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Jack Woehr

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

SHARE Monday -- Attendee Views

August 23, 2009

Talking with SHARE attendees of varied backgrounds and expectations is entertaining, but it presents certain problems to the blogger. Regular attendees predominately work for large, established institutions, one in particular dating back to 1789. They speak for attribution with prior permission only. So excuse the slim pickings on this score, and in general, forgive in this series a heavy reliance on IBM'ers and vendors, who speak with or without attribution, and go on speaking until you hit them with a sufficiently weighty object.

Certain engineers were in attendance in hopes of soaking (swotting) up expertise in this or that single application.

A younger attendee who works in mainframe security told me that he believes mainframes are still a viable architecture ... he was also interested in cloud computing models which are featured prominently at SHARE:

We're at SHARE because we need to meet the demand for mainframe training. We need programmers who are already familiar with the network environment and midrange systems to become versed in the repurposing of mainframe architecture.

Programmers play with everything from applications to the hardware to the operating system to the network layer, right at their fingertips. But they don't have mainframes. How do you lay down a z/OS instance? The interest is there. People do want to learn about mainframes. It's just not accessible, and there aren't classes all over the place about topics, "This is how you set up a mainframe". When you get to sessions like SHARE you do have that information. It brings communities together. Commingling, cross-training, collaboration.

Many were taking advantage of sessions instructing them in subjects most Dr. Dobb's readers take for granted, e.g., basic workstation Linux operation, administration, shell scripting ... This is becoming very important in the mainframe world where mainframe Linux is often used but still somewhat exotic, while workstation Linux is becoming ubiquitous.

Some came for the free pizza in the evenings at the vendor sessions. I'm pretty sure, anyway ...

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