Evangelizing Mainframe
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An Unquestionably Good Response to the Dz ‘Ask the Experts’ Forum

In early February, Destination z asked mainframers to share their questions about the platform to help gauge what topics are top of mind in the System z community. The plan is to use these questions in developing content for articles and, especially, a spring webinar.

Since then, the response has been very good. We’ve received about a dozen questions in the z&A forum and even more via email at destinationz@destinationz.org.

So far, questions have ranged from the very broad:

I am a mainframe systems programmer for more than a decade. I am wondering whether it will be here to stay?

To the very specific:

How would you code a DCB and DCBE in 31 bits in an APF-Authorized LOADLIB?

It’s been interesting to see how many questions relate to the future of the mainframe in light of some trending topics like cloud, security, Linux and mobile technology. Examples of this include:

• I would like to hear what IBM's future intentions are for z/VM-z/Linux and the z/BX.

• Are clients ready to move on to cloud on Z systems as they consider data security factor?

• Can we expect to have System z mobile applications more like the Android, Windows and iOS Mobile apps as Mobile continues to grow in this smarter planet?

Equally intriguing is that many of these questions are coming from younger, next-generation mainframers, interested in learning more about what they need to learn to get up to speed. One Destination z member asked:

Is there industry training not directly related to mainframe or z/OS that are defacto for people to have? Everyone getting "ITIL" training seems to be gaining relevance at our shop, are there others that are similar?

To those who have asked questions, thank you. They are truly helping guide our planning for the aforementioned Ask the Experts webinar and future articles.

Likewise, thank you to those who have read and responded to the questions. By all means, join the conversation. The forum’s goal is to generate dialogue and spark interaction between all members—whether they’re new to mainframe or veterans.

My personal favorite comment so far, was regarding the previous question about whether the mainframe is here to stay. It simply states:

Who knows? I have been hearing that the Mainframe will be dead "any day now" for about 40 years; certainly since mini-computers and UNIX came on the scene. Mainframe skills are still in demand and pay the best as far as I can tell.

Try to learn new subject areas to keep your skills up and keep the job interesting.

Good advice indeed! Keep those questions and responses coming.

Mike Westholder is site editor of destinationz.org.

Posted: 3/5/2013 1:01:01 AM by Mike Westholder

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