Mainframe, Apprenticeship, AI and Software Engineering with Marna Walle of IBM
Marna Walle is a Senior Technical Staff Member and works on z/OS system installation and software management in the z/OS Development organization at IBM. She has been with z/OS (and its predecessor products OS/390 and MVS) since she started in 1989. She loves working in enterprise computing and knowing that the mainframe has run and continues to run most of the world’s most important workloads. Her focus has been on enhancements to the system programmer experience which include software packaging, installation, servicing, upgrading, customization, and deployment.
She enjoys understanding what problems face customers during software usage and solving these technical problems to allow customers to have more time to exploit the new functions and get even more value from their investment.
Marna is a frequent speaker on z/OS topics at customer conferences around the world. She holds a BS from the University of Florida, and a Masters in Computer Science from New York University.
Connect with Marna to learn more.
Listen to the Podcast Here, or Find it Wherever You Get Your Podcasts:
Here are Five Things We Cover:
- Mainframes are powerful and reliable: Mainframes are large, high-performance servers designed to operate continuously. They have been around for several decades and have evolved to handle critical tasks for major businesses worldwide.
- Mainframes run the world’s business: They are responsible for processing financial transactions, managing top banks, Fortune 500 companies, insurers, and airlines. Mainframes play a crucial role in everyday life, from credit card transactions to passport checks.
- Mainframes consist of both hardware and software: The mainframe itself is a hardware device, often a server like the Z 16. It is equipped with advanced capabilities such as encryption and AI accelerators. On top of the hardware, various operating systems, such as Zos and Linux, can run to support different tasks.
- Mainframe professionals focus on system programming: Roles in mainframe development organizations often involve system programming tasks. This includes upgrading software, implementing new functions, managing patches, and ensuring the system operates flawlessly at all times. The work is challenging, technical, and ever-evolving.
- Mainframes offer a rewarding career path: Working with mainframes can be very rewarding, especially for those who enjoy solving complex problems and working on critical systems. The mainframe industry provides opportunities to contribute to major global operations and make a tangible impact.
Here are Three Actionable Takeaways From This Episode
Explore mainframes as a career option: If you’re considering entering the IT industry, take a closer look at the mainframe world. Research the skills and qualifications required for mainframe roles and assess whether they align with your interests and career goals. Connect with professionals in the field, attend virtual events or webinars, and seek out resources that can help you gain a deeper understanding.
Develop programming and problem-solving skills: Programming is a crucial skill when working with mainframes. Start learning programming languages such as Java, COBOL, or Assembler. Practice solving problems and develop your analytical thinking. Consider taking online courses or joining coding bootcamps to enhance your skills and demonstrate your proficiency to potential employers.
Stay updated with mainframe advancements: Mainframes may have a long history, but they continue to evolve. Stay informed about the latest updates, advancements, and trends in mainframe technology. Join online communities, follow industry blogs, and engage in discussions with other professionals to stay on top of the game. Continuous learning and adaptability are key to thriving in the ever-changing mainframe landscape.