The Open Mainframe Project (OMP) is hosting its first-ever in-person Open Mainframe Summit set to take place on September 21-22, in Philadelphia. The event aims to bring together mainframers from across the world to interact in person, attend technical sessions and broaden their education within the mainframe.

(Register for the event or submit a proposal here)

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to continue to engage with the global audience now that we’re going to have our first in-person event, but at the same time, be able to provide a safe place for the communities to interact in person,” says Donna Hudi, Chief Marketing Officer at Phoenix Software, a member of the Open Mainframe Project Marketing Committee and a member of the Open Mainframe Summit 2022 Program Committee, on this episode of TFiR Newsroom.

Key highlights from this video interview are:

  • This year’s event will have a strong security focus with some new additional categories as well. Hudi discusses the topics and focuses that will be covered in the Open Mainframe Summit.
  • The call for proposals is open. Hudi explains further about what sort of proposals they are expecting and that she believes will add value to the ecosystem.
  • Hudi discusses some of the focuses of last year’s Open Mainframe Summit and how they are building on that for this year’s event.
  • The Open Mainframe Summit aims to be a welcome, inclusive experience for attendees to enjoy regardless of their background. Hudi elaborates on her experience of attending mainframe events in the past and how welcoming she has found the community.
  • A scholarship program has been set up to help people attend the event. Further details on how to submit the application are on the Open Mainframe Summit website.

Guest: Donna Hudi
Project: Open Mainframe Project (LinkedIn, Twitter)
Show: TFiR Newsroom
Keywords: Open Mainframe Summit 2022, Mainframe Computing 

About Donna Hudi: Donna Hudi is the Chief Marketing Officer at Phoenix Software, a member of the Open Mainframe Project Marketing Committee and a member of the Open Mainframe Summit 2022 Program Committee.

About The Open Mainframe Project: The Open Mainframe Project was founded in 2015, as a focal point for deployment and use of Linux and Open Source in a mainframe computing environment. Open Source is the collective thread within leading organizations that look to leverage their technology infrastructure as a competitive advantage. The mainframe design principles of security, stability, scalability, and performance are important to these leading organizations, and having the mainframe interoperable in a hybrid infrastructure enables leading organizations to realize its benefits. Open Mainframe Project believes this is best achieved as a community through open source.

The summary of the show is written by Emily Nicholls.


Here is the automated and unedited transcript of the recording. Please note that the transcript has not been edited or reviewed. 

Swapnil Bhartiya: Hi, this is your host Swapnil Bhartiya, and welcome to another episode of TFiR Newsroom. And today we have with us Donna Hudi, open mainframe summit program committee member of the Open Mainframe project. Donna, it’s great to have you on the show.

Donna Hudi: Thank you. I’m happy to be here.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Yeah, and today we are going to talk about the 2022 addition of open mainframe summit. The call for proposals is already open. UHS are also open, but before we talk about all those things, tell us a bit more about the summit this year. Is there something different from what we have been doing previously? What’s new for this Euro summit?

Donna Hudi: Yes. Well, now that the COVID restrictions have loosened, we are having our first in person event in Philadelphia, September 21st and 22nd, and we’re pretty excited about the opportunity for folks to be able to interact in person. It’s also an opportunity for folks to attend technical sessions and broaden their education within the mainframe.

Swapnil Bhartiya: What is going to be the focus of this year’s summit is, because if you look at the last one year, a lot of new projects have come, the community has also grown?

Donna Hudi: Yeah, this year’s summit definitely has a strong security tie, but there’s also some new categories that have been added, for example, building the next workforce. We’re bringing back diversity and inclusion from the last summit, and then additionally, education and training will be a big deal, along with the kind of some of the standards that you would see, AI and machine learning cloud native and on the mainframe, as well as the hybrid cloud, and then the different programming languages and also some Linux on Z, and of course open source security on the mainframe. So there’s about 10 different categories that folks can choose from.

Swapnil Bhartiya: And since call for proposal is also open, what kind of proposals are you either expecting or you would like to encourage people, “Hey, we would like to see you or your talk or your session on that particular topic”?

Donna Hudi: One of the things that people sometimes are confused about is, does a company have to be a member or a contributor to the open mainframe project or sponsoring the event? And to be honest with you, those have no impact on whether or not those developers would be selected, but obviously, we put a strong emphasis on community leaders, program committee members, and creators and our leaders, and the open source projects are very highly rated, but the key focus of the open mainframe projects 21 hosted projects and working groups or contributors are always considered to add value to the ecosystem. And so we look very strongly at those submissions.

Swapnil Bhartiya: So one of the exciting things about this years event, if I’m not wrong, is first of all, this is the third open mainframe summit and this is the first one which is going to be in person. If you just look back at those previous events or last year event, so if you can just talk about what are the focus on last year and how you are further improving on that. First of all, doing something in person itself is an achievement in today’s time, to be able to see each other, talk to each other, and just spend some time together.

Donna Hudi: Yeah. The first two events were very successful. They were both virtual because of COVID. And that, in and of itself, was actually an opportunity. It brought attendees from all over the globe. And we’re hoping that we’ll be able to continue to engage with the global audience now that we’re going to have our first in person event, but at the same time, be able to provide a safe place for the communities to interact in person. Last year, we actually received the DEI gold badge for diversity. Diversity was a strong topic last year, and as I said earlier, we are bringing that back. We’re going to have a diversity luncheon, we’ll have several diversity talks, and we’re very excited about that.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Now, since this event is going to be in person… And Linux Foundation, I’ve been at a ding events for so long. What I really love about them is that it doesn’t matter what you believe in, what your background is, you’re always welcome. And now, since you folks are doing it your first time, so can you also talk about, being in person, what are the things you folks will be doing? Just give us… Because too early, it doesn’t matter who you are, you will still feel welcomed at this event.

Donna Hudi: Yeah. Like you said, it’s a little early right now, as you’re working out some of the technical details of things that you just gave examples of. But what I can tell you from my experience, just with the mainframe community in general, main framers are some of the most welcoming people I have ever met in my life. I have gone to mainframe events and I never get hugged so much than I do over the course of the several days of the event. They’re just welcoming. They don’t care who you are or where you’re from, and they just want… Their passion for the mainframe is really all that matters to them, and no matter who you are, they want to be able to share that with you. They really are a very welcoming community. And I’ve seen folks bring their families, bring their wives when there’s dinners and luncheons and things. You’ll meet their spouses, you’ll meet their families. It really is… It sounds kind of cliche to say, but it really is a giant family, the mainframe community is.

Swapnil Bhartiya: One more thing that I have noticed, once again, not just with the open mainframe community, but the larger Linux Foundation as well, is that you folks also help a lot with bringing new folks. You have mentor, mentee program as well. So is there anything will be there where folks who are new to it, that they can also come? Are you running any program like that or any plans for that like that?

Donna Hudi: Absolutely. There’s actually a scholarship program that’s been set up to help folks be able to get to the event. And folks can check that out on the open mainframe project website, the actual summit website. They can get the details there and actually submit applications for the scholarships to help bring folks to the event, because the more folks that we can have at the event… Like you said, it’s one thing to talk to someone on the phone. It’s another thing to be able to even video conference with them. But actually being able to sit down one-on-one, in-person with somebody and talk about the things that you’re passionate about, it’s a whole nother level and something that we definitely want as many people as possible to be able to participate in.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Donna, thank you so much for taking time out today and talk to us about the upcoming summit. And as usual, we’ll all be… We’re excited about attending the summit, of course, in-person. And I would love to have you back on the show, or more likely I’ll see you in-person at the event itself, but thanks for your time today.

Donna Hudi: Thank you very much. It was my pleasure.


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