z/OS Vulnerabilities Review – Technical Lead at RBS
“I’d just like to say it was a pleasure working with you folks. May our paths cross again at some stage in the not too distant future.”
Remote programming services on emergency VTS rebuild
Bob Fox at Irish Life & Permanent plc
Group IT – Mainframe Technical Services
“As manager of the “VSM installation and migration” project, I had an urgent need for some data-analysis/-reorganising/-extraction and production of execution cards, to get the project over an issue that we had discovered with already-migrated tape datasets that were subsequently discovered to have not copied correctly.
Julie-Ann Williams was contracted to write code to meet our requirements. Following a brief, remote overview of the challenge, Julie-Ann came on-site for one day, during which she discovered the technical detail of the issue and our environment, and we sorted out Julie-Ann’s logon access, both local and remote (which she tested from the local Wi-Fi hotspot).
In total Julie-Ann spent 16½ days working on the project over a period of seven weeks. (Over the course of the work, we included some additional items of coding to assist with the same project.) All bar two of the days were done remotely.
As regards the remote aspect of the work, I found it a very efficient means of the work being carried out. Travel and accommodation expenses were minimised. The work was done as and when I needed, so there was no dead-time (e.g. paying a contractor to be on-site awaiting work). The quantity and quality of the work done per half-day billed exceeded my expectations. Julie-Ann was easily contactable by e-mail and telephone, as required. The nature of the work suited Julie-Ann being free from interruptions, which frequently take place in an office environment (especially when it gets known that a contractor of significant technical knowledge is “available” for queries etc.) And she came on-site where the situation necessitated – i.e. at the start of the contract and for one further day later in the project.
I would have no hesitation in putting a similar arrangement in place in future should the need arise.”
HBOS Integration Project
Steve Rowe at Lloyds Banking Group
Security Specialist – IT Security
“Craig was engaged to allow the IT Security Technology team to fulfil their responsibilities in the creation and development of the integrated LBG z/OS environment. The brief was to implement/enhance the existing processes to work in a site where there is a mixture of naming standards, a heavily customised site written RACF admin tool and a complicated batch suite.
Despite the environment being complicated and non-standard Craig was quickly able to absorb our requirements and create a technical plan as to how we could implement the required changes within deadlines. Once code changes were ready for implementation he produced detailed documentation about the handover requirements. This could be used by any other member of the team to implement the changes.
Despite often being busy he was always willing to act as a sounding board when issues arose that were not specifically part of his remit. He also became involved in fixing live issues and as a general team resource when problems occurred. The IT Security Access Control team were happy to approach Craig and respected his knowledge and ability to get things done.
Craig was able to work with minimal supervision but would always request guidance when a policy decision was required. He did not make assumptions that could have resulted in wasted work taking place. Once he had been informed of useful contacts in other areas of Service Delivery he would utilise those contacts and proactively obtain useful information without requiring without assistance from members of the team who were busy with their own work.
Craig is deeply knowledgeable in many aspects of z/OS as well as RACF and how to secure the system. He is able to utilise that knowledge to provide practical solutions to real problems. He is always professional and will always propose the ‘correct’ course of action and is keen to identify issues that are not part of his immediate remit but should be addressed. However he is aware of the real world. If the business requires a course of action he is flexible enough to implement that and provide details of possible future ‘improvements’.
Craig’s work during the last 18+ months was vital to IT Security delivering a secure z/OS environment that was such a significant part of the successful LBG Integration program.”
Dresdner Kleinwort had recently lost all of their Senior System z staff to retirement and they realised that they had no Assembler knowledge in-house. A z/OS upgrade meant all exits needed to be reviewed. Julie-Ann taught Tony Smith from DK how to read Assembler in 3 days!
Tony Smith at Dresdner Kleinwort
zSeries Systems Programmer
“Thanks again for making the Assembler course enjoyable, could easily have been a real drag :-)”
Speaker / Trainer / Coach
“Julie-Ann organised a couple of conferences where I was the keynote speaker. She consistently realised that technicians also need client-facing skills, and got those skills onto the agenda. Julie-Ann also is a natural communicator and speaker herself, kicking off sessions by creating an informal atmosphere that helps delegates relax and start to talk to each other. At one of ‘her’ conferences, Julie-Ann wasn’t even on the official list of speakers, but still got a number of write-in votes for the Best Speaker Award!”
System z Technically Speaking Road Show 2008
Senior IT Specialist & zChampion at IBM
“I just wanted to say thank you for the tone you set at the Technically Speaking sessions last week. The relaxed environment certainly helped me to kick off a presentation that I’d been concerned about for some time!”