Highlights from SHARE in San Antonio: DevOps, Mainframe Skills and Data Security

By Manny Veiga 

SHARE in San Antonio has come and gone, and with it a full week of educational sessions, exciting presentations and engaging conversations with our members and partners. While we’re already gearing up for our next SHARE event in Atlanta we thought we’d look back at some of the most interesting conversations we heard in San Antonio.

By the way, if you couldn’t make it this time around, you can access more than two dozen technical sessions and keynotes online. Simply click to learn more about SHARE Live! Online.

Embracing DevOps Requires a Shift in Workplace Culture

In San Antonio, we presented a DevOps track for the first time at SHARE, rolling out a number of technical tracks that covered the impact this organizational methodology has on mainframe application development. In an EXECUforum session featuring technology veterans Rosalind Radcliffe, David Rizzo, Jeff Henry and Derek Britton, panelists pointed out that a common challenge for implementing DevOps is that it’s typically an IT-led proposition. The rest of the business often needs to be sold on why changing organizational processes and culture is worth the effort.

Britton suggested an incremental approach: businesses should start by tackling one project or activity that abides by DevOps principles. Based on the outcomes of that initiative, company stakeholders can judge whether a collaborative, agile way of working suits their business. It’s easier to get full buy-in when you have demonstrable proof of the effectiveness of DevOps.

Addressing the Mainframe Skills Gap

We’ve heard and read a lot about the pending “skills gap” in the mainframe community. The notion is that there are fewer skilled professionals in the industry today who have the competency to manage both legacy and modern systems.

Naturally, an educational event like SHARE is an ideal place to address this concern, so it’s no surprise that there was a spotlight in San Antonio on the diverse range of mainframe talent that’s helping to fill that skills gap. We heard from young professionals who, far from viewing mainframes as legacy technology, instead expressed excitement about the challenges and new opportunities offered by a career in mainframes.

The Confluence of Data Security Challenges

A highlight of the event came when Patrick Gray, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, offered his expert take on the evolving cyber threat landscape. As Gray explained, threats to internet security are becoming more complex and diverse as state-sponsored, financially robust organized crime syndicates take the lead on ambitious international hacking and criminal campaigns.   

Gray advocated the importance of collaborating in creating a safer Web. Many of today’s cyber criminals are undoubtedly better organized, funded and motivated than the average IT professional, and we don’t all have the time in the day to research solutions on our own. But by sharing information on emerging threats and collaborating on solutions, IT has a better chance to fight back, Gray argued.

Did you miss SHARE in San Antonio? Or do you want to re-visit some of your favorite sessions? Click here to access SHARE Live! online. And don’t forget to register for SHARE Atlanta, from July 31 to August 5 at the Atlanta Marriot Marquis.

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