Martijn Raave is a certified System z Client Technical Specialist for IBM's Systems and Technology Group (STG) in the Netherlands. Over a period of 15 years his professional career has (r)evolved around the mainframe platform. Before joining IBM through a strategic outsourcing deal in 2005, he worked for a large Dutch customer as a systems programmer with expertise in the areas of z/OS, (Globally Dispersed) Parallel Sysplex and hardware. 4 years ago he decided to explore the other aspects of the mainframe ecosystem within IBM and joined STG in his current role. As a Client Technical Specialist he supports several Dutch System z customers, IBM Business Partners and IBM Sales Representatives on technical topics and in sales engagements. He's also a board member of Guide Share Europe (GSE) Netherlands.
From day 1 that I started working with mainframes (more than 15 years ago) I came into contact with them, the IBM Redbooks: inexhaustible sources of knowledge written for users, by users.
During my time on the customer side of the mainframe ecosystem, a number of colleagues already wrote a Redbooks (yes, even 1 book is a Redbooks) and since then I've always kept my eye on the ITSO's residencies calendar, because also customers can enroll for most of the residencies. But due to all kinds of reasons (moment and subject of the residency, family, work, planning and so on) it never came to an actual enrollment.
Until in my current job role, when I met my current colleagues, who already had worked several times for a couple of weeks on Redbooks and this year I got the opportunity to go to Poughkeepsie, NY, myself to work on four Redbooks during an (IBM internal) residency.
Of course, also this time there was a lot to take into account when it comes to planning (you leave home and work for 4 weeks), but eventually I didn't hesitate when my nomination was accepted and went to picturesque Poughkeepsie to get everything up-to-date for today.
And now back in the cold Netherlands, I can only conclude that this is one of those opportunities, that if you get it, you have to take it! During such a residency you come into contact with developers, strategists and specialist on the subject of "your" Redbooks, which is very educational since you can ask them anything you like. Also an added value for me, was that you have the opportunity to work with your expertise in a whole different way than you normally do, that is writing manuals for colleagues and like-minded people (there are also non-mainframe related Redbooks and residencies). You also get to work with residency participants from all of the world, so you can share knowledge, which also gives you insights in how things are done elsewhere and sometimes results in very interesting discussions. And of course it very nice to be able to put a published ISBN number on your CV ;)
So now you can download my "brainchildren" from the Redbooks site, but I can recommend everyone to keep their eye on the residencies calendar on that same site, because maybe there's something there for you too :)
Want to learn more about the IBM zEnterprise System? See the IBM Rebooks zEnterprise landing page found at: