A Powerful Experience for the Mainframe Ecosystem

JimErdahl.jpgBy James Erdahl, Enterprise-wide Program Manager

Here’s a question to ask: How can you best tell if you are part of an organization that is improving and impacting the mainframe ecosystem? One key indicator comes with the events. In particular, when you experience enhancements and improvements from the previous conferences, you know that you are truly part of something powerful.

Reflecting back on SHARE San Jose, this was clearly the case — and examples were across the board. Additional features were added to the SHARE mobile app, which made it easier for many attendees. The registration process has been streamlined and takes little time.

The SHARE booth in the SHARE Technology Exchange was busier than ever. With the zNextGen Lounge, TED Talks, Educate/Network/Influence Zones and the Hack-a-thon, the booth has become a central hang-out place between interactions with vendors.

JErdahl.jpgThe week began with the return of the Saturday reception for volunteers. Many volunteers arrive early for the Sunday IBM Closed Door, project planning and All Volunteer sessions — this provided a place to renew acquaintances and make new ones.

Receptions continued throughout the week, with unique themes each night. From my picture, you can see I enjoyed the comic night by wearing a special jacket and hat.

The week of technical sessions started with an engaging keynote speaker, Connie Podesta, whose presentation left us spending the week identifying each other as Squares, Triangles, Circles or Squiggly Lines. My full time job is a storage architect, so I chose to attend over 20 sessions in the MVS Program, specifically in evolving technologies such as Cloud Storage.

With over 500 technical sessions, many times it is difficult to identify which to attend, so I look forward to reviewing other sessions with available PowerPoints online. The LAB continues to attract hundreds of attendees for hands-on experience with new technologies, as well as for sustaining education.

Tremendous progress has been made with the new requirements process to improve SHARE industry influence. The Requirements Committee has spent many hours replacing the decades-old system with a product that was already in use with a system that was developed internally and used for requirements against the SHARE website. IBM created APIs to interface the SHARE system to their Request For Enhancements (RFE) system, enabling communication in both directions. The new SHARE requirements system can also interface with other vendors.

Coverage and recap of the conference will continue in the weeks to come. Look for new articles on a range of topic coverage during the event, such as cloud storage and computing, security and more. Please contact me with other suggestions, or engage yourself and friends by writing a white paper. I encourage you to continue to network with the many associates that you met at this and past SHARE conferences.

James Erdahl is currently working as a systems architect as a member of U.S. Banks Mainframe Storage Team. Many of his duties are centered around storage replication and protection using EMC Technologies. Throughout his 41 years of professional experience, he has spent most of his time as a mainframe systems programmer, contracted out to maintain operating systems for many companies throughout the Midwest. He currently volunteers for SHARE as the SHARE-wide program manager, assisting the zNextGen and DevOps Projects, as well as the requirements team. 

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