Serving on the Board of Directors is rounding out my experience and appreciation of SHARE — as a vendor, sponsor, speaker, volunteer, founding member of its Women in IT Initiative, and now as Director of Industry Influence and chair of the Editorial Advisory Committee. In my first few months on the Board, I have learned a lot about the power and influence of our association.
Posted December 14, 2020
SHARE is well known for its twice annual events in which presenters offer educational and technical sessions on everything mainframe. In an expansion of its year-round education strategy, SHARE Nibbles offers short, digestible content to members similar to how-to videos on YouTube. These 10-minutes or less tutorials, created by users, will present a quick learning opportunity for IT enterprise questions.
Posted November 30, 2020
Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, progress toward gender parity in the U.S. workplace was moving in the right direction, but as more companies strove to remain productive through remote work and other means, gender parity progress has slowed or halted, according to McKinsey's "Women in the Workplace 2020" report.
Posted November 16, 2020
With SHARE Virtual 2020: Power-on Reset (Sept. 22-24 and Sept. 29-Oct.1) in the books, many of the hottest sessions ran the gamut from the z/OS Keynote and MVS Program opening to z/OS containers and Git for ISPF to PDSE Pitstop and hidden treasures of z/OS. Here, we explore the Top 15 sessions - by attendance - for SHARE Virtual 2020.
Posted November 02, 2020
As SHARE turns 65 and the mainframe turns 56, it's significant that Moore's Law has been around for 55 of those years — since 1965. Over the last five decades, the world of computing has come to rely on ever-denser and faster computing technology to mitigate the constantly increasing amount of functionality packed into a given amount of capacity and response time.
Posted October 19, 2020
For the past several years, I have volunteered to mentor students participating in the Master the Mainframe (MtM) student competition, IBM's premiere activity to introduce students—secondary and post-secondary—to the IBM Z ecosystem. I have found it very rewarding, personally, work with students learning about the best platform for enterprises and become interested in pursuing a career on the platform.
Posted October 05, 2020
Prior to the IBM z10, applications achieved significant performance improvements from hardware upgrades, but as processing power has increased through new hardware features, such as new instruction sets, applications compiled with Enterprise COBOL v.4 and all earlier compilers are unable to exploit these new facilities and are not running efficiently on modern Z systems.
Posted September 21, 2020
With IBM's pervasive encryption technology on their z14 and z15 mainframes, you can transparently encrypt data sets and Coupling Facility (CF) structures at low cost on z/OS. While this is an attractive feature, exploiting pervasive encryption is not as simple as flipping a switch.
Posted September 08, 2020
Why is defending the mainframe so difficult? One reason is that many people do not fully understand what is meant by the term "mainframe." Ubiquitous computing leads many to believe that the mainframe is an amorphous type of computer from the mid-20th century that was made obsolete by laptop computers and mobile technologies.
Posted August 24, 2020
Digital certificates are equivalent to a website's identification card, or driver's license, ensuring that a website is real and not a scam website attempting to steal users' personal information, such as credit card numbers. At SHARE Fort Worth, Broadcom software engineers Seamus Hayes and Jamieson Walker explained that digital certificates also contain a cryptographic key that can be used to send encrypted messages to the server, allowing for private, secure communication.
Posted August 10, 2020
For 60 years, COBOL has been the cornerstone language for application development on mainframes. It effectively engages in large-scale batch and transaction processing jobs at a number of companies, government organizations, and other firms.
Posted July 27, 2020
COVID-19 may have changed the economic landscape, but the reality is that companies still need to hire top technical talent to secure their mainframes and ensure their systems continue to operate at their optimum.
Posted July 13, 2020
As you probably already know, the SHARE summer conference, scheduled for Boston, will not occur. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the cancellation of all gatherings in Boston for the summer, up to and including Labor Day. However, that doesn't mean that SHARE is going to miss out on an opportunity to fulfill our mission.
Posted June 29, 2020
The guiding principle of SHARE has always been its motto: SHARE: It's not an acronym, it's what we do. With more than half a century of history, the organization has a wide range of technical expertise at its fingertips.
Posted June 15, 2020
To be a champion in any field, a person has to have the drive and curiosity to strive for more, but they also have to be passionate about their work and advocate for the advancement of the field. This is particularly true in the IT community where technology evolves quickly.
Posted June 01, 2020
Successful organizations and companies have well-trained workers at their foundation. Training is not only essential for new workers, but also for existing employees to refresh their knowledge, especially when new technologies are adopted or greater responsibilities are expected in a new role.
Posted May 18, 2020
The IBM Master the Mainframe competition may be 15 years old, but it shows no signs of slowing down. There was a 40% surge in contest registrations to more than 25,500 participants in 2019, and participants came from nearly 4,000 schools and 154 countries.
Posted May 04, 2020
SHARE Pittsburgh Best of the Best Session Winner, Dusty Rivers, director of z Systems Software: IMS & CICS at GT Software and SHARE program manager for IMGT, says implementing application programmable interfaces (APIs) at IMS installations can be as simple as knowing what issues you'll run into before you run into them.
Posted April 20, 2020
Mainframe systems are the backbone of finance, health care, and many other industries, which is why the reliability of those systems is paramount.
Posted April 06, 2020
More than 1,300 attendees convened last month in Cowtown for SHARE Fort Worth (Feb. 23-28). Attendees heard the latest scoop on IBM z15 and a variety of other hot topics in enterprise IT.
Posted March 23, 2020
In the session, Transforming Z Applications with APIs, CI/CD and Modern Languages, SHARE Phoenix Best Session winner Keith Wilson, technical architect at USAA, laid out USAA's journey in transforming its critical enterprise applications running on the Z platform to participate in its API ecosystem.
Posted March 09, 2020
At SHARE Fort Worth (Feb. 23-28, 2020), Illinois State University Distinguished Professor Dr. Anu Gokhale's session, Creative Strategies for Fostering an Inclusive Workplace, will help attendees identify talent gaps in the workplace and foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
Posted February 24, 2020
Kris Paronto, a former Army Ranger from 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment and private security contractor, is an American hero who knows the value of a strong, reliable team.
Posted February 10, 2020
With the rise of cloud computing and the entrance of major technology companies like IBM into the container market, IBM Z installations need to understand how the mainframe can participate in these ecosystems. At SHARE Fort Worth 2020, there will be several sessions on the new industry standard footprint z15 system, designed for enhanced modularity.
Posted January 27, 2020
Like the cowboys of the 19th century, SHARE Fort Worth (Feb. 23-28, 2020) continues the tradition of cattle trading in Cowtown, with a twist: exchanging knowledge through technical education sessions and networking.
Posted January 13, 2020
As security breaches continue to make headlines, it's clear that businesses need to rethink their cybersecurity strategies. Security-conscious industries strive to keep abreast of the latest tools and research.
Posted December 09, 2019
I've always said, it's never been a better time to be on the mainframe. At SHARE Pittsburgh, I could feel the excitement of attendees who are motivated now more than ever to be part of this platform and ecosystem. Since then a lot has been happening.
Posted November 25, 2019
With her mom and uncle working at Honeywell and a slight nudge from her mom to take college courses in computing, Jeanne Glass, founder and CEO of VirtualZ Computing, began her exploration of technology early on.
Posted November 11, 2019
Maria Boonie, vice president of offering management for IBM Z and LinuxONE at IBM, loves to tinker, just like her father, an engineer at United Technologies. Her family, which includes three brothers, often spent time together taking things apart and putting them back together.
Posted October 28, 2019
COBOL is a technology that at times has seemed stale to some misguided analysts, but actually has a track record of improvement and resilience. The first standard for the COmmon Business-Oriented Language was approved and released by the Conference On Data Systems Languages (CODASYL) Committee in September 1959.
Posted October 14, 2019
As current mainframe professionals begin to retire, the industry faces a skills gap. But there is hope: IBM partnered with the Consumer Technology Association earlier this year to launch the CTA Apprenticeship Coalition to create thousands of new apprenticeships in 20 states.
Posted September 30, 2019
Lisa Wood, chief marketing officer at VirtualZ Computing, fell into technology when her financial services employer told her that the entire management training program and staff would need to learn how to use new software and a computer. "The box landed on my desk, and my boss said, ‘Looks like we need to learn how to use these things,'" she recalls. "There was no IT department, training class, tech support, or YouTube videos. I taught myself everything I could about the software and computer; I took it apart and put it back together with tools I brought to work." Wood adds, "That experience kicked off a career-long love affair with IT."
Posted September 16, 2019
Security risk has in the past few years gained attention by organizations around the world regardless of size. Some, obviously, give it more importance than others, but all recognize that addressing security should be part of their risk strategy.
Posted September 03, 2019
Watson & Walker, Inc. CEO and co-founder Cheryl Watson has been an IBM mainframe enthusiast since she discovered her love of computers at Portland State University in 1965. Upon graduation, Watson began her career as a trainee programmer at Consolidated Freightways using 1401/7010 Autocoder, then assembler and COBOL. She was on the system programming team when their first IBM System/360 was installed, and has followed the mainframe's evolution.
Posted August 19, 2019
SHARE events offer a variety of sessions with experts eager to share their knowledge, ranging from the latest software updates to applications and mainframe hardware. Mainframe hardware is the backbone of the industry, but often new tracks at SHARE events highlight new trends in technology.
Posted August 05, 2019
This year at SHARE Pittsburgh (Aug. 4-9), the CICS Project will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its namesake. This anniversary is just one milestone in the long history of the CICS, including its use at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, the addition of web support in 1999, and the introduction of continuous delivery in 2015.
Posted July 22, 2019
Pittsburgh is known as ‘The City of Bridges' because it has so many of them. This makes it an appropriate location for the upcoming SHARE event: an organization that connects people and builds bridges across the industry.
Posted July 08, 2019
Many people believe that seven is a magic number, perhaps the world's favorite number. Leanne Wilson is one to agree, as she's been a security consultant with RSM Partners for seven years. However, a magic number can only carry you so far.
Posted June 24, 2019
Across the United States, colleges and schools are renewing efforts to encourage women of all ages to enter science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. As companies look to fill their technology-based job openings, many have embarked on diversity initiatives to expand their employee base and talent pipelines.
Posted June 10, 2019
SHARE launched the Women in IT initiative at this year's event in Phoenix, which SHARE Vice President Martha McConaghy previously introduced in the February message from SHARE. She explained that the track would develop a more permanent community for the women in the mainframe industry.
Posted May 28, 2019
The Government Accountability Office's (GAO) 2018 report, "Information Technology: IRS Needs to Take Additional Actions to Address Significant Risks to Tax Processing," calls into question the viability of the mainframe as the system of record for governmental systems. It also cites a shortage of human resources with critical skills.
Posted May 13, 2019
What did the "father of HLASM" and one of the great supporters of SHARE indicate was a key ingredient of success in the mainframe ecosystem? The fun of the mainframe! As anyone who knew Dr. John Ehrman realized, not only did he care deeply about everything he was committed to, he also had fun with it.
Posted April 29, 2019
The SHARE Phoenix event drew a record 380 first-time attendees. First-time attendance has risen steadily, from 214 at the 2017 San Jose meeting to 320 in St. Louis in 2018. Before their arrival, first-time attendees received a dedicated email to help them navigate the Phoenix event, and a "roadmap" with suggested sessions, such as "Early Professionals Pursuing Mainframe Careers? Absolutely!" and "Hybrid Cloud for IBM Z Systems with Live Demo."
Posted April 15, 2019
Blockchain strives to eliminate the need for middlemen by building trust between business parties, automating certain transaction processes, securing transaction data, and reducing costs across the board by creating an immutable ledger or log of transactions or data. Blockchain can simplify the way business is conducted, but it is not a replacement for the database systems in place today.
Posted April 01, 2019
SHARE Past President Anne Caluori is working to collect and catalog important documents from SHARE's more-than-60 years of history. Many of SHARE's long-standing member organizations participated in key working groups, producing white papers, cooperating in technical task forces, and developing presentations that, in retrospect, have influenced the complex computing industry from the 1960's to today.
Posted March 18, 2019
Since the 1950s, open access to source code has been used to create or adapt software for use on the mainframe to meet the needs of individual businesses. Sam Golob, maintainer of the CBT Tape (a collection of donated open source software for z/OS), says there are components of the z/OS operating system that are over 40 years old, but over time the code has changed and improvements were made either through updates from IBM or open access to the source code.
Posted March 04, 2019
Mainframes are the backbone of many systems across the globe. Nearly everyone comes into contact with the mainframe at some point, whether depositing or withdrawing money from their bank or booking an airplane ticket. Reg Harbeck, SHARE member and chief strategist at Mainframe Analytics Ltd., says mainframes are similar to the mythical phoenix.
Posted February 19, 2019
Every once in a while we meet someone exemplary, who is passionate about their area of expertise and yet very humble in that passion. In our IBM mainframe world, one of those people was the late Dr. John Ehrman.
Posted February 04, 2019
Machine learning is a hot topic for businesses that want to offer their customers a unique, personalized experience. To create these interactions in real time, businesses need to access large and diverse data sets, which is why many of them are now looking for ways to bring machine learning capabilities to their biggest source of transactional and customer data: the mainframe.
Posted January 22, 2019
Since the advent of computing machines, one requirement has been the ability to record instructions and present them again to the machine to perform the same process, to either repeat the same output or act on a different set of data. However, this isn't a 20th-century problem. In fact, the first working example of this predates the first electronic computer by over 200 years.
Posted January 07, 2019