QED 2024
Playground Dots
Throwback to QED 2023.

Featured blog by Tim McKeoun

The birds chirping. The sound of waves lazily lapping up onto the shore. And, of course, the quiet hum of an IBM Z16 Mainframe. These are truly the most relaxing sounds in the world – If only there was a way to combine them…

Well, that’s what I would say, had I not been invited to the QED Conference in Zadar, Croatia last year. And now I’m even lucky enough to be invited back to speak again this year! Sometimes, life just works out.

My name is Tim McKeoun and I’m what you would call a “lifelong” Mainframer. And by that, I mean that my first job out of University at age 19 was as a COBOL programmer and I’ve been lucky enough to be working with the platform ever since (it was recently my 10 year anniversary with Z, as I just turned 29!). I will truly never forget my first day as a developer and being handed an old COBOL Textbook that was falling apart. Then, when I was shown the old 3270 interface, I was having serious second thoughts about my career choice. However, of course I stuck with it, and it was the best decision that I’ve ever made. The mainframe is truly the best platform in the world and through mainframe modernisation, you can get the best of both worlds.

When I think of the theme this year, Playground, I’m of course taken back to my childhood. My grandma would visit from Germany to our small town in Michigan and we would walk to the school playground where she would push me on the swing for hours. It was an experience that I’ll always remember, that spans different generations and different parts of the world – and I can’t help but draw comparisons to our favorite IBM Mainframes! Regardless of what generation you are or what part of the world you’re from, it’s so cool to think that Mainframes have been a constant – and will continue to be for many years to come!

What makes QED this year even more exciting is that finally the Mainframe gets its time in the sun with the Mighty Mainframe conference also taking place. What really struck me about being at QED last year was just the insane amount of knowledge in such a small area. Everywhere you looked, there was an interesting conversation happening, and this year will be even better for the Mainframe crowd. We have an all star lineup of the brightest mainframe minds, with (what should be) household names like Rosalind Radcliffe, Tobias Leicher, Armin Kramer, and Tom Liechti. This is truly a mainframe event you won’t want to miss.

Hoping to see you there, and don’t forget your bathing suit!

Don’t miss out on the chance to be a part of the next QED!

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