data, previously hidden away in an EBCDIC silo, suddenly becomes accessible to the rest of the enterprise. Imagine adding decades of experience in the form of your companies data to a big data model designed to generate actionable business insights.