It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our friend and board member Ray Wicks on November 27, 2018. Ray was a frequent contributor, volunteer, and speaker for CMG. In 2000, he won the prestigious A. A. Michelson Award for the Advancement of Computer Systems. CMG would like to pass on their condolences to the friends and family of Ray Wicks.
From Ray Wicks' A.A. Michelson Award Nomination:
Ray Wicks has made significant contributions to the profession of computer measurement, capacity planning and performance management. His contributions have spanned more than the last 30 years. Ray didn’t wait to make his mark on measurement. Starting in 1968 when he went to work at IBM Poughkeepsie, Ray developed the predecessor to GTF (Generalized Trace Facility). This internal award-winning tool was used to trace the MVS Trace Table for performance analysis. Before leaving Poughkeepsie, Ray worked on the design of a proprietary external hardware monitor still used today to correlate hardware and software events.
In 1979, Ray left Poughkeepsie for London where he was part of the development of the Balanced Systemsconcepts that were first published in 1980 in an IBM Technical Report. Upon his return in 1981, Ray became part of the IBM Washington Systems Center (WSC) until the present time. Here, Ray began a long tradition of sharing his knowledge, approach and thrill in the pursuit of capacity and performance measurement.
No longer did only IBM employees know Ray’s enthusiasm. At the WSC, Ray got to influence the entire world of capacity and performance measurement. He wrote and published many manuals and papers; he taught classes; and he constantly presents at CMG, SHARE, GUIDE and other conferences around the world every year. His approach of Balanced Systemscreated the foundation of performance and capacity that is still taught to IBM Systems Engineers, Consultants, and specialists. Ray’s work is not just theoretical; he was part of the IBM team that implemented and supported the CP80 and CP90 tools as they were developed and evolved as host-based tools.
However, in the late 1990’s IBM saw the need for a new tool for their employees and partners that was workstation based. Ray took on the challenge and as the chief architect and designer of CP2000 he created a tool that is today in use throughout IBM Corporation with plans in place to make it a program product. Ray’s contribution did not stop at design since he also coded a significant portion of the CP2000 tool.
Ray still is going and contributing even after retirement, as he is currently working for IBM supporting the CP2000 tool and its planned enhancements. In addition, starting in 1999, Ray has been a “Visiting Scholar” at University of Maryland’s Honors College where he offered a course in Conceptual Structures called “In Search of Truth” which will be repeated again in the Fall of 2000.
No doubt Ray Wicks is one of the exceptional few that can conceptualize a new idea, transform it to reality and inspire others to embrace it. His contribution to our field is enormous and persistent.