Today, I am pleased to be able to post a mini-interview with Dave Andrews, IBM Development Director for CICS. There is a lot going on at the CICS ranch in Hursley these days, getting ready for Impact, which will be starting soon, and with a new release in beta and being made available this summer. I truly appreciate Dave taking some time out to answer a few questions. It is easy to tell that Dave is genuinely upbeat about his position and is excited about the direction that CICS is taking. So, here they are … Three Big Questions for Dave Andrews!
Question #1: For those that may not be familiar with you and your work, can you please fill us in on your current position, how long you’ve been there, and any background information you’d like to share?
My name is Dave Andrews and I have had the pleasure of being the IBM Development Director for the CICS family of products for the past two and a half years. I joined IBM about 20 years ago and started my career as a Hursley software developer working on CICS restructure in V3.1 – one of the finest CICS releases ever! After about 10 years in CICS, I moved to MQ where I took on my first IBM management role. So now I am back to the product where I started my career and I am enjoying every minute of it!
Question #2: It is very interesting that one can learn more about CICS these days via YouTube, Facebook, podcasts, “The Master Terminal” blog, and Twitter, as well as the more traditional information outlets. What kind of feedback have you received regarding these new forms of communication?
I’ve received more feedback from within IBM than directly from customers – some people are surprised with the innovative approach we are adopting with some of the new information channels. Most people think that they are fun and interesting ways to get our messages across. Overall we are trying to improve the image of CICS and of the mainframe and to show that it is modern and will move forward with the times. Now that we have announced CICS V4.1 I hope you will see that we have modern communication channels and a modern and exciting technologies (ATOM, REST, PHP, Event, SCA etc). Of course we need to balance things carefully – not everything modern is best – we need to continue to support traditional communications and traditional values inside CICS. I hope we have the right mix and that you too can have fun engaging with us!
And Question #3: What do you do for fun when you are not working on CICS?
I have a wonderful family who support me to the highest degree and they come first when I am not at work. However I do find time for a couple of hobbies in my spare time. I play field hockey for Romsey which takes up quite a lot of my Saturdays during the winter. I also build and make water rockets and compete in the UK national rocket championship. I also try and support the UK community: I am the chairman of one of the Exeter University External Advisory Groups, I sit on the Software Group committee for Intellectuk.org and I am the treasurer for my local Scout Group.