Not Everything Moves Fast
Years ago in the throes of everyone facing the Y2K push, I ran into a gentleman who built the tax systems for the US Government in the ’80’s. He mentioned that the IRS was still using his systems, and that they were not Y2K compliant. When I asked what the IRS was going to do, his opinion was that it, “involved a lot of hope.”
So this article at The Register doesn’t surprise me that much.
Issel is responsible for talent acquisition at GE Canada, and her post says there’s a “fantastic opportunity” for a PDP-11 programmer at GE’s Peterborough operation in Ontario.
“The role supports the nuclear industry who has committed to continue the use of PDP-11 until 2050”, she writes.
That certainly gives PDP-11 programming a longer skill life than OpenVMS – a grandchild of PDP-11 – which HP announced this month will begin its end-of-life march in 2015 and will lose all support in 2020. As we noted, VAX was a 32-bit upgrade to PDP-11, while VMS was born of the multiuser version of PDP.
I probably know some PDP-11 developers (and system architects) who just got a big smile on their faces. While most in the industry keep saying that old is bad and new is getting old, there’s a plethora of technology out there doing some really important stuff that’s never going to upgrade, but must improve. What we have to remember is that the technology decisions we make will have implications well past the sell date we have in our heads.
And I have to admit, it’s impressive that a venerable system architecture continues to do well. I tip my hat in respect for the engineers that designed it.