For this installment of I am IMS, we sat down with IBM Distinguished Engineer Hélène Lyon. Hélène is the IBM Europe Z Solutions Architect for IMS, Analytics, and Platform Modernization.
Her knowledge of IMS and the IBM Z platform is deep, and her understanding of our IMS clients in Europe is deeper.
Helene’s journey to IBM Distinguished Engineer began 36 years ago, when she started as System Programmer on what was then called MVS (now z/OS). “IBM gave me the opportunity to remain technical throughout my career, for which I’m grateful,” she shared.
Along the way, Hélène took advantage of chances to branch out and participate in external activities. One example is her participation in technology introduction workshops in high schools, and “introducing technical careers to young people, especially women,” something she continues to this day.
Another great example is her assignment with IBM Smarter City challenges for IBM Corporate Citizenship. “I went to Palermo, Italy as part of a team to help the city succeeding in local social integration of migrants. I came back as a different person. Now in France I work with a Migrant Association to help them succeed in our country and find work. I worked with a young migrant who is now working for IBM France as an intern and is in school working towards an IT diploma.”
While it is important to maintain focus on your day-to-day work, she added, IBM makes it possible to do things that are more aligned with your own human interests, including family and children:
“You can be a Mother, and you can be a technical Distinguished Engineer! For me it was very important to have a family; I did not want to sacrifice that for my career, and I did not have to.”
At this point in her career, skills and education for the mainframe are very important to Hélène. “I took a global role in Europe, in fact, because I was so passionate about this area. Each country in which IBM does business has educational offerings. And it won’t look like classroom education from 20 years ago. You will find virtual offerings, online classes, certifications, and more. Education has to evolve.”
She cited the IMS Client Internship program as one example, adding that “all other areas of IBM are watching this as a Best Practice.”
She also wants to make sure that all IBMers know they have access to all Interskill classes. “They are a key IBM education partner and offer many IBM Z courses, including IMS.” Always innovating, Hélène sees opportunity in enhancing this partnership as well. “IBM has championed open source technology for years – why stop at technology? Why not education?”
As we closed our conversation, Hélène added “I need the readers to understand that they will build the mainframe for the next 50 years. Adopt best practices. Seek out education to build your career. Consider the social impact, it must be everywhere.”
If any of this resonates with you, please share your thoughts in a comment below – Merci Beaucoup!