Tribute for Vern Watts

Vern was a very dedicated person.  He was very knowledgeable in IMS and he had an extremely good memory.  Vern was always willing and ready to help. 

A few years ago, we had an APAR party.  For those that do not work in IMS, an APAR is a problem with the product reported by an IMS customer. An APAR party is created every time the number of APARs in the backlog is too high. When an APAR party is declared, development suspends current development activities and works solely on APARs to drive the APAR backlog down. 

Since I work in IMS Fast Path, the other IMS Database department, I was asked to help out IMS Full Function Database department.  Even though Fast Path and Full Function Database are both databases, the internal structures are completely different.  I had this one DB APAR that was so complex that I had no idea conceptually what it needed to be fixed.  I looked at the documentation submitted for the problem, read a lot of code, and still did not understand what was causing the problem. 

I realized that I needed to understand how it should work conceptually before I could try to fix the problem.  I consulted with Vern on my APAR.  Vern was very knowledgeable and very helpful.  He explained to me in detail how the function should work conceptually.   With Vern’s help and many more hours of looking at the documentation and investigating the code, I was able to find the source of the problem and fixed the APAR.    

Vern will always be remembered as an IMS ICON in our hearts.  We all miss him.  We are very grateful for everything that Vern had done for the success of IMS.  Thanks Vern!!!  

Judy Tse
IMS Fast Path Development