And speaking of SHARE: Jeff Gould, director of research for Interop Systems, attended the event and came away realizing a couple of important things:
"Cobol is not dead. And neither is the mainframe"
If the State of California budget team had been at the event, they might have seen some ways to save money
According to Jeff, the California Controller is keeping money in the state budget to pay for Cobol development, claiming that the language is dead, there is no way to modernize mainframe applications, and that the only thing to do is to keep throwing money at the problem.
Dead wrong, says Jeff. Here's part of what he wrote: "In the past few years a whole new class of mainframe applications has emerged which bring non-mainframe environments such as Java and Linux to Big Iron. WebSphere on z, Linux on z – these are much more than mere checkbox options in some ... marketing scheme. A substantial chunk of the 10,000 or so System z mainframes in the world are actually running these environments. And they are doing it for big-time production apps too, not just development."
I just want to introduce our newest community member, H&W Computer Systems, Inc. I'll have more info on them at a later date. But we are excited to have them in our community, and wanted to let our community know!
Today is the day! The big announcement of the IBM zEnterprise System, a new dimension in computing. This is exciting stuff. Check out this brief video describing the new system. I addition, check out the zEnterprise home page and register for the zEnterprise. A New Dimension in Computing virtual event that goes live today.
OK, time for me to wake up and start bloggin' It has been months since my last blog which happens to be on the announcement of the scholarship for 2009. Well, I'm back, the winners have been named, and you can find out who the talented winners are by visiting the new Scholarship Program link. Please note our generous sponsors who made the scholarships possible.
Congratulations to our winners!
I'm going to try to bring more interesting and frequent materials to you here, so keep tuned.
If your coming to the IBM System z Technical University in Miami, Oct. 3 -7, make sure you stop by the zZone to meet the numerous IBM Destination z partner members. Their mission is to help you maximize your mainframe platform so you can sleep at night! Visit the zZone, grab a zZingo card and meet the zZone sponsors who strive to make your life better. Then, relax with a complimentary chair massage during exhibit hall hours as our thank you for visiting the zone!
The newest edition to the zEnterprise family has been announced. Check out the details at this website!
Want to learn more, IBM will show off the new machine at the upcoming SHARE conference in Orlando. Come partake in the many sessions being offered around the zEnterprise and the new z114.
And speaking of SHARE, stop by to see me at the Destination z booth in the exhibit hall and visit our Destination z Partner members who will be participating on our zZingo card promotion.
PS: If you have already joined Destination z and have not yet collected your membership pin (at other conferences), then stop by the booth to collect it in Orlando. If you have not yet joined Destination z as an individual community member, then either sign up online now, or see me at SHARE and we can sign you up together and I can present you with your pin!
Just came across a really useful site for those of you working with information management software for System z. It's the new Information Management Software for System z e-media site, and I think you'll find its collection of materials both interesting and useful. Check out the webcasts, teleconferences, brochures, whitepapers, and demos you'll find there. The URL is
Please feel free to visit these new members on our Destination z website both on ibm.com here and on our brand new destinationz.org website here!
Finally, if you want to become part of our new System z community, please go to www.destinationz.org and sign yourself up, we want to keep you informed on the latest Buzz around system z and joining the community will do it!
Watch for more info on the new website which launches TODAY! Come see our new look!
I just got back from the SHARE conference in San Jose, and if you have never been, I would suggest you should try to go to this event. It's a great way to keep up with what is going on in the mainframe world. There are technical sessions on every subject you could imagine--zAAPs and zIIPs: Understanding the Basics, What's New in Enterprise COBOL Version 4, The Linux IPL Procedure, Mainframe Operating System Boot Camp, and Mainframe to Mobile: Push and Pull Data to Wireless Devices, to name a few of the ones I dropped in on. You get to see the latest solutions, applications, and mainframe-related products on the show floor. There are the large sessions, meals, and social events.
Mostly, you just get to hang out with lots of people from the mainframe world. If you're at all like me, you can be pretty heads down just geting stuff done, doing your regular job. When I get out to things like SHARE, the thing I really enjoy is finding out how much is really going on out there, how many creative, interesting things are happening on the mainframe, and how much energy there is to keep this a vital, strong, innovative part of the IT industry.
For example, I sat down over lunch at a nice Italian place called Il Fornaio in the historic St. Claire Hotel with the editors of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition. They told me all about the work they're doing with authors from universities who are so into some of the latest System z technologies they can't wait to write new articles about them. I can't tell you about them -- that would be giving away their secrets. But check out the magazine and you will see what I mean.
Of course, the event did have a downside--my hotel room looked right out over the local trolley system, which gets going on the dot at 5:05 every morning. Oh well, at least I got off to an early start every day.
Anyway, I will write more about some of the things I came across at SHARE. If you were there, respond to this and let me know what you found there, or just say hi.
In the meantime, go have a look at the SHARE web site and look at the conference proceedings. You can get a pretty good sense of what you can learn there. And check out the next event, which is going to be held March 1-6 right here in my home town, Austin, Texas. And, don't worry, we don't even have a trolley system so if you need to, you can sleep in.
Offering the mainframe computing industry’s ONLY up-to-date, comprehensive, e-learning curriculum, Interskill’s low-cost, versatile, mainframe training has formed the backbone of mainframe education initiatives for over 1,000 corporations and government bodies worldwide.
Hi Darren! Interskill is known for its leadership in serving the mainframe community. Why do customers rely on Interskill solutions?
Thanks for asking Marc. You may be surprised to know that Interskill’s mainframe e-learning is THE ONLY up-to-date, broad spectrum, e-learning curriculum available to the mainframe industry. Over the last 15 years we have worked with more than 1,000 corporations and government bodies worldwide to provide low-cost, high quality, incredibly versatile mainframe training solutions to their personnel. It really has become a mainframe education standard.
We currently have over 150 web delivered courses for mainframe operators and programmers totaling over 800 hours of course content. These courses span IBM’s z Operating System and mainframe programming languages, as well as Tivoli, CA and BMC products. It’s a very comprehensive training solution!
In this tough economy, mainframe managers are finding it almost impossible to provide their personnel with all the training they need. Despite dwindling budgets, Managers must not feel trapped into just cutting training! By prudently using the classroom method only when necessary and “bulking up” annual training programs with some of the versatile, new technology training methods now available, the cost savings can be astounding!
Bottom line: significantly more training for substantially less money!
I understand IBM and Interskill have joined to deliver some very exciting ways for folks to learn new skills or refresh their skills with the very latest information. Tell me more.
IBM clients worldwide can now get Interskill Learning’s mainframe e-learning through IBM’s Learning Portal as two different product types:
1)The Enterprise e-Learning Solution which is an ultra low-cost, versatile, comprehensive mainframe training resource that forms the backbone of an organization’s mainframe education program. It’s annual, enterprise-wide, mainframe education at just dollars per course!
And 2)Mini e-Learning Bundles aimed at individual users. There is a z/OS Mainframe Programming e-Learning Bundle (EZ120) and a z/OS Computer Operations e-Learning Bundle (EZ110) offering 3 months access to 50 courses.
Interskill recently joined Destination z and has decided to be a zZone sponsor at Impact 2010 this May in Las Vegas. Why is this an important show for Interskill and what exciting things will Interskill be sharing with us at Impact?
Impact 2010 is really going to be an exciting show for us.Impact 2010 is the premier event for aligning technology and business strategy. It’s designed to demystify information technology for the line-of-business executive. And it brings together over 5,000top IT and businessprofessionals from around the world to share best practices and new tricks of the trade. We know business leaders and customers around the world are looking for smarter ways of delivering education across their organizations quickly and cost effectively.As a zZone sponsor, we’re looking forward to demonstrating how Interskill offerings can help deliver education and training in new and cost effective ways to empower their workforce.
Interskill really changes the way companies can deal with any challenges in meeting skills requirements and training needs at a time when education and travel costs are really tight. What are some of the messages you'll be sharing to help customers thrive in today's economy?
In an ideal world, Mainframe Managers would want their people to train often, and train on all facets of their complex mainframe job roles. The two limiting factors are time and money: budgets not allowing for all the training needed and busy mainframe personnel not having the time to train on all the areas they need.
We can cut money out of the equation. For the cost of one day of classroom on only one mainframe topic, Managers can give their mainframers 12 months access to over 150 mainframe topics!So, rather than 3 classroom days per year, give personnel 2 classroom days and 12 months open access to 150 e-learning courses. Imagine the versatility and breadth of knowledge that mainframe team could have!
We can also cut time out of the equation. Utilizing e-Learning offers mainframe personnel the ability to train anywhere, anytime: courses are broken up into one hour “bite size” pieces that can be done in breaks, during lulls at work, in the evenings, at home … anytime. Over the course of a year, students can complete hundreds of hours of training on a multitude of topics!
The mainframe industry’s staple training has always been classroom type training. We need to be a little smarter and use e-learning for the heart of the training program and use classroom where it is needed rather than as a default. We can deliver many, many more times the training at the same cost or less.
What’s the best way for customers to find out more about Interskill solutions – or even take a test drive with some of your offerings?
Customers can go to the IBM.com website and find a page dedicated to System z e-Learning. There is a lot of information there plus a number of JCL, JES2, COBOL, CICS and PL/I course modules for customers to try.
Alternately customers can call their IBM Education representative or me for a chat. I think they’ll be amazed with just how simple this is and how much sense it makes.
Is there any one thought that you would like to leave IBM customers with?
I would simply ask that IBM customers never leave their mainframe personnel without training. Even in the short term, it hurts the personnel and it weakens the company on so many levels.
Try and investigate ways that you can train smarter: maximizing your budget dollar, your team’s time and your training ROI.
Great talking with you, Darren. If your going to be at IMPACT 2010 this year, don't forget to check out Interskill at the Impact 2010 zZone