Today’s Architects/Emma Skovgård

Emma Skovgård

Systems Programmer Trainee at Topdanmark

Advocating for IBM Z sustainability to drive positive impact

Emma Skovgård - Systems Programmer Trainee at Topdanmark

IBM Z is environmentally friendly and secure, and that’s what we need in this day and age. I think it’s very problematic that so many companies are using inefficient servers that harm the environment. Advocating, for me, is about more than networking. It’s about leaving a positive impact on the world.”

About Emma

Emma Skovgård still remembers how hard it was to land her first job. It was only after many interviews that she had an epiphany. “I was told that the mainframe platform really needed new people,” she recalls, “so I went home after the interview and looked up everything I could about mainframes.” Taking online courses sparked a fascination with mainframes for Emma that continues to this day. More importantly, it opened the door to Emma’s current apprenticeship as an IBM z16™ Systems Programmer with Topdanmark, one of the largest insurance companies in Denmark.

As an apprentice programmer, Emma’s time is spent scripting, assisting the developer team, and overseeing the company’s mainframe modernization efforts. Along the way, she’s developed a deep appreciation for the IBM z16’s reliability, security, and environmental sustainability. “The z16 is built from the ground up with reliability in mind,” she says. “IBM tests its mainframes in a much more comprehensive manner than other platforms, and that’s what we really need to deliver secure and reliable insurance solutions to our customers.”

Read more
Thinking ahead

Emma sees mainframes as a very vital part of the future. She cites the IBM Z’s AI integration and Quantum Safe technology as two prime examples of IBM’s future-forward vision for its mainframes. It’s a future she’s eager to help shape. “I think technologies like the z/OS Management Facility and initiatives like IBM Z® Open Editor are definitely the future of the platform,” she says.

One of the most encouraging aspects of working with IBM mainframes is the fact that IBM listens to the feedback it receives from users. “We’re a pretty small company in the global scene,” Emma says, “and IBM is listening to our feedback.” By listening closely to its user community, IBM is designing user-friendly interfaces and cutting-edge technological features for both current and future generations of mainframe programmers.

Advocating for the future

As an IBM Z advocate, Emma is not only helping her own career but also helping the world at large. “IBM Z is environmentally friendly and secure, and that’s what we need in this day and age,” she says. “I think it’s very problematic that so many companies are using inefficient servers that harm the environment. Advocating, for me, is about more than networking. It’s about leaving a positive impact on the world.”

Advocacy has helped Emma develop a valuable network of mentors, managers, colleagues, and members of the global mainframe community who have all been open to sharing their experiences and providing encouragement as Emma’s career progresses. In addition to the IBM Z & LinuxONE Community, “there are mainframe communities on Discord, LinkedIn, and Slack,” she adds. “People are very interested in helping out newcomers to the platform.”

Advice for other young programmers

With her job-searching experience still vivid in her mind, Emma has important advice for new programmers who would follow her path into a career in mainframe computing. “The career opportunities are great,” she says. “You really have the opportunity to leave your mark on an industry.” For those looking to learn more about mainframes, Emma points to the many online courses and free conferences available to students, including those on the IBM Z Xplore learning platform.

Of course, Emma’s IBM Z education is far from over. With today’s landscape of rapid technological advancements and emerging technologies like generative AI, there will always be something new about IBM Z to learn. As Emma points out, “IBM is very good at keeping up with the latest trends in technology.” And keeping up with IBM Z is what keeps engineers like Emma engaged and excited for the future.

Follow Emma


LinkedIn
topdanmark.dk

Explore
Today’s Architects

What will you design and build with IBM Z?

Become part of the Community