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Steve Bradshaw on the Importance of PTFs

Technology refresh

Paul talks to Steve Bradshaw about passion for the platform, CEAC, i people, the importance of PTFs and walking in Wolverhampton.

Paul: Hi everyone and welcome to iTalk with Tuohy. So I'm sitting here in Wyboston Lake Hotel in the U.K. and delighted to be joined today by Steve Bradshaw. Hi Steve.

Steve: Hey Paul.

Paul: So Steve for anybody who has not come across him⎯well I think everybody in Europe definitely knows Steve. A couple of people in the U.S. may not have heard of Steve. So, Steve I have worked with you quite a bit with the IUG here, the user group⎯

Paul: Yup.

Paul: Worked with you on the COMMON advisory council. Even though we don't like to talk about it publically Steve, we have come for a beer once or twice.

Steve: It's been known on the rare occasions to happen.

Paul: Oh, yeah. [Laughs]

Steve: Under protest.

Paul: Under protest, yes and only because we have to. So Steve do you want to maybe, just to start off, just tell people what it is you do? I'm sorry. When you are not working with IO and you are not on the CEAC and you are not doing all of those community things and you're not writing and you're not speaking at conferences, what is it you like to do?

Steve: Well, you know, I'm blessed Paul. The one thing we've got in common is that we actually enjoy our job so it doesn't actually feel like work most of the time.

Paul: That's true.

Steve: So I describe myself as a friendly techie guy. It started out as a joke. You know, you go to all of these conventions and people will read your name badge; they want to know whether you're a sales guy or a manager that they might sell to or a technical guy they might influence. And so, for fun, I started writing “Friendly techie guy” on there. And then it became a bit of a mantra, a way of life. And it’s the way that we run Rowton, my company now: we’re there as friendly techie people to solve problems. Now we do focus on i and i is my big passion. My guilty secret is that I have eight of these servers myself so it is a bit of an exaggeration to say that you should have that many in one house and so I had to buy an office just to put them in.

Paul: yeah

Steve: Oh definitely going to be the hardware, isn't it? The one thing I love working with you in particular, Paul, is that we've got this complimentary area where we meet in the middle and so that's the operating system. Now I'm interested in everything from the operating system down, from the operating system, the licensed internal code, the PTFs, the hardware that runs on it, those HyperVisor levels, the fiber switches, the SANS, even down to the room that it's in. That hardware is the bit that fascinates me.

Paul: You do realize I didn't understand half the words you just used there. [Laughs]

Steve: This is the beauty of it. When we're together and you say, “Right, I'm going to use SQL to solve that problem.” I'm thinking I want to use a cable to solve that problem.

Paul: It's true.  So apart from the hardware, because I do understand that fascination for hardware (I have the same for software and that) but what is it about the platform and that that you like?  What is the big appeal with it?

Steve: Well this is going to be an odd one. It's actually the people. I don't know where⎯the nice people. This sounds a bit sycophancy but I promise you it's the truth. I think I would be in IT regardless. It is something that I've always been passionate about since I first discovered a computer at 11 but the people in the i world just tend to be a little bit nicer. Even your competition, even other techies that are in this environment tend not to be the type of people that would want to run you down, stab you in the back or just, you know, try and manipulate the deal from underneath you. So whether it is a nice platform, that trustworthiness of IBM i that rubs off on the people or maybe we have rubbed off on the platform, I don't know.

Paul: Yeah

Steve: But I like the people here and this is why I do so many of these events. I volunteer to drag my servers down there and, like yourself, teach them. It's the people. They are just fun to be with.

Paul: Yeah. No, that is a very true statement. That's the thing. You know this from traveling over the last few years because you have started speaking at conferences all around Europe and everything like that and it is the same everywhere we go. It is not sort of unique that it is always just in this country or whatever. It's absolutely everywhere.

Steve: That's it and I don't just mean the people at the conferences because you are right. We see a lot of the same faces there but it is the new people you meet. And why is that? I have no idea. We should definitely be grateful for it.

Paul Tuohy has specialized in application development and training on IBM midrange systems for more than 20 years.

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