Mainframe Blog

Are You Ready for the DevX-Factor? Focus on Developer Experience

4 minute read
Mark Sigler

I have always been a big fan of the human side of our business—the creative and brilliant people who work to create code that makes everyone’s’ lives that much easier. These people, the developers, work behind the scenes, and their passion for their craft is something that the rest of us have truly benefitted from, because, frankly, development is not easy. As such, it is a joy to be part of one of the latest initiatives from BMC Compuware as it morphs into BMC AMI—a concerted focus on the mainframe developer experience, which we call DevX. I feel it will be a game changer. In fact, it already is.

The BMC AMI approach to Mainframe DevX is a collective experience, not just one feature. It is a result of our focus on automation and integration, an open-borders strategy, and the reduction of development toil and grunt work to deliver a positive and engaging experience for developers—one that enhances the pleasure of being a skilled technician in the development of code, while removing or reducing the less enjoyable parts, time-consuming tasks, and above all, error.

We have doubled down on our drive for continuous DevX improvement, not only through modern integrated development environments (IDEs), modern source code management (SCM), and test automation, but also through products like BMC AMI zAdviser, along with metrics and tools that measure productivity in ways designed to enhance the life of developers and improve their experience.

Mainframe developers have always been a resilient bunch, focusing on developing and delivering reliable, high-quality code using a collection of techniques and approaches. The expectations and professional desires among mainframe developers are evolving, too, not only among those with decades of experience, but also among younger developers who are eager to make their mark and stretch their skills.

For them, and for the marketplace that benefits from mainframe technologies, the formula is quite straightforward: top-quality, leading-edge code comes from a developer environment that maximizes engagement and innovation among its professionals, and BMC AMI has stepped up to take the lead in this venture. It all gets down to this: happy developers are productive developers. Happy developers are innovative developers. Happy developers stay with their companies. If you make working at your company and developing your solutions a delight, then the sky’s the limit to what your team can accomplish.

Today, BMC has officially retired the BMC Compuware name and is adding those products to the BMC AMI family. Underneath the BMC AMI umbrella, a new portfolio of DevOps and DevX solutions are now available, called BMC AMI DevX. The new name is intended to reflect that the cultural and procedural changes that support Mainframe DevX are truly incorporated into everything the company does.

It’s new in the sense that a heightened focus on DevX has not always been front and center in the software industry (or the mainframe). But, in my observations, a better description would be “new and improved,” meaning that new approaches to DevX have vastly improved the overall process of code development and will help other organizations reach the full potential of their mainframe DevOps initiatives.

Here are some key facts on DevX:

BMC AMI DevX leverages emerging technologies and extensive automation to help developers innovate faster. The tools streamline all aspects of the developer experience—developers can easily move from coding and editing to testing, debugging, promotion, and deployment, all without leaving their preferred environment. When using our Mainframe DevX solutions, the business impacts are significant, as noted in this Forrester TEI report:

  • Developer productivity increased by 175 percent
  • Release frequency increased by 600 percent
  • Developer onboarding time shortened by 50 percent

The evolution towards this new and improved state has been underway for some time. BMC AMI DevX is not so much the start of something, but the culmination of a great deal of work, redesign, and deployment that has already been going on in specific areas such as Virtual Studio (VS) Code, DORA Metrics, Code Debug, and many other testing tools. In fact, there are so many things that we have already delivered over the past year that the name announcement of BMC AMI DevX is an opportunity for us to show you where we have already been taking you with our innovations, and what the future is going to look like.

Some of the new features announced with BMC AMI DevX include:

  • Impact Analysis Search to discover critical interdependencies when updating code
  • Agile SCM in the VS Code environment to enable concurrent development without risk
  • Automated CICS debug configurations within VS Code for a seamless experience without the risk of human error
  • Automated Failure Alerts with diagnostics delivered directly to Slack or Teams to speed mean time to recovery (MTTR)
  • Runaway Abend Alerts to notify operations teams when failures reach a critical threshold impacting multiple users
  • Database Schema Change Dashboard with analytics to continuously improve the delivery of database schema changes and reduce rollbacks

Equally important benefits include:

  • A modern IDE with automated analysis and an intuitive editing experience
  • A modern SCM that enables concurrent development tied into continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines
  • Shift-Left testing to find and fix defects earlier in the development lifecycle
  • Ruthless automation to handle repetitive tasks so developers can innovate

I’ve discovered during my time working in this business that evolution is vital for any organization, and the way that BMC has done this, walking the walk and talking the talk before making the name change, demonstrates more than just a commitment to better DevX. What we are saying is, “Here’s what we have already done to make your profession even more engaging and satisfying, now come and join the party.”

This is a powerful endorsement of the capacity of mainframe developers to continue to care for the engine that drives so much of peoples’ lives today, and I am thrilled to be associated with the name change quite simply because of what it already stands for. Learn more at or by watching this video.

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Mark Sigler

Mark Sigler is the Senior Director of Product Management, leading the DevOps portfolio for BMC Software. Mark is an innovator, entrepreneur and pioneer in cloud computing and agile software development. He has more than four decades experience in enterprise software and systems. Previously he led platform engineering including DevOps and SRE operations for EmployBridge, a leader in the staffing industry. Prior to that, he led product management for CloudBees CI/CD with Jenkins and Jenkins-X open source.