A man as accomplished as Dusty Rivers, principal technical architect for GT Software, has every right to toot his own horn. Reflecting on his career in a recent phone interview, he acknowledged that there are two things he is most proud of from a professional standpoint. First and foremost is his longevity in the technology industry. “I have been in the IT industry for 38 years,” he declared. “I’m what is known as an ‘old-timer.’”
Indeed, he began his career in June 1977 as an engineer for BellSouth, sticking with the company for nearly two decades. In the spring of 1997, he became a senior engineer and consultant at IONA Technologies. Seven years later, he joined GT Software, a leader in helping enterprise organizations align their mainframe infrastructure and information with business strategy.
The second thing he is most proud of? “I’m an IBM Champion for six years running now,” he said, “and I am very proud to be recognized as that!” An official designation by Big Blue, IBM Champions are recognized on an annual basis for their knowledge of and passion for IBM’s technology. They include everyone from programmers to developers to educators.
Rivers is among the most experienced of the IBM Champions, having had a long and rich history in global mainframe systems integration at GT Software. “The funny thing about being around for as long as I have is that when I started, the mainframe was pretty much the only computing platform available,” he said. “But most of what was there then, is still there now — the security, the scalability, the dependability. You can put systems on the mainframe as big as you need. The mainframe is reliable because it doesn’t go down, and it doesn’t lose data.”