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How to Get Started on IBM Z

By Melissa Sassi posted Tue March 17, 2020 08:14 PM


Many of Fortune’s Global 500 companies are looking for application developers, system administrators, security administrators, and other roles to work on their IBM Z systems and applications. Below you can quickly get started on your journey about this critical IT field and learn new skills that will set you apart from other job applicants. Don’t forget the innovation IBM Z is bringing to the startup ecosystem!

What is IBM Z?

IBM Z is a computer server and is often also called a mainframe. It runs Linux as well as IBM Z only operating systems, such as z/OS, and applications used by businesses.

Want to see what it looks like on the inside?

Join Esmeralda’s tour.

How does it work? How is it different from other servers?

Check out a quick whiteboard on how IBM Z has been designed specifically to process millions of transactions – like when millions of people press “pay now” on their phone at the same time.

Do I just pull it up on my phone? How do I work with it?

Learn about the basics of the operating systems that connect you to the hardware.

Want to start coding and learn more?

Try out the Master the Mainframe learning system which includes access to a mainframe and coding challenges to learn more about z/OS and common languages used on the platform. Earn digital badges for skills employers are looking for today.

 Want even more in-depth training to add to your resume/CV?

  • IBM z/OS Practitioner Badge: 3 free courses, hands-on labs, certificate of completion. Click here to access courses.
  • COBOL Programming with VSCode Badge: free introductory COBOL course with hands-on labs. Click here to access course.
  • IBM Z Computing Kickstart: free e-learning courses. Includes topics include z/OS, the IBM Development Environment, JCL, WebSphere, COBOL and DB2. Register here (it’s on the Software tab).

 What’s Next?

  1. Make sure you have joined the IBM Z Global Student Hub.
  2. Passionate about open source? Check out the Zowe from the Open Mainframe Project’s to develop and deploy using tools you may already know. Have not heard of Zowe? It’s an open source project created to host and support the IBM Z community.
  3. Post a discussion question.


Melissa Sassi
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Your Chief Penguin.