IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 48

STOP RUN
From Military to Mainframe

PHOTO COURTESY OF TORRIE MCLAUGHLIN

McLaughlin defies the odds with determination and hard work

Torrie McLaughlin (center) receives the Presidential
Undergraduate Award for Computer Information Systems
in 2015 at Robert Morris University. With her is Gregory
Dell'Omo, former president of Robert Morris and Barbara
Levine, former dean and associate professor for the
School of Communications and Information Systems.

Holly Eamon
is a former
copy editor at
IBM Systems
Magazine.

orking as a z/OS*
systems programmer
on an infrastructure
team is not quite the role Torrie
McLaughlin once envisioned for
her career.
But both the job and the
journey that led her to it are
rewarding. "I get a big kick out
of knowing that the system I
work on every day is the backbone of the entire company, and
really of our entire global financial market," she says. "I also
work well with defined tasks and

W

48 // MAY/JUNE 2017 ibmsystemsmag.com

processes, so my personality fits
the mainframe environment."
After serving the U.S. Army
from 2005 to 2013, she applied
for Robert Morris University.
During the admissions process,
she attended a group discussion
led by the school's IT department
head. He talked about the IBM
Academic Initiative and current
job market for mainframe systems
programmers.
With no coding or computer
knowledge, McLaughlin was
immediately intrigued. "My
biggest concern as a single mother
was a good salary and job stability," the mother of two recalls. "I
had to take a programming class
anyway, so I gave COBOL a shot."
She ended the course with a
C-a grade that upset her enough
to register for an advanced COBOL
class just to prove she could do
better. McLaughlin's final grade
for that class was an A. She went
on to receive a bachelor's degree
in information systems and a
master's degree in business
intelligence with a concentration
in enterprise systems. Among
her several awards, McLauglin
received IBM System z* and z/OS
Fundamentals Mastery Certification and honorable mention in
part three of the 2014 Master the
Mainframe contest, which she participated in for the training value.
"I didn't expect to do as well as I
did," she notes. "But you can only
get so much out of a classroom

environment. I am also a glutton
for punishment and fairly competitive." At the time, she was also
taking CICS* and DB2* courses.
McLaughlin was able to intern
with her current team before
being subsequently hired, and
working her way up to her current
position, which includes testing and deployment of product
upgrades, and maintenance for
mainframe software tools.

"Have thick skin.
Take every piece
of advice, good
or bad, and learn
from it."
-Torrie McLaughlin

"Working with mainframe
systems requires patience, dedication and attention to detail," she
says. "After being in the military,
my work ethic and expectations
of myself are different from
the average college graduate. I
wouldn't say I learn any faster
than others, but I take the time
to research and fully understand
what I am doing; I don't expect
immediate gratification."
The virtue of patience has
been particularly advantageous
for McLaughlin's transition from
one male-dominated industry
to another. "Have thick skin.
Take every piece of advice, good
or bad, and learn from it," she
advises other women. "Make
yourself proud first, and others
will follow."


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017

Table of Contents
Editor's Desk: Blockchain's Assets
IBM Perspective: The Foundation for Trust in Blockchains
Infographic: Securing Your Blockchian: The details that matter
Techbits: Spurring Economic Growth in Africa
Partner PoV: Current Demand: Modernize environment and applications to stay competitive
R&D: Cognitive Conditioning: How IBM researchers use machine learning to make storage smarter
Cover Story: The Business of Blockchain: The ledger technology is set to streamline markets and transform industries
Feature: Added Security: IBM delivers additional protection for blockchain
Feature: Shared Information: Blockchain works with systems of record to integrate data
TECH Showcase: To Serve and Protect: IBM Lab Services for z Systems and LinuxONE helps clients stay vigilant against data hackers
Administrator: Logical Process: IBM CICS asynchronous API allows for more natural program creation
Solutions: Mainframe Operations Intelligence, CA Technologies; GIT for IBM z/OS, Rocket Software; SMA_RT Software V3.3.005, Type80 Security Software Inc.; Topaz for Total Test, Compuware Corporation
Stop Run: From Military to Mainframe: McLaughlin defies the odds with determination and hard work
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
2017 Mainframe Solutions Edition
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Intro
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Cover1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Cover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Table of Contents
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Editor's Desk: Blockchain's Assets
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - IBM Perspective: The Foundation for Trust in Blockchains
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Infographic: Securing Your Blockchian: The details that matter
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Techbits: Spurring Economic Growth in Africa
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Partner PoV: Current Demand: Modernize environment and applications to stay competitive
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - R&D: Cognitive Conditioning: How IBM researchers use machine learning to make storage smarter
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 16
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Cover Story: The Business of Blockchain: The ledger technology is set to streamline markets and transform industries
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 19
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 20
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 22
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 23
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 24
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 25
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 26
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Feature: Added Security: IBM delivers additional protection for blockchain
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 28
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 29
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 30
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 31
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Feature: Shared Information: Blockchain works with systems of record to integrate data
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 33
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 34
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 35
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 36
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - TECH Showcase: To Serve and Protect: IBM Lab Services for z Systems and LinuxONE helps clients stay vigilant against data hackers
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 38
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 39
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 40
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 41
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 42
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 43
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Administrator: Logical Process: IBM CICS asynchronous API allows for more natural program creation
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 45
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Solutions: Mainframe Operations Intelligence, CA Technologies; GIT for IBM z/OS, Rocket Software; SMA_RT Software V3.3.005, Type80 Security Software Inc.; Topaz for Total Test, Compuware Corporation
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 47
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Stop Run: From Military to Mainframe: McLaughlin defies the odds with determination and hard work
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Cover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Cover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - 2017 Mainframe Solutions Edition
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2017 - SE2
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