ADRIENNE A. DiPRIMA
Data Center Director
Miami-Dade County, Information Technology Department
Years in IT—
My first mainframe job—
COBOL Applications Programmer
My favorite mainframe memory—
My most “fun” memories are changing out the lightbulb covers on the command console at Christmas time to flash all red and green, and writing Assembler programs to make the impact printer “sing” Christmas carols!
In 1965 when I was in high school, my godmother was working for Bell Telephone. That year Bell was upgrading all their phone centers to “computerized” line switching and they required every manager to complete a self-study course in computer “concepts.” For her, this was such a culture change and a conceptual leap that she just could not get her head around it all, so since I was a math junkie she figured I could help her with her homework. From the moment I saw my first diagram of a ferrous core with those four wires running through it, I was hooked. It has been a love affair that has outlasted everything else in my life.
I chose to attend college at Carnegie Institute of Technology because they actually had a “time sharing” agreement to use THE MAINFRAME at Dartmouth University—in 1966 there were very few campuses that had even this small opportunity to actually use a real computer. My first mainframe programming job was on a HONEYWELL-116 mainframe at Southern Motor Carriers Rate Conference in Atlanta in 1971. I think I actually got the job because I was able to carry a “full stack” of 5081-cards from the sorter in the card-room to the computer room and load them into the card reader without dropping any! In 1972 I got my first IBM DOS Mainframe programming job at Deltona Corp in Miami. I “upgraded” to IBM MVS at Southeast Bank in 1977, and then found my “permanent” home with Miami-Dade County in 1980: an IT shop with 700-plus staff supporting Computer, Telephone and Radio Communications services.
I am currently the Director of the Data Center Division, a job which has me managing the physical infrastructure at five data centers located in the Miami-Dade County area, coordinating a team of 80-plus professional—including high-speed printer operators, mainframe console operators, operating systems programmers and mid-level managers all of whom keep our infrastructure of IBM Mainframes, IBM P-Series, IBM I-Series, Wintel Blades, XenServer Blades, VMWare Blades, Tape, Disk & SSD storage subsystems up and running 24-7 with five-nines reliability to keep ALL the functions of our County Services available for our citizens and our visitors.