3 Min reading time

Mighty Mainframe Vol. 11 – The Mighty Conference recap: From Skills Gaps to Secret Gems

29. 05. 2024

Your monthly dose of mainframe. Looking back at the Mighty Mainframe Conference, previewing new technologies, top moments and more!

Dear fellow mainframer,

I was a bit nervous before the first Mighty Mainframe Conference started. We’ve organized QED 15 times, and I’ve attended many mainframe events, including two regional conferences. But the Mighty Conference was a big step forward. Everything went well, and with so many cool professionals and friends there, it couldn’t have gone any other way. 

We’re full of exciting ideas for next year. However, your feedback is invaluable to us. I would be very grateful if you could let us know what you liked and what we can do better. A quick response to this email would be great. 

A Weekend to Remember 

The impressions haven’t settled yet and I can’t wait to give you a brief overview of the whole conference. But don’t just take my word for it (I’m a little biassed, after all). Here’s what Tim McKeoun  (IBM), one of the best speakers we always love to see at conferences has to say about it: 

“I will speak from my personal experience. I attend many events, I’m lucky to do that, and this one is the most unique, the most special. I am so glad to be invited back. There’s a different vibe, a different feel. The smile on everybody’s faces and the focus on fun and making it different. So, my advice would be, if you have fatigue from other (mainframe) events, this one will change your mind, I promise you that.”  

Mighty Mainframe Conference Opening

After a lively discussion about the skills gap, our keynote speaker Rosalind Radcliffe (IBM) took the podium and shared her experiences from a recent data center transformation project as she walked us through parts of her career. Other well-known names from the mainframe scene who shared their knowledge and experience on mainframe modernization at the conference were Tobias Leicher (IBM), Thomas Liechti (UBS) and Armin Kramer (DATEV).  

Hidden gem of the conference was discussion about AI Industrialization; Damir Kopljar (CROZ) explained that AI is not just a hype about LLM and GenAI and what the steps are for a successful implementation of AI in a business organization. Joachim Gucker put industrialization in the context of the software and hardware capabilities of mainframes, while Manuel Jean hit the nail on the head with a real customer story. The customer went full circle when choosing the runtime platform to implement fraud detection: they started with the cloud, then moved to on-prem x86 and finally realized that the mainframe was the better choice for real-time inferencing. Remarkably, this was achieved with the z15, even before the introduction of on-chip AI acceleration enabled by Telum processor in the z16.  

Knowing that a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m sharing a link to repository , which includes all the presentations from the conference in one convenient place. Enjoy! 

Future-Proofing Mainframes: Closing the Skills Gap 

At the Mighty Mainframe conference, we had the opportunity to hear from three universities and numerous clients about their experiences in addressing the mainframe skills gap. Companies are responding with innovative strategies, such as in-house training and engaging mid-career technologists. If you’re interested in the issue of skill shortages and ways to overcome them, check out this blog where we discuss several potential educational initiatives on this topic. 

Upbringing New Mainframers

At CROZ, we are helping to solve this problem with comprehensive training programs and boot camps that combine theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience with mainframe technologies. Our experts work with universities to develop mainframe courses and facilitate knowledge sharing. 

Industry Insights

The mainframe community warmly received the announcement of IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Z. However, the initial version 1.0 had its limitations. IBM has now announced V1.1 and V2.0, which offer significant improvements. These include enhanced support for refactoring and testing, full on-prem implementation and the addition of code exploration capabilities.  

Only last week at THINK conference, IBM watsonx Assistant for Z was announced. It brings full set of mainframe documentation packaged as “Conversational AI assistant”. Additionally, it provides intelligent automation and orchestration of everyday mainframe tasks. 

Stay tuned for more details and a comprehensive review. 

Get in touch

If you have any questions, we are one click away.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Contact us

Schedule a call with an expert