SHARE members are the driving force behind the organization's three pillars: educate, network, and influence. Members network with one another at SHARE's biannual events, and many of those relationships turn into lifelong friendships. Many members also lend a hand and volunteer to help shape the industry and sessions at these events and between them. Volunteering provides an additional level of networking beyond being just an attendee. By sharing technical information and knowledge with one another, members create a feedback loop of education. SHARE Atlanta (March 5-8) is on the horizon, and members should explore all the benefits that SHARE has to offer.
EDUCATION AT SHARE
In addition to sharing knowledge and technical expertise during SHARE events, members have the distinct advantage of receiving access to the proceedings from events right away. Recordings of past events are available to those who registered for the SHARE events and PDFs of proceedings are available to all members.
Digital badges are earned by members for earning Best Session distinctions at SHARE events, earning multiple Best Session awards at multiple events, attending a number of specific technical presentations, such as security or DevOps, and attending a certain number of hours and days at specific SHARE events. These badges can then be shared on professional resumes, social media profiles, and email signatures to demonstrate enterprise IT accomplishments and expertise to the community and employers.
Members also can access upcoming webcasts on integration tips, analytics and reporting, shortcuts for common technical processes, and information on new software and hardware releases. The next webcast, "Top WLM Analysis Exercises and Recommendations," will air live Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. CT with Peter Enrico and Scott Chapman from Enterprise Performance Strategies, who will walk members through how to best optimize workload manager (WLM) to improve the performance and resource optimization in most z/OS environments.
Members can also access past webcasts if they need a refresher on lessons.
SHARE Nibbles is another opportunity for members to gain knowledge through short, 10-minute or less tutorials that address enterprise IT questions and offer tips on how to resolve issues that many mainframers come across daily. These can include tips on how to secure the mainframe and protect the data center or a primer on GIT. These short tutorials are created by users for users, helping others hone their skills and keep up-to-date on the topics now facing the mainframe industry.
SHARE Nibbles are available on SHARE's YouTube channel, along with recaps of various events, keynote speakers, and education sessions that are still relevant today.
INFLUENCE THROUGH SHARE REQUIREMENTS
The SHARE Requirements process ensures that the organization remains influential in the mainframe space by leveraging its membership base to influence enhancements to products and services for the benefit of the entire mainframe community. Mike Shorkend, who leads SHARE Requirements process for MVSE, says the process covers three main areas: core technologies, storage, and z/VM. He explains, "Anyone can go to IBM Ideas and submit a request for enhancements, but SHARE's process has greater weight because the requirements submitted have been vetted by SHARE and IBM specialists and have the backing of our members, meaning more customers are asking for the requirement."
Requests for Enhancements (RFEs) submitted via the SHARE request system have the following advantages:
- IBM provides SHARE RFEs a higher priority over other requests
- The request is discussed by peers and by IBM reps before it is submitted
- SHARE colleagues can comment and improve on the original request
- The voting system provides IBM with valuable information on the importance of the request to the relevant mainframe community
Throughout the process, Shorkend says, each submission is streamlined and written with the input of IBM specialists who have the knowledge of forthcoming products, updates, and versions. In 2016, a member-proposed SHARE requirement for core technology for the z/OSMF workflow was adopted to add a column or columns for date-updated or data-created filtering capacity, enabling users to filter out lists of workflows in-flight or completed.
At each SHARE event, there's an MVSE session (in conjunction with the MVSS project that focuses on education, professional networking, and industry influence in the area of IBM Z Storage Management) in which IBM responds to SHARE RFEs and explains which were accepted and when they can be expected, and IBM offers an explanation for those RFEs that are rejected.
Delivering on requirements can take a few months to several years, but Shorkend points out that if IBM is currently working on something that the requirement addresses, they can make immediate updates. For instance, he says IBM has lately focused on replacing older interfaces for new mainframers, which means requirements updating those interfaces or issues customers have could be accepted faster. Another example: IBM seems to move quicker on requests for changes to JES2 Policy, which is a modern method of replacing assembler code that may no longer be understood by IT staff. Shorkend says there is no easy way to predict how long it will take for a requirement to be accepted.
SHARE members have a responsibility to not only network with their peers, share knowledge, and learn more about enterprise IT, but also ensure their knowledge and expertise is put to good use through technology enhancements. "All SHARE members can submit an enhancement request, effectively influencing enterprise technology for the good of all users," says Shorkend.