Message from SHARE: Immerse Yourself in Blockchain

by Rick Barlow, Linux & VM Program

Blockchain: It’s a technology seen by some to be transformative, with the potential to disrupt transaction processing across a range of different industries.

Some are even touting that 2017 will be the year in which more blockchain pilots will come to fruition; while others are still questioning whether or not the technology is fully mature.

Regardless, blockchain is a topic that is very important to SHARE because of the benefits to today's IT industry requirement for improving transaction networks and security, to drive new opportunities for innovation while reducing cost and risk. Many companies are regularly involved in business-to-business transactions that will benefit from a secure, immutable, shared transaction ledger that enforces permissions to protect privacy. This type of system is the logical extension of efforts within businesses today, to protect data and assets with encryption everywhere, while improving the speed and efficiency of business processes.

At SHARE Providence 2017 this August, we will be presenting a special SHARE Academy session called IBM Blockchain on z Systems Immersion. As you may be aware, SHARE Academies typically fall into two categories: Immersions and Boot Camps. An Immersion is a day-long seminar designed to provide a deeper dive into some of the hottest topics facing enterprise IT professionals today. And with our IBM Blockchain on z Systems Immersion, we will be presenting a “deep dive” into understanding Hyperledger Fabric, the open source code that powers IBM Blockchain.

Here’s the best part; while this academy is intended for technical professionals, and having some experience with Linux can be helpful, it is not required. Likewise, you don’t need any prior experience with IBM Blockchain.

The exciting part is that attendees will have the privilege of working with John Harrison and Barry Silliman, two IBM Blockchain subject matter experts who are also experienced IBM z Systems professionals. 

You’ll start with gaining a basic overview and explanation of key architectural components of Fabric, but then the true “immersion” experience will begin: Participants will have the opportunity to install and configure Fabric on a Linux on z Systems instance and to deploy, run, modify and debug a “smart contract” on a Fabric network.  From there, the labs will also cover how to install and configure a front-end Web application, also running on Linux on z Systems, that interacts with the “smart contract”. 

And this hands-on experience will also allow participants to learn about Fabric Composer. This exciting new Hyperledger project promises to ease the development of business applications that use Fabric. 

So, as you make your plans to attend SHARE Providence, I encourage you to check out SHARE Academy. In particular, our immersion session on blockchain. It is your opportunity to join like-minded peers for an immersive educational experience around blockchain and build a deeper understanding in this key enterprise IT focus area.

Rick has been a z/VM System Programmer for over 35 years with a focus on hardware configuration, running guest operating systems, business recovery, and more recently running virtual Linux servers on IBM z Systems. He also has a strong emphasis on multi-platform integration. Currently, he also volunteers as the Program Manager for the SHARE Linux and VM Program.

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