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Free virtual event on September 15 brings together mainframe professionals from all over the world.


Mark your calendars!

On September 15, we’ll be hosting our second annual IBM Z Day, a free virtual event that will bring together mainframe experts from all over the world to share their stories. This year, we’re digging deep into the IBM Z organization to feature all of the latest breakthrough innovations.

This past year has been filled with exciting announcements in the realm of IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE — starting with the launch of the IBM z15 and LinuxONE III in September 2019, and continuing with announcements around IBM Data Privacy Passports, IBM Secure Execution for Linux, Red Hat OpenShift for IBM Z and LinuxONE, Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z, and more. In April, we put out a call for COBOL expertise, accelerating plans to release new COBOL training materials, discussion forums, and more in collaboration with the Open Mainframe Project. And just a couple of weeks ago, we announced the New to Z Community, where developers who are new to the mainframe can start building their careers.

Bringing all of these accomplishments together, IBM Z Day will shine a light on these topics and more, with keynotes from IBM’s Ross Mauri, Willie Tejada, Marius Ciortea, and Meredith Stowell, along with John Mertic, Director of Program Management at the Linux Foundation.

Drilling down into the five-track schedule, I find it incredibly difficult to spotlight just a few of the many topics that piqued my interest as a systems administrator and occasional developer — but I would like to focus on the tracks at a high level.

This year, IBM Z Day features two new tracks: Global Z and Master the Mainframe. The Global Z track will feature all non-English sessions on a variety of topics from experts around the world. In the other track, the new 2020 Master the Mainframe contest will launch globally on IBM Z Day and kick off the biggest student competition of the year. This 24-hour code-a-thon will start on September 14 with virtual meetups taking place all over the world, and it will culminate in a series of talks and panels. Students will be encouraged to complete Level 1 during this event.

The IBM Z track will feature multiple stories and demos focusing on innovations, with user-centered content that’s largely driven by the rich, global IBM Z and LinuxONE ecosystem. Several talks will focus on topics that have been in recent tech headlines, including breakthroughs in Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) and the impact of quantum computing on classical cryptography. You’ll also hear about some of the latest developer tooling, like IBM Wazi for Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces for z/OS development and the new container extensions for z/OS (zCX).

In the Voice of Z track, you’ll hear from startups and entrepreneurs, programs for social good using technology, as well as panels discussing everything from internships to up-and-coming leaders in the mainframe space. This track will bring a real human element to the event, with stories, projects, and individuals taking the spotlight.

Finally, my official role in this event is to chair the Open Z track. During IBM Z Day last year, I worked to secure a series of talks that would cover the fundamentals of open source work being done on Z, with talks from the major distributions, the largest open source initiatives, and key projects from The Open Mainframe Project. This year, with all of that fundamental material already covered and the inaugural Open Mainframe Project Summit happening just after IBM Z Day, I have the opportunity to tackle deeper, more complex topics. These will include a session on how open source drives the new IBM Secure Execution, and the how and why of using Kubernetes on IBM Z, plus we’ll also hear from our community about their experiences using open source DevOps tooling on IBM Z.

Registration is free and now open on the IBM Z Day website. Join us!