IBM Champion Sebastian Wind Talks Passion and Paying it Forward

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Sebastian Wind, who works in system design at DATEV eG in Germany, was recently named as an IBM Champion for the second year in a row. In 2017, he won Master the Mainframe when he was at the University of Leipzig, which shouldn't surprise anyone after he built his own gamified mainframe training course on an old mainframe in his basement. He also loves making short videos and flying quadcopters. After becoming an IBM Champion again in 2021, we wanted to touch base with him to see what he has going on and discover how he continues to be a champion of the mainframe.

When he learned he was a 2021 IBM Champion, Wind eagerly shared the news with his wife. He was very happy, and said, "it's a nice follow-up award after winning Master the Mainframe, which I first started participating in in 2014."

Wind explained that one of the hardest parts of Master the Mainframe is "having enough time for it." He added, "I was lucky and my professor supported my participation in Master the Mainframe. The three parts of the contest gradually get more complex." Wind pointed out, "The best part is always the final challenge because you can bring in some creativity, as it is more open than the challenges before."

In fact, at university is where Wind learned about z/OS and its long history, as well the unique hardware of the mainframe. "I have a massive passion for huge and powerful computers, but today the mainframe community keeps my passion up and alive," he said. His status as an IBM Champion demonstrates that his activities in the community are valued by his peers. "IBM has not let us down at the forefront," Wind added.

In Tech Channel, Wind revealed his engagement with local universities, helping them build mainframe courses as part of his company's network of young professionals called zTalents. "I help to design and run mainframe courses at universities. I bring talents into the IBM Z business and help them to build careers," he said.

Wind commended SHARE for many of his Champion-related activities. "Many great ideas came out of SHARE in the first place," he said. Moving forward, Wind added, "I think the platform needs to be opened up a bit, and SHARE is the ideal place to discuss that."

For those interested in becoming an IBM Champion themselves, Wind said, "Make your hard work visible within the community and articulate your desire to become a Champion." Additionally, "be enthusiastic and that title will find you."

For more about Sebastian Wind, check out his podcast interview at The Open Mainframe Project.

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