On April 7, 2014, IBM will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the mainframe. Just a few months later, on June 16, 2014, I will celebrate my 30th service anniversary with IBM—all of it working with the mainframe. Since I’ve been intimately associated with this amazing machine for three-fifths of its life, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to share some of my personal recollections and experiences in a series of blog posts. Starting next month I’ll tackle a decade at a time.
You might think that working so long for a single brand, within a single company, would lead to a narrow and limited career. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Over the three-decade span of my career with IBM mainframes, I’ve been a developer, tester, architect, strategist, marketer, industry specialist, offering manager and probably a few other things. I’ve worked in three different IBM divisions building hardware, software and solutions.
I’ve done work up and down the entire technology stack: base systems, virtualization, networking, interactive services, middleware, database and applications. And since the mainframe has consistently evolved with the overall technology market, I’ve had a chance to work with just about every hot, emerging technology—and continue to do so.
When IBM discovered that I had a knack for public speaking, “evangelist” became an integral part of my job description, and I began traveling the globe speaking with clients and educating our sales forces. Over the years I’ve visited hundreds of cities, across scores of countries, on every continent on which IBM does business. I’ve written for several magazines, have a few IBM Redbooks under my belt, managed the production of a mass-market publication and even cut a video in a professional recording studio!
Of course, after 30 years my long-term memory isn’t quite what it used to be. But fortunately I am a bit of a pack rat and still have my important files, a few photographs and videos, and an assortment of memorabilia.
So off I go to dust off the files and dig into the past. Next stop: the 1980s!
Do you have your own mainframe stories to share? Or are you just beginning your mainframe experience? Either way I’d love to hear from you!
Paul DiMarzio has 30 years of experience with IBM focused on bringing new and emerging technologies to the mainframe. He is currently part of the System z Growth business line, with specific focus on cross-industry business analytics offerings and the mainframe strategy for the insurance industry. You can reach Paul on Twitter: @PaulD360
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