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About VM Workshop

About the VM Workshop: What it was yesterday and what it is today.

The VM Workshop is a grassroots non-profit organization made up of customers, ISVs, and business partners with an interest in the use and growth of the z/VM platform and 'Linux on System z'. The original VM Workshops were held during the 70s, 80's and 90's at universities around the US and Canada. The final original VM Workshop was held in June, 1998. While sitting in a bar (many good stories begin with those words) in March 2010, Barton Robinson and Len Diegel of Velocity Software, Inc. were lamenting the loss of the old 4.5 day VM Workshops, the high cost of other major conferences, and the increasing frequency at which companies were cutting or eliminating training budgets. Too many z/VM systems programmers were left without any means to network in person, to learn and hone their black arts, and to share their accomplishments with like-minded wizards of the VM Community. Barton and Len decided to reanimate the VM Workshop, beginning with 2.5 day, very low cost workshop (permitting attendees to self-fund attendance). They contacted several other long-time z/VM and 'Linux on System z' supporters (including Bill Munson of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., David Boyes of Sine Nomine Associates, and Len Santalucia of Vicom Infinity). With a fortuitous stroke of lighting from passing thunderstorm one 'dark and stormy night', the VM Workshop was reanimated with the first new workshop at Ohio State University during June, 2011.

After an amazing amount of behind-the-curtain all-volunteer work, and financial and other support of 'Sponsor' companies - four years later the VM Workshop became the world's largest educational conference dedicated solely to z/VM, and 'Linux on System z'. Now, VM Workshop has expanded its educational opportunities to include z/VSE.

Why Come to the VM Workshop?

Here are about half a dozen great reasons to come to VM Workshop (some of this the following text was shamelessly ripped off from the 1998 Marist VM Workshop site.)...

  • Some of the Best VM, Linux, and z/VSE Sessions You'll See Anywhere!

    Many talks seen at the more expensive conferences are also presented at the VM Workshop, in a smaller, more intimate setting. Same talks, same speakers, and a chance to throw a frisbee with the speaker afterwards. Because the VM Workshop is less formal, some of the talks take on the atmosphere of discussion groups or "this is the neat solution I came up with for this problem" sessions. People get to talk about the topics that really interest them.

  • Some of the Smallest Expense Reports You'll See!

Your meals are all included, from the opening session through the closing.

  • A Really Cool Polo Shirt Suitable for all appropriate occasions, according to the current mode... 8-)

  • An inexpensive, modest dorm room just like you had in college: a bed and bathroom. No alarm clock, complimentary soap, shampoo, toothpaste, shower cap, or mint your pillow each night, etc.

  • The Best Audience You'll Ever Have

Does your boss pressure you to give presentations, but the idea petrifies you? Well, the Workshop is a great place to get over it. The audiences are small, "Linux and z/VM Community"-friendly and very patient. You'll have nothing to fear when speaking at a VM Workshop.

  • Personal Contact with IBM Developers and other Vendors

One of the best aspects of the VM Workshop is the close contact with people from IBM and other vendors who actually work on your products. Its a great opportunity to ask questions and give feedback directly to the people who need to hear it. You may find that they are actually pretty "good people" too.

  • Exotic Locations

VM Workshops are traditionally held on college campuses to hold down the cost. Therefore, its your opportunity to see such exotic places as Manhattan, Kansas; East Lansing, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; Lexington, Kentucky; Montreal, Canada; Indianapolis, Indiana; Greensboro, NC; and even fabulous Poughkeepsie, NY!

  • Not a Suit in Sight!

While VM Workshop people are serious about VM and serious about getting the most for their conference travel dollar, they also know how to relax and have fun. The VM Workshop has been called a "summer camp for VM programmers". So take off that tie, put on some sandals, and concentrate on just two things: VM, and having a good time while making new friends.

Terrific conversations, both business and personal, in the dorm 'commons' areas each night.... and maybe a little amateur magic, or lessons in making balloon animals!


At the VM Workshop, everyone is encouraged to speak. The VM community has always relied upon the contributions of many different people. The Workshop philosophy is that everyone has something interesting to say. Therefore, no presentation is too short or too trivial. Sometimes you find great talks in modest little time slots, little tips and how-tos you can put to work as soon as you get back to the office.

VM Workshop, Inc. is registered in Delaware as a non-profit corporation. As of March 2014 work is underway to file for a federal IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit status, but that is a tedious effort (the IRS reports an average of more than one year from filling to certification).

PDF File 2012-09-04 VM WORKSHOP INC - Certificate of Incorporation - Delaware Non-profit
PDF File VM Workshop W-9
PDF File VM Workshop 501 (c)(3)