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Closing the Knowledge Gap: How to Attract and Retain Next-Gen Mainframe Talent (October 2023)

By | June 20, 2024

The webinar, part of the “Making Our Strong Community Stronger” initiative, brought together leaders from BMC, Broadcom Mainframe Software, IBM, and the Open Mainframe Project to discuss strategies for attracting and retaining next-generation mainframe talent. The session, moderated by Derek Powe, SVP of Z Architecture Computing at M&T Bank, focused on current internship, mentorship, and employment opportunities within the mainframe ecosystem.

Key speakers included:

  • Earl Dixon Jr., Principal Client Services and Vitality Program Tech Lead at Broadcom Mainframe Software
  • Jen Corio, Director of Talent Acquisition at BMC
  • Shelly Meierarend, IBM Z Global Skills Leader at IBM
  • John Mertic, Executive Director at Open Mainframe Project

The discussion highlighted the ongoing need for skilled professionals in the mainframe industry, with an emphasis on creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments. Each speaker shared their company’s specific programs designed to foster new talent:

Broadcom’s Programs:

Internship Program: Targeted at juniors and above with a computing major, providing in-person, paid opportunities across various locations.

Vitality Program: Open to both new graduates and career changers, offering extensive training and a residency at Fortune 500 companies.

IBM’s Initiatives:

IBM Z Day and Virtual Career Fair: Annual events to engage and educate potential mainframe professionals.

IBM Z Explore: A comprehensive learning platform offering badges and hands-on experience with mainframe technologies.

BMC’s Next Gen Program:

A 17-month program with rotations across departments, aimed at upskilling participants in mainframe technologies and customer solutions.

Open Mainframe Project’s Mentorship:

Focused on open source contributions, this program has engaged over 100 mentees globally, providing practical experience and career development.

The panel emphasized the importance of mentorship, continuous learning, and adapting management styles to support new talent.