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Helping New to Z’ers thrive through connection

By Meredith Stowell posted Tue August 18, 2020 01:32 PM

  

Join the New to Z Community to network and learn with others starting their careers on the platform.

We are thrilled to announce the “New to Z” community, a place where IBM Z developers, administrators, writers, testers, designers and business managers who are just starting to build their careers can connect globally and locally.

Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to meet many inspiring individuals who are starting their careers on IBM Z. Whether we meet through conferences like SHARE and GSE, IBM events, training workshops, or other meetings and meetups, from Brazil to UK to Canada, there is consistently a common theme – passion for the IBM Z platform, wanting to learn more, and enthusiasm to meet, connect, and share with others.

To help this amazing global community come together, we want to provide a space where you can….

  • Quickly connect with peers around the world to ask questions, bounce ideas off of each other, and share experiences
  • Have the opportunity to talk to subject matter experts and product developers
  • Find out what’s going on near you and join in
  • Easily access training and try new techniques
  • Find opportunities to give back to your local community, help inspire the next generation

That’s why we are thrilled to announce the “New to Z” community, a place where IBM Z developers, administrators, writers, testers, designers and business managers who are just starting to build their careers can connect globally and locally. It is a great place to jumpstart your career while joining others who are looking to do the same.

The New to Z community is built to foster making new global connections, trying new things, and learning from each other. This goes hand in hand with the vibrant community that already exists within the broader mainframe workforce.

helping-new-to-zers-thrive02.jpgOpportunities abound

Computing touches every aspect of our lives today and you are often at the heart of it. With every use of a credit card, scan of a flight boarding pass, and tap of a button on your phone, we’re interacting with systems and software that is being built, managed, and used by people just like yourself. Application development on z/OS is undergoing a tooling revolution. From the adoption of Agile practices to new DevOps, cloud-native tooling, open standards, and IDE support for mainframe-centric languages, there’s tremendous opportunity for new and existing developers.

Two-thirds of The Fortune 100 use IBM Z. From industry leading banks, insurance and healthcare companies, to airlines, government agencies and IT services, organizations are rapidly working to hire and train up the new generation of early and mid-career professionals working on IBM Z. In addition to a breadth of industries and accelerated growth opportunities, developers using IBM Z have the option to work on everything from analytics to databases to both high and low-level programming languages, security, and the latest APIs. Working on this enterprise platform gives you the full 360 degrees of IT, with a solid foundation of decades of expertise that come from platform developers before you. In a recent Forrester study, Enterprise Computing roles such as those in the mainframe outperformed other IT roles in salary, work-life balance, ability to make a social impact, alignment with primary technology interests and job security. Being in the driver’s seat of mission critical applications and technology that runs the global economy is not only exciting but offers the opportunity to constantly learn something new while progressing your career.

Through the New to Z Community, you can explore many different roles on IBM Z from a variety of companies and perspectives, all on your own schedule through virtual job shadowing or watch New to Z interview videos describing what their typical day is and see what they are doing on the platform.

The connection

When asked why she chose to work on IBM Z, Anna McKee, a two time Master the Mainframe winner and now a New to Z’er, said it was the community that attracted her. If you’re already part of this community or are simply exploring it, one of the first things you may notice is what a tight-knit and passionate global group this is. A typical IBM Z industry conference has often been described as a family reunion where, despite the company lines, everybody seems to know everybody. This is the heart of our community. Those who work on IBM Z are passionate about the platform, getting to know their colleagues, and sharing knowledge. The overarching goal for the New to Z community is to help the next generation of Z’ers to connect with each other as well as subject matter experts in this same sense.

Start making connections yourself and check out the events section on our New to Z page and join an upcoming virtual Speed Mentoring session!

How new is “new”?

Whether you are just starting your career on the platform or have 5-10 years experience, there is always something new to learn. If you feel like your skills are beginner or intermediate, join us to help connect with others that are right there with you and want to continue to learn and grow. Through extensive user research, we’ve found that the “typical” New to Z’er is looking to understand a few key things: they want to build up their career, understand the layout of IBM Z and all pieces it touches, and find ways to innovate and bring new technologies onto this storied platform.

Does this resonate with you? Introduce yourself in the discussion forum and start getting to know some new Z friends!

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We’ve got the resources you need

Through our community blogs as well as links to various resources like the IBM Z developer page tailored to beginners and intermediate learners, there is something for everybody. You will find articles, code patterns, tutorials, access to systems, and blogs about developers who are enabling open source technology on IBM Z. They are looking for ways to automate traditional workflows and thinking outside of the box!

Want to give Linux on Z a whirl? From the LinuxONE developer page, you can access the LinuxONE Community Cloud, where anyone, including developers, students and entrepreneurs, can sign up for 120-day access at no cost to a virtual server running Red Hat or SUSE with full root access to develop, test or run open source applications on LinuxONE, or gain to access other services offered, like Red Hat OpenShift on LinuxONE.

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So dive in!

Are you new to Z? Do you know somebody who is? Help continue to grow this inspiring community by joining, sharing, actively engaging, expanding your career opportunities, reaching out to others, ask or answer questions, and learning valuable new skills alongside the rest of your peers. New content and opportunities will be added regularly. See something missing? Suggest your idea in the New to Z User Group by beginning a discussion, contributing a new blog post or building it out yourself and sharing it with the community.

New to Z’ers are like IBM Z, essential. If you are new to Z or know someone who is, I encourage you to join and share the New to Z Community with your peers! Let’s come together as a community to help each other grow, thrive, and make an impact.

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