Mainframe Blog

Gathering Clues in a Fraction of a Second—Batters and Developers

2 minute read
Mark Schettenhelm

I was recently at a Detroit Tigers baseball game with my fellow BMC product managers. Watching the pitchers and batters, I was struck once again by the speed with which the batter must decide whether or not to swing at the ball. In a split second, the batter must gather and process data, then act. Really, the process isn’t all that much different from how our systems respond to abends.

It has been determined that a fastball takes about four-tenths of a second to travel from the pitcher to home plate. A batter needs about a quarter second to see the pitcher’s grip on the ball, where they let go of it, and where it’s travelling—and then make their decision.

A similar split-second gathering of information needs to be done when abends occur. Before the data is gone, all the clues need to be located and saved for presentation. There is an urgency to gather the information, and then present it to the developer.

A batter’s decision making is based on experience and the ability to understand the pitcher’s tendencies; their stance, how they pitch in certain situations, etc. Players look at scouting reports and discuss pitchers before the game so they have some idea of what to expect, based on past performance. BMC AMI DevX Abend-AID uses a similar approach, sharing knowledge and notes of your “opponent”—the abend. Abend-AID is able to leverage decades of experience to help developers quickly diagnose and resolve abends.

The urgency in gathering information is carried forward to notifications. When users are being affected, you need to get developers assigned to the issue, armed with the right information, as soon as possible. Abend-AID provides a new ability to send rapid alerts to Slack or Microsoft Teams, or create trouble tickets. In the time it takes for a baseball to reach the plate, you can have an alert on your phone with a link to the report.

BMC user experience designer Chris Malin, who was sitting next to me at the game, had this to say, “Just like pitchers in baseball, today’s software development and operations teams can win or lose based on velocity. The mainframe is the backbone of web and mobile applications…and seconds matter. Modern software practices, like DevOps, are designed to help improve velocity, quality, and efficiency. Abend-AID’s ability to gather and present information to developers and operations teams immediately, in a modern way, provides teams the ability to speedily react and respond; keeping their critical applications up and running.”

Just as batters are able to collect data, process it, and react in fractions of a second, Abend-AID is able to gather information and present a report that notifies developers of an abend and shares root cause analysis for them to resolve it. The good thing for you is that Abend-AID has a higher percentage of success than even the very best batters. Learn more on the BMC AMI DevX Abend-AID web page.

Accelerating the Mainframe to the Speed of DevOps

Enable speed, quality, and efficiency throughout the Mainframe DevOps lifecycle

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

See an error or have a suggestion? Please let us know by emailing

BMC Brings the A-Game

BMC works with 86% of the Forbes Global 50 and customers and partners around the world to create their future. With our history of innovation, industry-leading automation, operations, and service management solutions, combined with unmatched flexibility, we help organizations free up time and space to become an Autonomous Digital Enterprise that conquers the opportunities ahead.
Learn more about BMC ›

About the author

Mark Schettenhelm

Mark is a DevOps Evangelist and Lead Product Manager at BMC who has experience working with developers around the world in Source Control Management, Testing, DevOps and Application Portfolio Analysis. He is a frequent conference speaker, webinar presenter, blogger, and columnist, often explaining the benefits of bringing Agile and DevOps to mainframe development and encouraging development teams to adopt new methodologies and continuously improve.

His writing has appeared in Enterprise Executive and Enterprise Tech Journal and he is a frequent contributor to and SHARE Tech Watch. Mark is currently the Lead Product Manager for BMC products in Source Control Management, Deploy, Code and Fault Analysis.