IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - March/April 2018 - 56
PHOTO COURTESY OF REG HARBECK
Reg Harbeck is seen on a
gondola at the Whistler and
Blackcomb Mountains in
Reg Harbeck loves talking to and about the mainframe
community and technology
is senior editor
of IBM Systems
have interacted with,
attended a presentation by or are familiar with Reg
Harbeck. The chief strategist
at Mainframe Analytics is an
experienced systems programmer and an active participant of
mainframe culture and events.
In an industry where introversion is a typical trait, he stands
out as an extrovert ready to talk
That wasn't always the case: A
speech in school helped Harbeck
realize public speaking wasn't
a strength. He joined his local
56 // MARCH/APRIL 2018 ibmsystemsmag.com
Toastmasters club early in his
career to help improve that skill.
After a few decades away, he
rejoined when he moved to a new
location and was looking to build
his local social network.
Harbeck spoke to the group
about how Toastmasters had been
instrumental in his career. In the
speech, he describes how the
group has allowed him to bring his
computer skills to the next level.
Toastmasters gave him the
confidence to be himself when
presenting. After delivering a
presentation on little sleep,
where he said he was acting
"goofy," Harbeck realized that
"when I'm comfortable with
myself in front of an audience,
then they're at ease."
Having public speaking experience was a useful inroad into
a mainframe career, Harbeck
discovered. "The public speaking
abilities allowed me to build an
additional dimension into my personality that allowed me to have a
really unique set of skills," he says.
That has allowed him the
ability to travel the world giving
technical presentations at a
high level, be a prolific presenter
at conferences and host the
IBM Systems Magazine
Harbeck has had a lifelong
interest in academia-both his
parents were educators-and
his dad taught him the idea that
wisdom is found in conversations,
not just academic institutions.
"I want to take these technical
moments that have happened
in my career and add wisdom to
them," he notes.
To aid in that, Harbeck is
pursuing a Master of Arts in interdisciplinary humanities, which
he expects to complete in 2020.
A master's degree gives him the
learning to speak credibly and
have something relevant to say,
and the opportunity to connect
with all the other people who are
thinking in this area, he says.
Documenting the mainframe
culture and history, documenting
that wisdom and sharing it with
nonmainframe and mainframe
people alike is the direction
Harbeck plans to continue. "I
want to bridge that humanity and
that technology back together,
because that's the only place
they were ever meant to be."