2024 Influential Mainframers

This month, Planet Mainframe celebrates influential mainframers nominated by the community. The field benefits from their efforts in making the mainframe what it is today and working towards the mainframe of tomorrow.

Today we showcase someone who has led the way for open source, Zowe, and mainframe.

Joe Winchester

Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM

Hursley, United Kingdom

Connect with Joe on:

Over the past 15 years, Joe Winchester dedicated himself to bridging the gap between the traditional mainframe ecosystem and the open-source community. He aims to make the mainframe accessible and intuitive for a new generation of developers.

Joe takes pride in sharing at various conferences, showcasing how open-source projects like Zowe can streamline mainframe usage. As a track chair for the Guide Share Europe UK Conference and the SHARE Conference Zowe track, he curates content and manages sessions to promote application development conversations.

A standout memory for Winchester is the 2019 SHARE St. Louis conference. “My favorite mainframe-related memory,” said Joe, “is seeing the launch of Zowe at SHARE St. Louis 2019, when four company executives on stage talked about their hopes for the project. I thought, ‘Wow, we’ve got our work cut out for us’. That gave me energy and hope that Zowe was mainstream.”

Central to Winchester’s experience is the community within mainframe computing—a tapestry woven from various ages, geographies, and cultural backgrounds, all committed to the platform’s longevity and innovation. He’s been inspired by the selfless experts who offer guidance without fanfare, including:

  • Dr. Cameron Seay, for his work with Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Jeff Bisti, for adapting IBM Z Explore with Zowe
  • Bill Periera, for his Zowe tutorials on YouTube
  • Meredith Stowell, for developing educational resources

Winchester eagerly anticipates integrating AI and large language models to aid developers and operators. Implementing open standards like OTEL will likely expand the mainframe’s capabilities, drawing in a broader array of industry tools.

As an IBM Senior Technical Staff Member and an Open Mainframe Project Ambassador, Winchester is a testament to the mainframe community’s adaptability and collaborative spirit. His tenure reflects a commitment to maintaining the mainframe’s relevance and cultivating its evolution to support the future.