Evangelizing Mainframe
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Skills and Training Improvement Opportunities

If you have been following my prior Destinationz blog posts, you will know that I’m an advocate for spreading the word to students regarding the growing skills needs surrounding the mainframe.

With the introduction of the IBM z14 system and its pervasive encryption, the importance of the platform to existing users, and perhaps new users who recognize the threats that data loss presents, will potentially increase. With that in mind, employers who also see the threat of their aging workforce, and those employers who don’t yet have their new mainframes staffed, will need to start bringing in next-geners to start ramping up their skills.

I recently visited Houston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, to help students to better understand what is a mainframe, who uses the mainframe, and what employment opportunities are out there? Using my recently updated “IT’s Best Kept Secret” presentation, I was able to help students to understand the opportunities they could have should they want to pursue mainframe topics through-out their college careers.

The student’s feedback was that though they are currently taking an introduction to the mainframe course, they didn’t realize how pervasive, secure and important the platform is to businesses, and were excited that they could now relate what their professor was showing them to the opportunities that may be available to them upon graduation.

VM Workshop Information

Switching educational gears, as a volunteer committee member of the upcoming VM Workshop that will be held on the campus of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University in Greensboro, N.C., I would like to remind readers that this low-cost, three-day workshop—which covers topics on z/VM, z/VSE and Linux on IBM Z—is now taking attendee registration. For those of you who would like to share your experience, ideas and inventions, we are also taking session submissions for presenters.

The Workshop will convene from June 28th to 30th. At a bargain rate of $100 until April 30, $130 after for all three days (plus other benefits), this event is perfect for all experienced levels including new hires, recently hired and even students.


Marc I. Smith is a Mainframe Educational Programs Consultant with ProTech Training. He spent 28 of 33 years at IBM as a member of the IBM Z community. He began his mainframe career working with VM/HPO and VM/ESA development before moving on to planning and managing VM Early Support Programs (ESPs), marketing z/VSE and z/VM until moving into marketing and channel enablement positions within the IBM Z hardware family. He is one of the team members who brought Destination z into existence and managed the online community until his retirement from IBM in 2012.

Posted: 4/13/2018 8:40:28 AM by Marc Smith

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