Why some Information Technologies remain relevant after many decades?

Mainframes

Why are mainframes still relevant?

Credit: Great Images in NASA, Public Domain

Structured Query Language (SQL)

Why is SQL still relevant?

API (Application Programming Interfaces)

Why are APIs still relevant?

C

Credit: A chronology of selected programming languages by Brian Hayes

Why is C still relevant?

Credits: By MediaNik — Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Email

Why is email still relevant?

Conclusion

  • Reliable and high performing across decades makes it hard to justify the change
  • Portability and efficiency makes it easy to spread in many solutions
  • Simple to use gains users attention and produces a network effect in which if you have it, I want to have it
  • High levels of abstraction between what you want and how to do it
  • Interfaces offer high levels of abstraction between computers, computer programs and organisations
  • Abstraction and decoupling offer great longevity to resolve problems due to the ability to replace the implementation without impacting the abstraction itself

Your view

References

  • [1] Software Technologies that Stand the Test of Time - GOTO 2021
  • [2] IBM mainframe from Wikipedia
  • [3] Why the mainframe is alive and thriving by Ray Wang
  • [4] SQL from Wikipedia
  • [5] SQL is 43 years old — here are 8 reasons we still use it today
  • [6] API from Wikipedia
  • [7] C (programming language) from Wikipedia

Disclaimers

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