Today’s Architects/Sarah Julia Kriesch

Sarah Julia Kriesch

Lead IT Engineer at Accenture

Consulting, collaborating and inspiring the global open source community

Sarah Julia Kriesch - Accenture Lead IT Engineer - IBM Z expert

You can have so much fun with the platform, from parallelization to modernization, and there is always something new to be excited about.”

About Sarah Julia

Sarah Julia Kriesch is a born multitasker. When she’s not working as a senior consultant at Accenture, she’s studying for her master’s degree in computer science at Friedrich Alexander University in Nuremberg and volunteering as a release engineer for IBM Z® and LinuxONE at openSUSE. It might seem like a lot on one person’s plate, but that do-it-all attitude is exactly what drew her to mainframe computing.

Sarah Julia’s journey with mainframes started at university where she had the opportunity to attend a mainframe summer camp at the Academic Mainframe Consortium. There she saw firsthand the possibilities of mainframe computing, especially its ability to handle multiple operating systems in parallel, with thousands of VMs in a single system.

Shortly after completing her bachelor’s degree, Sarah Julia joined Accenture as a senior consultant, where she helps teams collaborate openly and intelligently across platforms. In addition, as part of the global community of mainframers, she started providing monthly meetups to new talent, which she hopes will excite and inspire mainframers of tomorrow.

Passion-driven career journey

Sarah Julia credits her passion for mainframe computing with helping her land her current job as a senior mainframe consultant for the global services firm, Accenture. There, she currently leads a team of developers and engineers in a modernization project for a client that is adapting some of their IBM z/OS applications to a microservices-based architecture running on a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

For her team at Accenture, the IBM Z platform makes her job easier, from uptime to the flexibility of which operating systems to use. “You can run multiple operating systems in parallel and thousands of VMs on one platform. That’s not possible anywhere

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For her team at Accenture, the IBM Z platform makes her job easier, from uptime to the flexibility of which operating systems to use. “You can run multiple operating systems in parallel and thousands of VMs on one platform. That’s not possible anywhere else.”

Mainframe also powers her work in the open source space, where she works on the openSUSE Project and lends her talents to the group as a release engineer specializing in LinuxONE applications and technology. Her volunteer efforts provide not just a sense of community but also purpose. “The most exciting part of my day is meeting colleagues and customers,” she says. “When I go to conferences and meet happy users of our Linux distribution, it’s so nice.”

Relatedly, she participates in the Open Mainframe Project Linux Distributions Working Group, where she represents openSUSE and collaborates with several other contributors from Linux distributions to share solutions and strategies for increasing support of IBM Z in the broader open source community.

Advice to career seekers

For those seeking to explore or fast-track a mainframe career path, Sarah Julia suggests taking advantage of all the free, online education including targeted, career-based learning paths offered from IBM, as well as the IBM Z Xplore hands-on learning platform and curriculum, which offers industry-recognized badges.

She shared, “You can have so much fun with the platform, from parallelization to modernization,” and that there is always something new to be excited about. One example she uses is post-quantum cryptography, which leverages the computing power of the mainframe to provide an even higher level of trust.

Mainframe modernization takes many forms, and by following her interests and rapidly building her expertise, Sarah Julia has forged a path that blends modern DevOps tools and practices with the power of traditional mainframe technologies. By also going on to share her expertise with others and contributing to open source software projects, Sarah Julia is playing a critical role in designing the technology landscape of today and the future.

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