The 360 Full Circle
Total mainframe newbie
In the late 1970s my first job was as an engineering assistant for the local electricity board. Working with information from our engineering teams, I used CRJE on an IBM 2741 via dial up to the computer centre. Things moved on and soon 3270 terminals appeared around the office. New things to learn with TSO/(I)SPF and IMS meant faster access to plant asset databases on our, as the mainframe was called back then, IBM 308 MVS system. In 1983 I left the company and headed off into the printing world of Desktop Publishing with MS/DOS, also learning UNIX and PostScript in the process.
Some 16 years went by and I joined a company that specialised in systems software for OS/390 and then later z/OS. A further 20 years passed where I was working mainly in the Open Systems support team at Macro 4 with UNIX/Linux and Windows. In 2019 I started to refresh my skills on z/OS and get back into the hang of 'modern' ISPF/SDSF, JCL and REXX. I was also pleasantly surprised to see UNIX System Services as being a major part of z/OS. That was a home from home! I am now working with Macro 4’s products that use the full potential of USS and JZOS Java engines over and above what is already provided.
Despite some 30 years since I first had access to an IBM mainframe, z/OS on the modern zSystems machines gives the same stability, scalability and resilience as its predecessors. However, it now has lots of powerful extras built in including USS and Java engines and it can easily support what companies need from their modern business-critical software.