IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2015 - (Page 48)

STOP RUN PHOTO COURTESY OF VANCE MORRIS Vance Morris at IBM in Poughkeepsie, New York, in March Motivated by the Mainframe 'Things just clicked' for IBMer looking for his path Valerie Dennis is managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe edition. ot every success story has a smooth beginning. After "a few failed starts" at an undergraduate degree and working at a local data center, Vance Morris enlisted in the Army. There, "military life really helped me learn to self-motivate and gave me insights into the real world," the IBM z Systems* programmer says. He began classes again while in the Army and graduated in 2011 with a degree in computer science from West Texas A&M University. But it was in 2009 while attending a conference that Morris realized the turning point in his career. "I can distinctly recall standing in the back of the keynote and N 48 // JULY/AUGUST 2015 noticing how many of the people were nearing the ends of their careers," he recalls. "Then I noticed the caliber of businesses being represented and things just clicked. I now believe the mainframe is 'too big to fail' as the economy of the world relies on the unique capabilities it provides." In 2011, while in college, Morris placed in the IBM Academic Initiative Master the Mainframe contest, which led to his involvement in 2014's Mainframe50 Master the Mainframe World Championship. "Being able to claim a small piece of that amazing event is really great, and it's something I'll never forget," he says. He's also a past recipient of the IBM Destination z Enterprise Computing scholarship. Following graduation, Morris began working at the IBM ISV Lab in Dallas, to which he attributes securing via his Master the Mainframe participation. He recently switched to the cloud unit working with the IBM Bluemix* platform. Morris reflects positively on the path he has taken, noting his work in service roles has helped. "Even though the technology I've worked on has been very complex and required deep understanding, the need to satisfy customer requirements and leave them with a good feeling in the end has helped my career progress," he says. Because many of his jobs have dealt with different technologies, he now considers himself a "jack of all trades." In his free time, Morris works with Arduino microcontrollers and the Internet of Things, noting the knowledge gained through these interests "is going to be useful as I learn about and work with Bluemix." While his path may not be typical, Morris is happy with where it's taken him and sees great possibilities ahead for both himself and the mainframe. "There is so much history behind the mainframe, and it's always been on the cutting edge of serious enterprise computing," he points out. "Its capabilities and RAS [reliability, availability and serviceability] are outstanding, and with IBM positioned as the ideal machine for modern mobile workloads, the future looks bright."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2015

Table of Contents
Editor's Desk: An important note
IBM Perspective: Transforming travel end to end
Partner PoV: Maximize the platform's business value by addressing challenges now
IT Today: Infrastructure matters: Myth or truth?
Case Study: Turning Complexity Into Simplicity: Vissensa Ltd. deploys an IBM Enterprise Cloud System to relieve the IT burdens of its clients
Cover Story: Industry Importance: Applying disruptive technologies in a nondisrputive way helps mainframe clients achieve business efficiency
Feature: Security Notification: Mainframe companies must be proactive and educated in testing and protection, expert says
Feature: Industry Improvements: Clients from five key industries highlight what's possible with IBM mainframe
Tech Showcase: Businesses must look at the big picture to take advantage of analytics
HotTECH Products
Administrator: New technologies with the IBM z13 and DS8870 systems aim to reduce costs and improve resilience, scale and performance
Solutions: ARCAD- Anonymizer; FDRPASVM, MVT Vault, STEPLIB-Rx 3.1; Topaz, ISPW V4.4, Savvytest 2.1
Stop Run: 'Things just clicked' for IBMer looking for his path
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
2015 Mainframe Solutions Edition Product Index

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2015