This is the next blog in the continuing series of interviews with top-echelon and renowned professionals. In this blog, I interview Trevor Eddolls: Distinguished author, international authority on mainframes and computing.
Trevor is a qualified teacher and has a BA. He has worked with mainframes since 1979. He has written and delivered numerous IT-related training courses, and has chaired and been a guest speaker at numerous seminars and Webinars. For many years he was the editorial director for Xephon's highly regarded Update publications, which included CICS Update, MVS Update, DB2 Update, and many others.
Trevor has written three books entitled "VM Performance Management", "Introduction to VM", and "ASO: Automated Systems Operations for MVS". In 2004 he set up his own company, iTech-Ed Ltd, which focuses on writing and editing about mainframe computing, as well as offering consultancy, training, and Web design and development. Trevor has had numerous articles published in various technical journals, including zJournal, and on different Web sites. He has also written a number of White Papers and internal documentation for various software vendors. More recently he has been responsible for the production and editing of the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook. He also runs the Virtual IMS Connection Web site - the independently-operated vendor-neutral site run by and for the IMS user community. As well as mainframe expertise, Trevor is a Microsoft Office Specialist Master Instructor (MOS MI).
You can follow him on Twitter at t_eddolls.
To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link
Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic
Trevor describes his history, current roles and work.
Trevor, can you talk about the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook and its value to mainframe professionals? (www.arcati.com/newyearbook10)
"....It is, in so many ways, the de facto reference book for IT professionals working with z/OS systems. It includes an annual user survey, an up-to-date directory of vendors and consultants, a media guide, a strategy section with papers on mainframe trends and directions, a glossary of terminology, and a technical specification section. The Yearbook is available free in PDF format on the Arcati Web site, and each year it gets between 10,000 and 15,000 downloads...."
What are the benefits of joining the Virtual IMS Connection user group (www.virtualims.com)?
"....Similar to the Yearbook, the focus of the Virtual IMS Connection user group and Web site is to share information with busy professionals. The user group was established as a way for individuals using IBM's IMS hierarchical database and transaction processing systems to exchange information, learn new techniques, and advance their skills with the product...."
What are some of the benefits of SharePoint?
"....It's a way of changing the way people work in an organization and to do it in a much more controlled way. As well as the collaboration, I think the other thing is the workflow that is absolutely built into the latest version of SharePoint...I do wonder though if many sites will realize the full potential of it...."
Can you share your top predictions for the future and why we should pay attention?
"....Hardware improvements....Enhancements to software....Training....The role of mainframes....Important to the future of the mainframe is the general public's attitude...."
How will organizations use cloud computing and why should computing professionals care? What is the role of mainframes in cloud computing?
"....Providers of cloud services try to enable economies of scale....create an affordable and available supply of virtualized assets....maintain a 'green footprint' in the face of energy regulations and constraints....meet Service Level Agreements.... secure the cloud....Consumers are demanding this kind of environment 'computing as shopping', where you just take and pay for what you want and don't worry about anything behind the scenes...."
Do technical blogs help get the message out there or do they just confuse readers?
"....The consequence of more people giving an opinion is there are more opinions to read and more confusion amongst the browsing population.....If I want to buy an iPad or a car or whatever, I'm like everyone else - I need to find a trusted expert in the blogosphere!...."
What specific innovations amaze you?
"....The trouble is, anything that we have we just take for granted and we're looking forward to the next big thing and yet when it comes, we're not that impressed. With that caveat, some innovations that really impressed me are: Geostationary satellites....The human genome project....The electric light bulb....Invention of the wheel...."
Trevor shares some interesting stories from his work.
What are your thoughts on computing as a recognized profession like medicine, law, accounting, with demonstrated professional development, adherence to a code of ethics, and globally recognized credentials? [see www.ipthree.org]
"....ITIL - IT Infrastructure Library - provides best practice examples for service management and IP3 are all about setting standards for the IT industry. I think organizations like this should be supported. I also think they should have some way of including in the membership, recognized industry professionals who've been round the block a few times and should incorporate their skills and best practice. At the moment, from a customer's perspective, when you employ a consultant or an organization to work on your IT with you, you have no way of knowing how good they are or what standards they achieve compared to other similar organizations. I would absolutely support computing becoming a recognized profession - with continuous professional development, code of ethics, and of course, letters after your name so customers know you adhere to their standards...."
If you were doing this interview, what questions would you ask and then what would be your answers?
"....'What are HTML5 and CSS3 and why are they important?'....'Is social media a business tool?'....'What do you see as the role of OpenMainframe.Org?'...."