July 21, 2021

How AI can support maintenance of aging government systems

Phase Change President Steve Brothers recently authored a contributed article for Nextgov.com about how artificial intelligence (AI) tools can help governments deal with the mainframe-developers skills shortage and continue to maintain critical legacy systems.

The article, How AI Can Help with Critical Government System Maintenance Needs, describes how we should change the current industry strategy of solving the skills crisis by simply increasing the number of programmers with legacy language skills.

Brothers' article explains why the problem isn't just language skills, it's the lack of application knowledge to productively maintain applications. Supporting applications is very different than creating them. Defects are discovered through behaviors, which the developer must trace back to the flawed source code. The defective code and its dependencies can be spread throughout the codebase in multiple modules and repositories. Without the application knowledge to know how the system works, maintenance becomes an unproductive scavenger hunt. Then the developer must discover how the repair will impact the rest of the system.

AI tools help developers locate and isolate defective code by conceptualizing code computations at machine speed. It eliminates code unrelated to the bad behavior and enables the developer to find and focus on defects. Then the AI simulates running the repaired code to determine change impact so the developer is confident his work won't negatively affect the application.

Read the entire article here.

Todd Erickson is a Technology Writer with Phase Change. You can reach him at terickson@phasechange.ai.

May 25, 2021

Leveraging AI to close the application knowledge gap

May 25, 2021

by Todd Erickson

Although the modern enterprise moves quickly to adopt and support helpful new technologies, most organizations must continue to rely on their legacy systems for core functions. Legacy applications struggle to evolve fast enough to support shifting and evolving organization demands. The companies frequently try alternate strategies to keep pace, such as building on top of existing applications or moving them to other platforms, but these approaches only complicate another risk -- the software developer shortage.

On May 19, BetaNews.com published the article, "Leveraging AI to close the application knowledge gap," which was written by Phase Change President Steve Brothers. The story explains how the software-developer shortage forces many companies to work around legacy applications when they lose the expert developers that built and maintained them, and how those word-arounds can produce disastrous results for the organizations' bottom lines and reputations.

Steve also describes how artificial intelligence (AI) can reinterpret what source-code computations represent and convert them into concepts so developers no longer have to research and discern the original developers' intent. This enables new developers to quickly understand the applications' behaviors, and with that knowledge, the AI can quickly guide developers to the precise area of code where changes need to be made.

Read the full story here.

Todd Erickson is a Technology Writer with Phase Change. You can reach him at terickson@phasechange.ai.

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