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Rosalind Radcliffe Attributes Career to IBM and SHARE

Rosalind Radcliffe

Reg Harbeck talks with Rosalind Radcliffe, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, to gain insight into her successful experiences with IBM and SHARE and to hear her goals moving forward with z/OS. Listen to the interview via the orange play button above or read the transcript below.

Reg: Hi, I'm Reg Harbeck and today I'm here with Rosalind Radcliffe, IBM Distinguished Engineer and very well-known mainframer. She is going to tell us a bit about the role of the mainframe in her life and other cool mainframe things. So Rosalind, welcome. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Rosalind: Sure, thanks, Reg. I am Rosalind Radcliffe, currently a Distinguished Engineer at IBM and my current job role is actually DevOps for enterprise systems. So, that’s bringing DevOps to the mainframe. If I think about my IBM career, I started out in ISPF development, oh, 1987, so 29ish years ago and since then I have been either around the mainframe working in systems management, working in services, or working in application development for the mainframe and so it seemed appropriate that I do DevOps and having worked in this space all the this time one of the things that I have done in this space is watch as we haven't changed. I have been round the mainframe this entire time and a lot of the practices and processes that we’ve used are remarkably similar to when I started 29 years ago. For a lot of things, that's great. The fact that the mainframe keeps its stability, its reliability, the fact that applications that were written back in 1987 continue to run provides great value so the upward compatibility of the system, the reliability of the system helps provide customers and organizations the value that they need.

The thing that I talk a lot about now is the fact that it is the most modern platform. The mainframe systems have all this memory available. They have the processors that can do significant functions and it's important to take advantage of that capability to modernize what we’re doing, to make sure that we are truly using the capabilities of the platform, to make sure that you have the value and you are using the value of the platform.

All of the things I have done around the mainframe have been with lots of clients to help improve their processes, improve the value they are getting out of the system. I have worked with many financial institutions, insurance institutions, and they run their systems there. That’s where all the value process is. I always have a fun time when I am talking about the mainframe to kids to talk about the fact that every monetary transaction that they make is going to go through one, if not multiple, mainframe systems. So it is important that we all remember that when we are working with the system. It’s there. It is providing the reliability, the stability that people need and it is running our world. That's why I like working around the mainframe.

The other thing I should point out is for 27 of those 29 years I have been attending, presenting, working with SHARE because it is a great place to work with fellow mainframers and others to help them understand and work with them on how the technology is being used and how we can best use it, or evolve it, or make it better. 27 years ago when I was building ISPF I would sit with the clients around the table and get feedback on what I should be doing in the product and how I should be evolving ISPF. It has been the same from the standpoint of good customer interaction, good discussions, good feedback, and a great networking event for all of these years.

Reg: Cool. That's kind of neat because I started on the mainframe in June of 1987, so we have sort of this parallel career. Although, I have to confess I think you have achieved somewhat greater things and certainly very happy to have you telling us about this. Maybe if you could give us an insight first of all about how you ended up on the mainframe and then how you ended up at SHARE because you are such a tremendously important contributor at SHARE and it would really neat to find out how you ended up at both.

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