10 February 2013

SHARE experiences

(Cross-posted to the z390 Assembler blog.)

Well, I just discovered that the post I thought I made to this blog about presenting at SHARE was never published. No big worries, though, as I certainly posted it in a lot of places.

Last Tuesday, Feb 5, I presented at SHARE Winter 2013 in San Francisco, on z390, zCOBOL, zCICS, and the associated add-ons. This was my first time ever presenting at SHARE, or any user group at all. It was also my first attendance at a user group since, wow, 1989. (I am not counting my non-attendance at SHARE Summer 2012 in Anaheim, or the time I came down to SF to meet my boss at a Software AG user conference in the late 1990s.) it had been 18 months since Don Higgins presented on z390, and I thought that since SHARE was local, it would be a great opportunity to describe what is new, and what is coming.

I went in a bit nervous. The voice of my GA from my COMS 103 class at Sac State, Brie Adams, was whispering in my head on things not to do. I knew some friends of mine such as Ed Jaffe were attending. And then things got even more nervous. Not only was Mr. HLASM, Dr. John Ehrman, attending, but his successor. Sharuff Mousa (from Hursley) as well. And people I knew like Kristine Harper, and people I knew but had just finally met in person, like Rich Smrcina, Tom Conley, and Scott Fagen, were attending. And complete strangers as well. (I found out later that day that Mr. z/OS himself, Bob Rogers, wanted to attend but had a conflict. I think I would have died if he had made it.)

But onward I went. And I think I did pretty well. I handled questions, even having to answer some off the cuff. I made new contacts. I will admit that I haven't looked at the evaluations yet; I'm a bit scared to do so. And I probably was nervous some as well. Mary Anne Matyaz snapped a photo of me during my session, and my wife Cheri says I look nervous. I'm not surprised. (And having just looked again at the photo, I'm grabbing the chair.)

The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. Because of Mary Anne's gentle arm-twisting, I chaired a couple of sessions in the afternoon, and in one I finally met Kirk Wolf in person. Then I helped with some subterfuge and got my friend Chris Craddock (again, whom I had not met in person until he came to collect the badge) into the Expo. The next couple of hours were just tagging along with Chris and meeting even more folks whom I knew from the various mainframe-oriented mailing lists and Facebook. That evening was a CA-hosted party on the 45th floor, where I saw Meral Temel (sadly, I had no real chance to talk with her other than a quick "hello") and met Skip Robinson and Sam Knutson (again, finally in person!). And I'm sure I met a couple of others, and I apologize for forgetting already.

A big thanks to Crash Craddock for letting me crash at his place.

Unfortunately, unless the Braves are playing the Sox interleague that week, I won't be in Boston. But Winter 2014 is in Anaheim and I am already making plans. I hope to see you there!

My presentation can be downloaded from the SHARE web site (Session 12252), or if you are patient it can be loaded from the z390 or Cat Herder Software's web site later this week. (I will update with links when they are ready; I have to fix a couple of types I found.)

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