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.