Oh, the places you’ll go,
Oh, the people you’ll meet.
You’ll see from the plane window,
The learned and elite.

As a first-time attendee to SHARE, the week can feel a bit Doctor Seussian. You will meet a variety of people, from college undergrads to CEOs to the developers of JES to team leads. You will attend talks on IMS, ISPF, IDEs, security, how to give speeches, how to deal with generational gaps, DevOps on the mainframe, REST APIs and much more. You will go to networking events and meet new people, and see people who have been going for years and know everyone.

Based on my experience, here’s some advice to future first-time SHARE attendees.

Travis Strubing | SHAREOh, the Places You’ll Go

When preparing for the SHARE conference, it’s a good idea to go through the list of available sessions and select the ones you would like to attend. Without focusing on available time slots, I wound up with a list of 104 sessions I would like to go to out of the available 500 or so. There are only 6 time slots per day for the four-day week.

Ultimately, you will select a session before the end of each time slot and go listen to a speaker for an hour talk about the specifics of their topic and how it can impact your career, your development, your relationships or even just your own personal interests.

In the first day, my schedule consisted of talks on communication with the different personalities in the workplace, presentation skills, mobile device choices for replacing your laptop, z/OS price capping tools, FTP and its alternatives on the mainframe, IMS Open Database and finally, a technology expo for the mainframe industry.

There is so much content at SHARE that it can be overwhelming at times, but you will rarely lack for things to do and learn.

Oh, the People You’ll Meet

SHARE is one of the best chances to network available in the mainframe community. Just a sample of the introductions this week so far: “She is the COO of SHARE.” “He is the CEO. I was going to let him cut
you in line but felt bad.” “We are the team that builds IMS.” “They are the winners of master the mainframe this year.” “I am the technical lead.” “I am the keynote speaker this year and Director of Technology.” “I am the JES requirements coordinator.” “He is an associate developer,” and many more on top of that.

Every night, there is a mixer where industry professionals gather and talk about life in the industry, and outside it. As a first-time attendee, you will meet many new people and marvel as the more experienced members seem to know everyone they pass by.

On the way to SHARE

You’ll See from the Plane Window the Learned and Elite

For a first-time attendee, and for any attendee, SHARE is the industry standard for networking with those in the field, and for scratching further into the vast wealth of knowledge available from our peers in the industry. If you have the chance to attend, you won’t be let down.

Shout out to Destination Z: they do great work providing educational content around the mainframe
and customer interactions…and they gave out caricatures this year.

SHARE | Destination z | Caricature | Travis Strubing