Helping Bridge the Skills Gap: SHARE Heads to the City of Bridges

Pittsburgh Image.jpg

SHARE is all about, well, sharing, and I’m proud to play a part in it. I read recently that Pittsburgh is known as ‘The City of Bridges’ because it has almost 450 of them. This makes it an appropriate location for the upcoming SHARE event: appropriate for an organization that connects people and builds bridges across our industry through learning, networking and influencing.

As “big iron” comes to Steel City, I’m delighted to be presenting two sessions.

The old joke about pentesting is that it’s one of the few jobs that when you’re not successful, the client is happy. I love pentesting — it’s one of my favorite parts of the job — so it’s been a real pleasure to put together “Mainframe Pentesting Part 101 and 102” for SHARE Pittsburgh. It combines a 30-minute condensed version of my basic introduction to pentests with an all-new 60-minute intermediate section, moving into more advanced waters. This two-for-one session is designed to help people taking their first steps into this important area who will also want to go a little further.

I’ll describe what a mainframe pentest looks like before delving into the skills and techniques required, presenting nuggets drawn from my own extensive experiences and demonstrating a few tests. It’d be great to see you there: I’m presenting on Tuesday, August 6, at 11:15 a.m.

Modesty also forbids me from mentioning that my “Mainframe Pentesting 101” presentation in Phoenix received a SHARE Best of the Best Session award, which I’ll pick up in Pittsburgh.

My other session is a direct response to IBM’s earlier decision to focus development on JES2 as the “strategic” Job Entry Subsystem rather than JES3, and its announcement this February that z/OS 2.5 (expected in 2021) will be the last version of z/OS to include JES3.

Hence my presentation: “How to Tackle a JES3 to JES2 Migration and Still be Sane at the End of It.” We’re anticipating a high demand for these migrations over the next five to seven years. That’s definitely more demand than a provider like RSM Partners can satisfy, so it makes a lot of sense to be self-sufficient.

Having performed quite a few of these migrations over the years, I’ll talk people through the thought processes and technical steps required, including bumps in the road, to hopefully help folks retain at least some of their hair and sanity by the end of their JES migration journey. This is a post-lunch slot, at 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, August 8, so I’ll be doing my best to keep you all awake and entertained.

Speaking of being kept awake and entertained: from big iron to heavy metal, I’m about to jump into my camper van and head to the Download rock festival in the UK, with headliners including Def Leppard, Slipknot, and Whitesnake. Wish me luck. If I survive the mud and rain, I’ll see you at SHARE Pittsburgh.


An international speaker in mainframe security and technology, and a passionate advocate of all things IBM Z, Mark Wilson heads RSM Partners' Technical and Security teams.

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