IBM Showcases New Crop of ‘Fresh Faces’
September 10, 2018 Alex Woodie
For a computer platform to remain vital, it must have a constant stream of new arrivals. This is just as true for IBM i, which has struggled to retain relevance in an increasingly homogeneous IT world, as it is for every other platform. But give kudos to IBM and its latest batch of “fresh faces” that highlight the fact that millennials are finding their way to IBM i and Power.
While nobody is claiming that younger folks are knocking down the door to get onto IBM i, there nevertheless appears to be a solid group of individuals from the less-than-40 crowd choosing to work on the platform. That’s as good a sign as any that the IBM i community isn’t shriveling away like the hairlines of so many current IBM i professionals.
IBM recently packaged up a group of current fresh faces, which its media subsidiary, IBM Systems Magazine, featured in its June 2018 issue. Here are the people IBM picked to be fresh faces for Power for 2018:
Clément Barrère: The Cilasoft software engineer first learned about the IBM i server in 2017 and since then has developed several security tools for the IBM i software vendor, including pre-built reports in the QJRN/400 auditing tool that help customers comply with GDPR and other regulations. Barrère resides in France and tweets from @ClmBarre.
Emily Cullum: The technical support specialist for Profound Logic says starting her career on the IBM i platform is good because he gives her experience in many areas. Cullum, who lives in Mississippi, is an alumnus of a Jim Buck training session in Wisconsin, which she credits for giving her a strong foundation in IBM i and RPG.
Scott Gingerysty: Gingerysty gets to use a variety of tools in client engagements as a Web and modernization specialist for Fresche Solutions, which he joined five years ago. The British Columbia resident, who tweets from @ScottGingerysty, says he loves it when he modernizes a green screen application with a new look and new features, and “they don’t know they’re still using the same program.”
Ajay Gomez: Another Jim Buck alumnus, Gomez is currently a senior programmer analyst at Hydrite Chemical, where he is working on modernizing a Lotus Notes system. The Wisconsin resident, who tweets from @ajay_gomez, is also president of the Wisconsin Midrange Computer Professionals Association. “We need to ensure college students have a positive impression of IBM i,” he says.
Josh Hall: When Hall detected a sense of stagnation in his local IBM i community, the Seiden Group consultant took matters into his own hands and launched a user group, called HUG User Group for i (or HUGi). The South Dakota resident (on Twitter at @tweetjbh) is a user and advocate of open source software in general, and encourages IBM i shops to adopt newer tools and techniques as they pursue modernization.
Steve McIver Jr: As a senior systems administrator for O’Reilly Auto Parts, McIver does his best to stay on top of IBM i technologies. But that doesn’t mean the 10-year veteran of Power Systems only values what’s “new,” as he considers legacy applications the platforms biggest strength. Just the same, the Missouri resident hopes to get the auto parts retailer using more open source tech on IBM i.
Frank Sarnelli: Joining LANSA as an associate presales consultant in 2014 allowed Sarnelli to learn about IBM i for the first time. The Chicago resident recently started working with machine learning on the side, and when LANSA heard about it, they collaborated by incorporating smart image recognition technology into the company’s applications.
Dario Silvestri: Silvestri uses an array of technologies in his job as senior IT developer at Cassa di Compensazione e Garanzia in Italy, including RPG, Python, PHP, SQL, and WebSmart. He’s also getting his feet wet with AI via a machine learning project that detects anomalies in banking data.
Leila Soufi: As a system developer for Handelsbanken in Sweden, Soufi gets to work with a wide array of technologies and disciplines, including development, modernization, and maintenance. She is engrossed with the possibilities of combining IBM i with Watson and artificial intelligence. “There’s so much to learn, discover, and apply, and we’ve just dipped our toes into the ocean,” she says.
Sameera Wijayasiri: As a senior systems engineer for South Asian Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. In Sri Lanka, Wijayasiri plays sales and technical roles for clients implementing IBM i, AIX, and Linux on Power solutions. He is a big supporter of open source software, which he says can provide customers with the same level of technical support and security as proprietary software.
This is the second year that IBM and its systems magazine have named “fresh faces” on the platform. You can read more about this year’s class here.