Evangelizing Mainframe
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SHARE Winter Conference, I was there!

This year’s spring SHARE conference was held in San Antonio, Texas. In that my home is in Round Rock, Texas—about 18 miles North of Austin and about 90 miles from San Antonio—I was given an opportunity to come down to meet the Destination z (Dz) team and help out at the Dz booth. I cherish these opportunities to reconnect with the z community in person and checking in on the IBMers, vendors and mainframe users I used to work with over my years at IBM. I was enlightened to see how many people had changed jobs or even changed companies, and yet continue to gravitate to the mainframe.

What’s in a hug? I find it interesting that when I started with IBM in 1979, a business greeting consisted of a handshake only, yet through the years since, the hug has become more mainstream in business. Not so much for new acquaintances, but certainly for people who have worked together for years, and are reunited after long absences. In regards to the z community, to me those hugs represent the history and significance of the community as a family. That said, attending two days at the SHARE conference provided me with enough hugs to make me realize just how much one might miss the z community.

At this point I would be remiss if I were to not highlight an upcoming opportunity for the community to gather, which is the 2016 VMWorkshop in June. The workshop will be held this year at Rutgers University, is still priced at $100, and still includes some meals, beverages and a polo shirt! Most important of course for those still working on z Systems, is the educational sessions being offered in z/VM, z/VSE and Linux on z Systems. So, for those of you who want inexpensive, up-to-date training on these OSes, the Workshop is a must do. For those of you like me who want to connect or reconnect with the community, regardless of the training, where else can you go to catch up with all your favorite z people?

Of course there are other events such as SHARE, IBM, IBM Business Partner, and other sponsored conferences that you can attend, and many of these are listed on the DzInsider e-newsletter, IBM Systems Magazine and IBM websites.

Until next time, have a great “z” day.

Marc Smith spent 28 of 33 years at IBM as a member of the mainframe z Systems community. He began his mainframe career working with VM/HPO and VM/ESA development before moving on to planning and managing VM Early Support Programs (ESPs), marketing z/VSE and z/VM until moving into marketing and channel enablement positions within the System z (now z Systems) hardware family. He is one of the team members who brought Destination z into existence and managed the online community until his retirement from IBM in 2012.

Posted: 5/31/2016 9:33:47 AM by Marc Smith

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