About the knights.

This video curriculum is a grass-roots effort from Security Development for IBM Z. We hope for this to iteratively grow over time with contributions from members of the IBM Z Center for Secure Engineering as well as developers and testers from various IBM Z security products and services.

Dan Acevedo
z/OS UNIX System Services Development

Daniel has spent almost 16 years in z/OS UNIX System Services development where he is currently the product owner for the file system squad. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in Computer Engineering. Dan is co-chair of the IBM Poughkeepsie Hispanic Business Resource Group and volunteers as a mentor at the Newburgh Free Academy P-TECH school.

Steven Burchfield
z/OS Java Security Development

Steven Burchfield started with IBM as an intern in May of 2013, and he joined the IBM Z Java Security team as a new hire in June of 2015. Steven did development, test, and service for various security components including IBMJCEHybrid, JAAS, and SAF.

Bryan Childs
Solution Offering Manager, z/OS Security

This is Bryan's 30th year as an IBM mainframe developer. He has coded primarily in the areas of RACF, Parallel Sysplex, and GRS. He earned his bachelors degree at SUNY Potsdam and his Masters in Software Development from Marist College. He has served as an adjunct at Marist for classes including Java, C++, and 390 Assembler. He served on the IBM Z Center for Secure Engineering for 5 years before transitioning to his current role as a Solution Offering Manager in z/OS Security, pursuing various new offerings to help further secure the enterprises of IBM Z clients. Bryan is also an active IBM volunteer, coordinating, co-creating, and sharing various STEM activity kits.

Wai Choi
RACF/PKI Development

Wai Choi, CISSP, is a Senior Software Engineer for IBM in Poughkeepsie, NY where she has worked since 1997. Wai spent her early years with the company in Function Test and switched to Design and Development for digital certificate support in RACF and PKI services. Wai actively participates in conferences and forums about digital certificate and related topics. Wai has received a SHARE “Best Session” award and was the recipient of the “Chairman’s Award” in the Vanguard Enterprise Security Expo. She enjoys walking, reading, gardening and traveling.

Jonathan Furminger
zLinux Java Security Development

Jonathan Furminger is a Software Engineer working at IBM Poughkeepsie. Currently he works on Java Security for z/OS and Linux for IBM Z. Previously he worked on z/OS LDAP. Jonathan holds a Bachelor and Masters Degree from Binghamton University. He has been working for IBM for 29 years. In his spare time he challenges himself with: speedskating, cycling and windsurfing.

Howard Hirsch
Cybersecurity Specialist

Howie Hirsch has been in IT since 1979. He has performed duties at various major corporations in the US. He has worked in the system testing organization, application development and mainly in the DBA area where his passions lie. He has been a Db2 advisor at IBM for 8 years, teaching various aspects of Db2 and supporting some of the largest Db2 customers in the world. He is currently a cyber security specialist working for IBM Security, specializing in the Guardium line of products, mainly Data Activity Monitoring as well as Guardium Database Encryption for Db2 and IMS databases.

Mark Nelson
RACF Design

Mark Nelson, CISSP, CSSLP, Senior Software Engineer, is a 35-year IBM veteran, having spent the past 30 years on the RACF Design team in Poughkeepsie, NY, working on auditing and data analysis (IRRDBU00, IRRADU00, RACFICE), RACF's Health Checks, RACF/DB2, support for encrypting access methods and RACF's support for digital certificates, among other projects. Mark started as student of electrical engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York (now a part of NYU) where he discovered the joy of programming on a System/360 Model 65, and quickly switched to computer science. Mark earned his M.S. in information systems at Marist College in 1992.

Mark is an active speaker on RACF, and has received several SHARE “Best Session” awards, six and a half “Top Gun” (best session) awards from the Vanguard Enterprise Security Expo and was the 1999 recipient of the Vanguard “Chairman’s Award.” Mark is a co-author of the book “Mainframe Security for Security Experts: An Introduction to RACF”. Mark was inducted into the zExchange Superheros in 2017 and is an adjunct instructor at Marist College on z/OS security. Mark is the director of the MHV IBM Club Chorus, and a private pilot.

David Rossi
Cybersecurity Architect Z Systems

David Rossi is an IBM Cyber Security Architect specializing in IBM Z. With over 20 years of experience he has a passion for innovation and efficiency. Areas of focus are; security integration, pervasive encryption, key management, security intelligence and IBM Z security events.

Elizabeth Santiago
System SSL Development

Elizabeth Santiago started her career at IBM in 2015. She received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Spanish from the University of Minnesota, and her MS in Software Engineering from North Dakota State University. She works as a Staff Software Engineer on the System SSL team; in addition to her primary work, she is involved in multiple projects which focus on enhancing z/OS security education. She volunteers her time on STEM outreach projects and is a P-Tech mentor.

Nick Sardino
Program Director, Offering Management, IBM Z Growth Initiatives

Nick Sardino was a Program Director in the IBM Z Offering Management organization, leading a team of Offering Managers and technical leaders working on growth initiatives for the Z platform including Security, Cognitive, Analytics, and Cloud.

In his 16 year career, Nick has held a number of different positions inside and outside of IBM, at both large enterprise and startup companies. He has held positions as a microprocessor hardware engineer at Sun Microsystems and IBM, as a client-facing IT Consultant in the Poughkeepsie Executive Briefing Center, and 4 years in enterprise sales roles at both IBM and startups. Nick re-joined the IBM Z organization in 2015 and helped lead the transformation to Offering Management.

Nick grew up in Syracuse, NY and graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2004 with both a B.S. and M.S in Computer Engineering. He currently lives in historic Hyde Park, NY with his wife and 2 daughters.

Peter Spera
STSM, IBM Z Center for Secure Engineering

Peter has a BS in Chemistry from Fordham University and started his career as a chemist with Reichhold Chemicals Inc. He was involved with various aspects of environmental and safety issues working closely with the EPA FDA and USDA. He quickly discovered his true love for computer security and earned an MS in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He joined IBM 25 years ago and has had the opportunity to explore many exciting security aspects related to the mainframe, ranging from operating systems (z/OS, z/VM, Linux, etc.) to hardware, firmware and middleware. Every day is a new and exciting challenge as he works to minimize risk on the IBM Z platform and help clients reach their security goals. In his spare time he is an avid woodworker and enjoys photography, fishing and classic cars.

Josh Steen
ICSF Development

Josh Steen started at IBM right out of college and has been there since. He graduated from Penn State University with a bachelors in Software Engineering. Currently, he works as a developer on the ICSF component. His job entails everything from reading raw data to writing web application and developing patents. He has worked on many projects in his short tenure at IBM and has really enjoyed volunteering in the community with IBM. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, video games, traveling, trying new foods, and musical exploration.

Laurie Ward
IBM Z Center for Secure Engineering

Laurie Ward, CISSP, is a software engineer in the IBM Z Systems Center for Secure Engineering in Poughkeepsie, NY. Previously, she worked for 27 years doing design and development of the RACF product for z/OS and z/VM.