Message from SHARE: Celebration, Reflection, and SHARE’s Core Mission

From Justin Bastin, SHARE President 

It seems like only yesterday we gathered in St. Louis for a week of in-depth technical sessions and networking. As we approach the end of January, the countdown to SHARE Phoenix (March 10-15) is well underway. While we prepare for the first conference of 2019, I want to share important updates regarding how we present the Status of SHARE session, a few notes on tracks at SHARE Phoenix, and a reflection on SHARE’s core mission as we start a new year.

Status of SHARE Is Going Virtual

The Status of SHARE is one of our longest-running sessions, having originated in the association’s early days. Traditionally this meeting is held onsite at conferences, with the board of directors reporting on the association’s activities, and fielding questions from delegates and attendees. This year, we are splitting the session into two parts: the first onsite at SHARE Phoenix, and the second a few weeks later held virtually.

The onsite session will largely remain the same. The virtual session will primarily focus on the financial status of SHARE and provide delegates* an opportunity to submit questions for the board of directors to answer. This will allow the board of directors to give clearer insight into the association’s finances post-conference and answer questions from delegates. Holding a virtual session also improves accessibility, especially for those who cannot join in Phoenix. More information will be available via SHARE’d Intelligence in the weeks to come.

Two Tracks to Look for at SHARE Phoenix

I hope you’re reviewing the SHARE Phoenix technical agenda and marking “must attend” sessions. Specifically, I’d like to spotlight two new conference tracks: Women in Technology, and Open Source and Zowe.

Women in Technology sessions will include roundtable discussions and panels featuring women who will share real-life examples of their experience in the field. It’s no secret that the industry has a prevalent gender gap, and one way to start overcoming that gap is through education and discussion. I encourage all attendees to come to these sessions and join the conversation. Just as technical education is vital to our daily work, so too are sessions that bring to light cultural awareness and a focus on professional development. 

With the launch of Zowe at SHARE St. Louis, many of you are likely interested in learning more about the project, as well as the greater topic of open source on the mainframe. Open source projects like Zowe allow the industry to bring new functionality to the mainframe and introduce a new wave of people to the platform. With projects like Zowe, those who are interested in modern programming languages are able to code on an IBM Z platform they may not have interfaced with before. We’re excited to continue to explore this further at SHARE Phoenix.

Reflecting on Our Core Mission

One thing I hear from many people in the industry is whether or not the mainframe will continue to evolve and remain relevant. It’s a reasonable concern, but I strongly believe in the sustainability of the platform and those who support it. The key is to remember that we, the SHARE community, continue to be part of the solution, through our guiding pillars:  

  • Educate: SHARE has a wealth of information to learn from, whether through monthly webinars, online content, or in-person education at conferences. With over 500 technical sessions at SHARE Phoenix – covering topics like pervasive encryption, cloud technology, and data privacy, to name a few – it is my hope that everyone walks away learning something new they can apply to their work the next week.
  • Network: By meeting those outside your normal circle, you may find your peers face the same challenges as you, and may even have solutions to offer down the road.
  • Influence: SHARE is unique in that it offers its members the ability to truly influence the industry by giving its members a voice to suggest new IBM requirements. I encourage you to learn more about the process here.

The SHARE leadership is incredibly proud of the work of our volunteers – who dedicate time and talent outside of their busy schedules – to ensure SHARE continues to be the go-to resource for enterprise IT professionals. We look forward to the year ahead and hope to see you in Phoenix.

*Please see the SHARE Association Bylaws, Article 2, for a definition of delegate, as well as other related terms.

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