Are You a Mainframe Expert

When the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook hits the inboxes of mainframe devotees globally, it offers a chance to look back – and forward – on the ever-evolving world of Big Iron. 

According to Trevor Eddolls, the yearbook’s editorial director, this free resource has been a reference manual for IT professionals working with z/OS systems (and their predecessors) since 2005. In “All You Need to Know About Mainframes,” (♧ HINT) Eddolls takes Planet Mainframe readers on a tour of what 2023’s yearbook offers.

The 154-page yearbook is a one-stop-treasure-trove for mainframers, beginning with overviews of the state of the industry and reflections on challenges and new trends facing the technology. You can download the whole thing or just choose PDFs of the parts that stand out to you. 

Editorial content aside, there is also a vendor directory, glossary of terminology, and timelines on mainframe evolution. The yearbook continues to be an essential resource whether you’re a mainframe newbie or an old hand. Check out Eddolls’ overview for more details on this year’s edition.

And while we’re speaking of old hands…

For those that have been working with mainframes for decades, the continuity that the mainframe offers can be a pretty impressive benefit. This is especially true considering how much the platform has developed in that timeframe. 

Mainframe expert and enthusiast, Tom Leader, recently wrote an article, “Taking the Mainframe Back to the Future” (♧ HINT) that reflects this theme. In the essay, Leader relays a recent experience he had in which an old CICS COBOL test application fit exactly what he needed to demonstrate the creation of document output from a CICS application for an ongoing project. 

But would it work?

The article is definitely worth a read, and suffice it to say that the resilience and continuity that the mainframe platform provides are reasons that the hand-wringing over “the end of the mainframe” is almost certainly premature.

Without further ado, we suggest that you peruse these articles and take a stab at this week’s quiz here!

Sonja Soderlund is an Oregon-based B2B freelance writer. Whether writing about mainframe computers, educational technology, or sustainable retail, she strives to bring clarity to complex issues. Connect with her at or LinkedIn.