Evangelizing Mainframe
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Connect With the Community at the VM Workshop

In April I wrote a blog post regarding my experience at the Anaheim SHARE, meeting up with old IBM and IBM Business Partner colleagues, customers and the z community at large. It felt good being recognized and catching up with these people, some of which I just met, others that I have known and worked with for 30 years.

In talking to a longtime friend and community member recently, I was alerted to another opportunity to get back to the community, while being brought up to date on some of the latest technical and strategic information around VM/ESA and Linux on z.

This educational opportunity—the VM Workshop—is Thursday to Saturday in North Carolina and represents the fourth edition of this workshop, of which the first I was able to attend at Ohio State University. In fact, IBM sent me to speak about the Destination z community and the Academic Initiative program for System z. I realize the event is this week so many won't be able to make plans to attend this year, but I wanted to make the community aware of it for the future.

Now, back to the community theme, at that first VM Workshop I was able to bring my daughter as I was helping her move to Virginia. Instead of leaving her alone, I asked her to come along. She had a great time there and, though she is an architect and not an IT personality, she was well received and the attendees at the workshop accepted her as if she were family.

Thus is the nature of the community, and I recently learned that several of the now retired IBMers’ who I had the pleasure of working with from 1989 on, will be attending the workshop to reconnect with friends, co-workers and, in some cases, their families, and to volunteer their time to make the event a success for those who are currently still working day-to-day on their VM or Linux systems on the mainframe we all grew to love.

If you are in need of fellowship and some rather inexpensive education, you have two weeks to find your way to Greensboro, North Carolina. I’d like to say I’ll see you there but, alas, I can’t make it this year. But next year, now that’s a different story!

Marc Smith spent 28 of 33 years at IBM as a member of the mainframe System 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/ESA and z/VM until moving into marketing and channel enablement positions within the System 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: 6/24/2014 12:25:16 AM by Marc Smith | with 3 comments

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Just re-read this after Gabe's comments. Can't believe I used VM/ESA instead of z/VM... I beg forgiveness!
Posted: 7/23/2014 4:06:59 PM by Marc
Bingo! Everything in this article is spot on. I just returned from great VM Workshop at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University in Greensboro, North Carolina. About 120 people enjoyed NC hospitality and dawn-to-late-night immersion in all-things-VM. The Workshop committee (chaired until end of event by Chicago's Mike Walter) did a great job on program sessions, logistics, catering, etc. -- all for the bargain cost of $100 for event and $50/night dorm accommodations. I enjoyed catching up with many old friends from SHARE, past Workshops, local user groups, etc., hearing about current and future VM technologies, and seeing a roster of NCA&T students looking forward to mainframe careers.
Posted: 6/29/2014 12:46:08 PM by Gabriel Goldberg
Oops, last paragraph should have said 2 days, not two weeks. If you want to go, now is the time! :-)
Posted: 6/26/2014 3:26:48 PM by Marc