Message from SHARE – Shaping the Future of the Mainframe

CroppedHeadshot_DonnaHudi.jpgFrom Donna Hudi, SHARE® Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer

The future is a vague concept, one that exists but we cannot see – and despite this, we love to think about it. It’s human nature to want to control our environment, and we do this by trying to predict trends, anticipate where the industry will head next, or ideate on how emerging technologies will impact our current landscape.

While we cannot control the future, we can do our best to shape it. I’d like to think that is one reason we gather for events like SHARE St. Louis. Each year is a new opportunity to learn from some of the best minds in our industry, make new connections, and maybe even solve problems in real-time by connecting with peers. We leave knowing more than we did before and return to our organizations with this knowledge – ideally making improvements and moving our industry forward as a whole.

This year at SHARE St. Louis, taking place August 12-17, there is no shortage of opportunities to learn and help shape the future of the mainframe profession.  

The keynote address on Tuesday, August 14, is one prime example. Senior executives from IBM, CA Technologies and Rocket Software will discuss the latest innovations for IBM Z® and the z/OS environment, and a panel of newly tenured mainframers will discuss what attracted them to the platform and how you can attract the next generation of developers and architects. The session will cover how open source tools and frameworks can help accelerate software development so you can meet growing business demands, too.

More than 500 technical sessions will be at your disposal throughout the week, covering pervasive encryption, cloud technology in the enterprise, data privacy, API economy, IBM Z and more. Be sure to view the agenda here.

While we know you’ll leave St. Louis with actionable insights, when it comes to shaping the future of our industry, that’s only part of the equation.

As more mainframers retire, a pervasive skills gap looms in the distance, which is why we are continuing to ramp up our efforts around SHARE Academic, engaging students – both traditional and non-traditional – who have an affinity for enterprise IT or the mainframe.

This year, Student Career Day will be part of a larger, two-day event under the SHARE Academic program. Newly added is The Z Escape, a workshop that takes inspiration from popular Escape Room games across the country. Students will role play as newly hired security professionals at a company under a massive data breach. Working through a series of puzzles and IBM Z security challenges, they will identify the source of the breach and be introduced to the many security facets of IBM Z in a hands-on way. If this sounds like a fun way to flex your skills, this workshop will also be available to regular attendees on Thursday, August 16.

SHARE Academic will also include the Hackathon, educational sessions, an employer panel and networking opportunities. I encourage you to join these networking opportunities and impart your experience with these students who are eager to learn and, hopefully, join the profession. Each conversation you have with a student holds the potential to spark a future mainframer and bridge the skills gap. You can view the agenda here, and spread the word if you know of any educators who may be interested in bringing students to the event.

I look forward to seeing you at SHARE St. Louis. Together, let’s shape the future of the mainframe.

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