Mainframe takes Manhattan - zSummit 2007

Big Iron hit the Big Apple yesterday for this year's press and analyst summit about the mainframe.

First-off, here are a couple of posts by James Governor worth reading

This is a pretty comprehensive briefing event, but one theme really rang out: The mainframe seems young.

Just hear me out. 

There were 11 college students and four professors in the front rows this year - all dedicating their studies to the mainframe.  Then, also in the front row was a dynamic character named Tarq Teles.  Okay, he's a CIO at a mainframe summit.  No shocker there. But he's the CIO of a seriously cool online gaming company called Hoplon.  He's in the process of rolling out one of the world's largest multi-player online games ever.  Perhaps millions of players at once.  Guess what platform he's using to run it.  Come on - guess.

Both Tarq and the students spoke at the event from different points of view.  But here was their common ground: they're each brilliant and their futures (and each seems to have no doubt that theirs is a lucrative one) is about the mainframe.

Tarq's cameo came during the keynote speech and was one sight to see.  He took the stage with an unknown device half-hidden behind his back and started by saying that he's here to announce the mainframe's latest hardware module.  He then smiled wide, hoisted a joystick and suddenly owned the room.

I snapped a picture of him and his joystick after the fact.


About ten feet from where this shot was taken, Tarq's laptop was connected via internet to a mainframe 75 miles away in Poughkeepsie.  "You want to play a game on the mainframe?" he asked.

This is not just fun and games.  It's profound.  There is potential in the mainframe that is yet untapped. These are the areas that Tarq and the students at zSummit see.  It's where they're placing their chips.

And, in turn, major banks, top retailers and other companies are betting on those students and their excitement for the mainframe.  Almost half of the kids that I heard from had jobs lined up already.

by Kevin Acocella June 22, 2007


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Hey Kevin,
I think the Hoplon demo was probably the best part of the day. That was cool. Later this summer I'm going to be working on some stories about scale up vs. scale out, and I want to do at least one on companies that have bucked the trend, so to speak. Hoplon is a great example of a business that you think would be going scale out but which is going scale up.

Posted by: Mark Fontecchio | Jun 25, 2007 3:44:32 PM

Hi Kevin,

While this comment is not directly related to the article, it is related to your blog. We wanted to let you and your readers know that z/Journal has launched the z/Journal Mainframe Jobs site that is completely focused on delivering only mainframe jobs to mainframe professionals throughout the world. We have several other pending announcements we would like to make you aware of as they occur. Do you have an email address we can send information about these items to you?

Denny Yost

Posted by: Denny Yost | Jun 27, 2007 10:48:25 AM

the youth thing did come through pretty strongly. i met two of the students-dave and adam- great guys. the future of the industry is in great hands, it seems.

here are links to the mainframe blog entries on my own blog- the above is just to the mainpage.

Posted by: James Governor | Jun 29, 2007 7:45:39 AM

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