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Meet the New Open Mainframe Ambassadors

By | April 29, 2022

Last April, Open Mainframe Project announced our first-ever class of Open Mainframe Ambassadors. The main goal of the Ambassadors Program is to spread the word around the world on how to join the community and advance Open Mainframe.  Open Mainframe Project Ambassadors have volunteered to perform a variety of activities including speaking, mentoring, reviewing materials or presentations and writing blogs or contributed articles.

This year, we’re excited to announce additional thought leaders who are passionate about mainframes and our projects including:

  • Elizabeth K. Joseph, Developer Advocate at IBM and Chair of Software Discovery Tool
  • Hartanto Ario Widjaya, Student at Singapore Management University, contributor of COBOL Programming Course and 2022 Open Mainframe Summer Mentor
  • Sarah Julia Kriesch, Contributor at openSUSE and contributor to the Linux Working Group
  • Steven Dickens, Vice President of Sales and Business Development and Senior Analyst at Futurum Research and contributor to Open Mainframe Project
  • Sudharsana Srinivasan, IBMZ Influencer Program Manager at IBM and Chair of the COBOL Programming Course
  • Timothy Johnson, Software Engineer at Broadcom and a member of the  Zowe Command Line Interface Squad

Learn more about these ambassadors:

Elizabeth K. Joseph:

Elizabeth is a Linux systems administrator turned developer advocate for IBM zSystems where she works with the community to explore Linux workloads on mainframes. She has previously worked on distributed systems, including OpenStack, and has written books on Ubuntu and OpenStack. She is a regular speaker and keynoter at open source conferences around the world.

3 Fun Facts:

  • My first open source contribution was in the form of documentation in 2004.
  • I’m a big Star Wars fan.
  • I love animals and have made a habit of visiting zoos all over the world.

Hartanto Ario Widjaya:

Hartanto is a computer science student from Singapore Management University. He is currently a committer for the COBOL Programming Course after participating as a mentee during the Open Mainframe Project 2021 Summer Mentorship. He aimed to improve the content of the course with various addition and assists new learners to incorporate COBOL as a part of their tech toolkit.

3 Fun Facts:

  • I am still an undergraduate student, while also a committer for an open-source project!
  • As of the time writing this, I have around 2 years of experience with mainframes, and I love every single time I spent on the platform.
  • I love traveling and looking for good food and amazing views.

Sarah Julia Kriesch:

Sarah  is working as a DevOps Consultant at Accenture and is a Master Student in Computer Science at FAU. She is contributing via openSUSE to open source since around 10 years. Sarah is one of the founders of the Linux Distributions Working Group at the Open Mainframe Project with the goal to improve the collaboration between all zLinux distributions and IBM.

3 Fun Facts:

  • I want to engage as an openSUSE Member for all Linux distributions.
  • I want to bring forward Linux and open source on the Mainframe.
  • I am a Master Student, Consultant and Open Source Enthusiast in one person.

Steven Dickens:

Steven is Vice President of Sales and Business Development and Senior Analyst at Futurum Research. Operating at the crossroads of technology and disruption, Steven engages with the world’s largest technology brands exploring new operating models and how they drive innovation and competitive edge for the enterprise. With experience in Open Source, Mission Critical Infrastructure, Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, and FinTech innovation, Dickens makes the connections between the C-Suite executives, end users, and tech practitioners that are required for companies to drive maximum advantage from their technology deployments. Steven is an alumnus of industry titans such as HPE and IBM and has led multi-hundred million dollar sales teams that operate on the global stage. Steven was a founding board member, former Chairperson, and now Board Advisor for the Open Mainframe Project, a Linux Foundation Project promoting Open Source on the mainframe. Steven Dickens is a Birmingham, UK native, and his speaking engagements take him around the world each year as he shares his insights on the role technology and how it can transform our lives going forward.

3 Fun Facts:

  • I was the person who had the idea for open source on the mainframe.
  • I approached the Linux Foundation to get the Open Mainframe Project off the ground.
  • I was the first board chair for the initial 9-months of the project.

Sudharsana Srinivasan:

Sudharsana is an IBM Z Advocacy Program Manager in the IBM Z Ecosystem team where she works to build a rich, vibrant, diverse and global IBM Z community through advocate activation. She currently also leads the team that is responsible for bringing to life IBM Z Learning content such as the IBM Z Xplore learning platform. Her career at IBM has centered around IBM Z where she has held various roles in firmware development and test prior to joining the IBM Z Ecosystem team in 2019.

3 Fun Facts:

  • I love Mainframes – have worked all my professional life on this platform.
  • I teach Classical Indian dance and music in my spare time.
  • I love collecting pressed pennies from all the various places I visit.

Timothy Johnson:

Timothy Johnson is a Software Engineer at Broadcom and an active member of the Zowe Command Line Interface Squad since 2019. He is a committer for Zowe CLI, Zowe SDKs, and Zowe Explorer. Timothy has developed desktop applications in Node.js, Python, C#, and Rust, created web UIs in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, authored CI/CD workflows in Groovy and TypeScript, and is keen to integrate modern technologies with the mainframe.

3 Fun Facts:

  • I am passionate about open source and create apps in my spare time.
  • I own too many Raspberry Pis for hobby projects.
  • I like traveling around the world to enjoy nature and take photos.

To see the complete list of Ambassadors, visit