Dr. Frank Soltis inspires on iChime

During our February iChime meeting, the legendary Dr. Frank Soltis, who holds multiple hardware patents, took us through the high points and milestones of his fascinating 40-year career as an IBM chief scientist. This included, most notably to many, as chief architect for the AS/400. To record-breaking virtual attendance, he shared stories of evolution and emergence in terms of technological trends, culture, thought processes and cutting-edge machine design as well as insights to his own pioneer mindset and trail-blazing architectural activity.

Dr. Frank shared details of his journey, when, as a newly hired IBM systems architect working on the System/3(X) midrange business platform line, he was tasked with designing its next iteration as chief architect of the System/38. In line with innovation he had entertained while pursuing his Ph.D., Dr. Frank envisioned a single-level store methodology as, in summary, the least complex and most capable, and efficient way to proceed toward the future, especially with speed, adaptability and multiple-user functionality in mind.

When asked what the key to the AS/400’s success early on was, Dr. Frank attributed it largely to user groups, industry conferences, and also credited business-partners and customer advocacy.

Dr. Frank was a most engaging and inspiring guest.  As we approached the end of our meeting, many attendees “chimed-in” to personally thank Dr. Frank for the system which launched so many careers.  He was certain to remind us all, it was indeed a concerted effort with many, many people to thank; that a project of this scale could never be attributed to any one person. What a wonderful testament to IBM’s management and team collaboration. To read more about Dr. Frank, visit his Wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Soltis.

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Published by Charles Guarino

Charles Guarino believes in the “power” of IBM Power Systems. His career reflects his interest in bringing the platform and its solutions to others. Charles started his professional journey as a department of one. Today, he is serving individuals on a worldwide basis though his consulting work and award-winning speaking engagements. Charles is a true people person and can often be found at conferences sharing his expertise in RDi and other IBM i topics. Reach out to Charles through his company, Central Park Data Systems, at [email protected]. He looks forward to hearing from you.