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Modernizing Technology: A Software Engineer's Journey with HPE NonStop at NuWave Technologies

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

~Lauren Casey

A little about me..

My name's Lauren and I'm a Software Engineer who just graduated at the end of 2022 from UW-Eau Claire. After applying to what felt like a million jobs, I found interest in a small business called NuWave Technology. A couple of interviews and conversations later, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to join NuWave and the close community they displayed. Now, I've been three months into the job and it's all I could've imagined and more. Not only am I doing front-end development, but I've also been introduced to back-end development, including HPE NonStop. Now don't get too carried away because I've only scratched the surface. But from my understanding, NonStop is a sort of operating system that is...well...non-stop.

NonStop systems are, to an extent, self-healing - when one component fails, it automatically falls back on a backup component. This fault tolerance is what's so appealing about NonStop. When you think of a business who gets revenue from transactions, if their transaction system goes down, they lose money. And lots of it. Therefore, fault tolerance protects against this, and saves businesses thousands of dollars.

What do I do?

The Nonstop OS has low-level components, the Guardian Layer and Open System Services (OSS) that run on the NonStop Kernel (NSK). Personally I work on the Guardian Layer. I've used it to run NuWave products on two architectures to make sure the product will have no issue with those architectures after the products' release date. This is extremely helpful in development and saves time on product update releases in the future. As a computer science student, I'm used to IDEs and Unix environments. Each of which has its own structure and 'key words' to get used to. With NonStop OSS being a Unix like interface, I was expecting similarities between it and the Guardian Layer. Though they are similar in their interface formatting and prompting, they differ vastly in their 'key words' and functions. This is the biggest hurdle I had to jump when beginning NonStop. NonStop isn't super intuitive, but with the services and foundation it provides I can understand why I saw it as complex initially. Nonetheless, I use NonStop to run the products I've been working on, LightWave Server and LightWave Client. Both of these applications use REST APIs. LightWave Server is a client-server middleware that provides the bridge of communication between client components and server components (on NonStop). LightWave Client allows the applications running on NonStop to securely access REST web services. This can be done on any platform or operating system.

What got me here?

For me to get out of college and find a business that uses old technology (1976 originated) and server computers to build off of, not only to elasticize but also modernize, is amazing and exactly why I chose this field. Modernizing technology is helpful so old applications/software don't go to waste, but elasticity is one of the most important things to think about when producing something. Not only are we building server-client applications off of NonStop, but programming them elastically allows us to easily be able to modernize them far in the future. This is a big issue nowadays with old technology. A lot of old technology that we try to modernize today is such a struggle because programmers made the software exactly how they wanted, without any leeway in making it flexible.

Here's an odd analogy to paint this picture for you. Imagine you bought some jeans and they fit you just right. Then a couple years go by, you live life, you gain some weight, and you find your old pair of jeans to try on again. Bad news - they don't fit. This is because the jeans you bought were made just right for you back in the day. After some time has passed and things have changed, they don't fit you anymore and quite frankly there's nothing you can do to those jeans that are going to make them fit again. If you could go back to the day you bought the jeans, what would you do? You'd buy the ones with a stretchy elastic waist. That way, after many years and many changes, they still fit just right. This is exactly what old versus modern technology is like. Old technology is the regular pair of jeans. They were made just right with no leeway - and then sold to the public. Nowadays, trying to use or modernize that old technology is difficult because there wasn't any leeway to begin with.

Modernizing technology is like adding in the elastic band in an old pair of jeans. It's not easy, but in a couple years, they're still going to work great. I love that this is what NuWave is doing with NonStop products. NuWave is using this old technology – HPE NonStop – to build off of and have businesses more easily, and further use NonStop’s amazing architecture.

My journey so far..

In the last three months, I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned about things I never covered in college, like REST APIs, HPE NonStop, DDL, APR, and so much more. I’m also furthering my understanding in React, server-client middleware, multiple programming languages, GitHub, green tech solutions, etc. The community, knowledge, and software's being used and developed in my time at NuWave so far are invaluable and I can’t wait to keep progressing with NuWave.



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