Master the Mainframe Global User Group

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Weekly t-shirt challenge: how to use MTM for events

  • 1.  Weekly t-shirt challenge: how to use MTM for events

    Posted Fri August 21, 2020 06:39 AM

    Thank you so much to everyone for the really good discussion about Diversity in Technology.  It's clear I'm not the only one passionate about this topic and it makes me proud to be a part of this community.  I'm also delighted to see @Sarah Julia Kriesch win her first t-shirt!  I agree wholeheartedly that the tone is often as important as the words said.

    For this week's challenge, let's turn to Master the Mainframe!  The new contest website has just gone live with a cool new look and an exciting new platform for managing participant progress.  I was up late last night putting together a video about how to use MTM as a hands-on activity for events and one of the things I mention is how impressed I've been with the creativity.  I've seen people use MTM as a club activity, as career development training for people out of work, as the basis for a weekend long hackathon and even as a recruiting event!  

    So for this week's challenge, share your ideas for how Master the Mainframe can be used for events!

    The rules*:
    1.  Every Thursday, I'll start a new discussion thread titled Weekly Challenge.

    2.  This week, reply to the thread with the how MTM can be used for events.  

    3.  Vote for your favorite entries by clicking the "Recommend" button next to your favorites.

    4.  The following Thursday, I'll announce the winner and start the next week's thread.

    5.  The person submitting the item with the most votes will receive one of these Legends of Z t-shirts (or equivalent)!

    * The rules are not really rules.  This isn't a real contest or anything.  It's just something I feel like doing and having a fun excuse to share some cool t-shirts with you.  I hope you all have fun with it.  I am!


    Misty Decker
    Master the Mainframe
    @MistyMVD on Twitter

  • 2.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: how to use MTM for events

    Posted Tue August 25, 2020 02:20 AM
    A virtual hackathon around mainframe topics.

    Alexandru Popescu

  • 3.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: how to use MTM for events

    Posted Tue August 25, 2020 06:11 PM

    From what I understand these have already been happening: 
    That's how I got introduced to MTM in the first place.

    Full list including past events:

    Karan Naik

  • 4.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: how to use MTM for events

    Posted Tue August 25, 2020 08:29 AM
    Edited by Karan Naik Wed August 26, 2020 01:12 PM

    I think the biggest advantage MTM has is that it's a very long event. That's something that's not afforded to any other major Hackathon type event. I have been to many and most cap out at 48-72 hours, even many of the online ones. The longest one I have been accepted to is 4 days but that's only because it will be online this year.

    MTM can be really useful by having a presence across multiple events, so people are reminded across each event and become encouraged to check it out. MTM is special in how it builds on itself really well. Covering fundamentals to more advanced topics.

    Separated events at Hackathons based on what progress you have done at previous events would be really useful. And help encourage continued engagement in MTM.
    MTM can be used by events almost like a testing ground for students to test their foundational knowledge of the programming required too. Letting local events give smaller prizes like stickers to encourage engagement.

    MTM is also a great way to get people back into "retro" computing. As a student, before I started getting into MTM, I thought of Mainframe computing as boring and also too complicated for me to understand. But as I read more that changed, however it's hard to get people curious by just a name.

    Personally I would love hearing a presentation of the history of Mainframes and the current real world uses and then walking through and actually being able to use a Mainframe though MTM would be a really exciting event. I can look things up myself, but it would be a different experience hearing it by the developers of the mainframes. It reminds me of a video I saw where a channel on youtube (CuriousMarc)  recreated the computer and cockpit controls of the Apollo 11 lunar module, and did a live presentation using time accurate controls and software to recreate the moon landing.

    This video shows the team demonstrating it in front of some of the original Nasa employees that worked on the original technology onboard the module.   . 

    They were even given the privilege by Nasa of backing up the original software stored on the computers of the lunar module that landed on the moon. They recreated a working computer that could read the data. This is the full playlist but it's long  . I would love to see a similar historical deep dive of Mainframes because I think historical context would encourage others to become interested like I did very recently. 

    Having the prime focus of a weekend Hackathon be MTM sound wonderful, but I think the focus initially will need to be encouraging people to engage with MTM. It's hard to convince my friends to join a hackathon about Mainframes with me if they are not already interested and with the current state of things finding other people at in person events will be even harder.

    Karan Naik

    CS Student at Rutgers 

    @knaikk on twitter

    PS, I find Discord to be much easier to use than Slack to organize and communicate information about events, Defcon this year used Discord and it was able to handle things very well.

    Karan Naik

  • 5.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: how to use MTM for events

    Posted Wed August 26, 2020 01:14 PM
    Edited by Karan Naik Wed August 26, 2020 01:22 PM

    I think the events really need to focus on explaining why the mainframes work the way they do and since this is a long hackathon, we have the time to go in depth. I personally want to be more than just a set of puzzle that help explain the procedure without giving credit to the reason certain things were implemented in certain ways. Cobol as a language is seen as ancient because people don't understand the history behind when it wasn't. I want the events to help bring Mainframes into the new world, especially with cloud computing and ibm watson.

    I just was reminded of a memory when I came across this picture:

    I am barely in my 20s and not old enough to have ever touched one, but this along with the movie Wargames showed me the significance and advances in technology over the years. I kept it as a wallpaper for over 10 years, and even bought a thinkpad. I went to hackHarvard where they have the museum exhibit of the history of computing in general with the early punch based cards and even "bug" stuck on a piece of paper and where the name debugging came from. I think an event where the accomplishments of mainframes over the years would be very engaging. People outside of mainframe enthusiasts don't get taught the history or the cultural impact of Mainframes anymore.  MTM Events are the perfect place to really show how the backbone of the World economy is based on Mainframes. And you can bring up IBM Watson. This is how we can preserve the heritage of IBM and Mainframes. I understand that not everyone is like me where they will watch a 45 minute video presented by Connor Krukovsky about how he bought a mainframe the IBM z890 as an 18 year old ( . Last I heard he had an internship and then a full time job at IBM. 

    I think events where the workshops are put in historical context is key.

    Karan Naik
    Research Assistant
    Rutgers Uni
    Dayton NJ

  • 6.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: how to use MTM for events

    Posted Wed August 26, 2020 05:01 AM
    MTM is such an amazing and versatile programme that is spread over such a long time that there are many opportunities for events. For example, there could be an MTM day (similar to ZDay) to help people through the first couple of days of the MTM challenge. There could be weekly follow up sessions for new people to join or others who have completed it to mentor newcomers.

    I also think that there could be an MTM challenge day where everyone is at the same level and whoever gets past that stage the fastest gets a prize. 

    These MTM events are vital to bring together a community who are interested in mainframes and technology. Many events are already being held by IBM and ZAmbassadors, so I am looking forward to participating and possibly helping in those.

    Kareena Cooper

  • 7.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: how to use MTM for events

    Posted Wed August 26, 2020 06:59 AM
    I think MTM could be used on events by doing small kickstart sessions where people are invited and learn how to get around with MTM and start to work their own way on it. Also, some events focused on specific steps on MTM could also be good, as they could also work as hackathons and Q&A sessions for them.

    Fábio Emilio Costa
    Performance Analyst
    Sao Paulo

  • 8.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: how to use MTM for events

    Posted Wed August 26, 2020 09:07 AM
    Hev IBMers and Enthusiastic Developers,
    // My Introduction
    I am Jay Patel. Pursuing Computer Science and Engineering with Specialization of Big Data and Analytics (with IBM). As an enthusiastic learner, I love to deep dive into new Technologies and Explore it.

    // What is Mainframe? And What is MTM (Master the Mainframe)?
    Mainframes:- Mainframes is the Large Computer (In Today's Technological Era it was also known as "Super Computer ") found in 1952.
    And Mainframes are also known as Data Servers design to Process up to 1 Trillion Web Transactions daily with the highest levels of security and reliability.

    MTM (Master the Mainframe):- MTM is a great way to deep dive into the IBM Technologies and Explore it. It was a fun way to get hands-on experience across a variety of technologies, to develop valuable skills, with no prior knowledge required!
    (Which Makes MTM Special and Beginner Friendly)

    // How MTM can be used for Events
    I have attended many Hackathons Virtually and Physically Both. But it was Very Time Bounded in the Perspective of Learning too. Because maximum it can be Exceed to 24-78 Hours only.
    According to me, But MTM was a Very Long Hackathon with Very Well Structural Learning Format. The Format was Stated Below:-
    (1) Learning through Experts By Attending Webinar and Workshop for getting Wealthy Hands-on Experience which was implied in Level 1.
    (2) Application Part Which Implies to Level 2 and 3 In which We can Apply Our Learnings and Solve Challenges and If you Stuck at Some Point There are Always been Mentor Behind you to Help. There were Official IBM Community Platform, Slack Group for Solving Your Queries.

    The Leveling System and Benefits was My Favourite Because:-
    For Clearing Level 1 they Will Feed Two Childrens on Behalf of Yours. This was Such a Great Initiative.
    You also get Industry Recognized and Verified "IBM Master the Mainframe" Badge and Industry References with Great Networking.
    And there are More Benefits too :)

    For Particular Event:- There was always a Limitation Organizing Hackathon Physically that You can Accommodate Limited Number of Attendees and If You are From Far Region and Interested in Hackathon then this was also One Crucial Factor. But MTM Organize it Virtually and Beginner Friendly. So, It would be Accessible Everywhere from the World which was Such a Great Part.
    There were Multiple Events and Meetup Organized By IBM on How we can Start with MTM? (Previous Year's MTM Event)
    Link:- IBM MTM Event
    And there are More Events Which Have Been Organized By IBM Developers Community, MLH, and Many Developers Circle.

    Thus, This was My first MTM Challenge and This would be helpful in Academic Level as well as Professional Level too. So, This was How MTM can be used for Events According to Me.

    So, Feeding Children Was My Personal Favourite and What was Yours? Please tell us in Comment.

    Jay Patel

  • 9.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: how to use MTM for events

    Posted Wed August 26, 2020 02:22 PM
    If I was IBM, I would be looking into running events which use MtM to pick out students who might become their future technical specialists of all sorts fairly early on. That means going into schools, or having regional sessions, which might - for example - do MtM Part One + an overview of mainframe history and current + ideally a chance to see physically inside a real Z system.

    Over this side of the pond (UK), students choose 3 or so subjects at age 16 which they will study at Advanced Level towards going to university at 18. You really need to encourage students to choose to do Computing at A level along with a combination of other subjects suitable for a possible IT career, otherwise it will be too late. The payoff might be that eventually IBM could sponsor a selection of promising students at university and provide appropriate residencies along the way. Nowadays students have to pay "Tuition Fees" to attend university, which used to be completely free until about 10 years ago.

    There are several snags to overcome, however...

    First, the students have to complete their "GCSE" exams at age 16 in order to move on to A level. The school won't want any diversions from this as they are measured on these results by the government. Students apply for their A Level courses (and equivalent vocational qualifications) in about February - their GCSE exams start in May - so timing is everything. Towards the end of the previous school year might be a good time, which breaks in late July until early September, so June or July possibly.

    The second snag is that there are very few specialist Computing teachers in the UK - i.e. those who have worked on mainframes and are now teaching - the pay doesn't encourage computer science graduates to go into teaching. However, IBM might be able to call on some previous MtM graduates to help out in their local area and to hold the hand of the teacher. The technical requirements of doing MtM remotely are small - a simple 3270 emulator and appropriate settings on the firewall for MtM and its associated resources, including videos - which can be setup and tested beforehand.

    Should it be one event per school, or a national event open to all schools in the UK? The latter probably makes more sense although getting to look inside a real Z will not be popular with customers running live work, so that probably means a non-production system at an IBM office (which might well be a long distance away).

    If the event is announced early in the calendar year, then students should apply to take part. Once the event has started, if a visit to a working Z system is possible, then this should be done fairly early on as some will be keen to continue and time wasters might drop out. The teacher could probably handle an introduction to the planned event and mainframe history with appropriate resources, but again an MtM graduate would be useful here to help fill in the details. Then the students can get on with starting on MtM Part One (and maybe moving on to Part Two) themselves, ideally individually but again a local MtM person would be a plus. It would probably make sense for the teacher to liaise with IBM about any problems encountered or anything which doesn't make sense as mainframes will be a shock to the game playing generation!

    I have talked UK but of course it might well be possible to have something similar worldwide running concurrently, or in batches allowing for different school timings. Whether it is real MtM, or a slightly modified version for younger students, remains to be seen.

    I hope these thoughts make sense!

    Peter Vincent

  • 10.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: how to use MTM for events

    Posted Thu August 27, 2020 10:13 AM

    Hey, there myself Shrey Patel -  TY-Btech CSE [Big Data Anaylitcs] Student developer and          I came across this piece of tech a couple of weeks ago here are my thoughts


    • To create awareness for and from Developers to the marketing team, (keeping pandemic situations discord/cisco meetings or hosted events can easily increase in awareness among new upgrowing young Developers or Entrepreneurs choose their career pathways.
    • Events can go like "What is what" and "why we use", "what is need/demand" to "how to start as new Developer or Entrepreneur" and some affiliation to encourage the youth and Industry Experts who are new to this tech
    • Hands-on lab sessions can make the developers' minds map clear while walking through event speaker talks.
    • Hosting these events/webinars can be made easy by electing

    "Z ambassador" for students Developer or Entrepreneur program to get large scale mass attention and emerging enthusiast mind working on new ideas.


    I found this tech interesting for many reasons/facts such as:

    • 87 percent of all credit card transactions and nearly $8 trillion payments a year.
    • 29 billion ATM transactions each year, worth nearly $5 billion per day.
    • 68 percent of the world's production workloads at only six percent of the total IT cost.
    • Two-thirds of The Fortune 100 use IBM Z

    For specifics I like is: Through three interactive Levels, you will access a mainframe and get skilled up on the foundations of Mainframe, including JCL, Ansible, Python, Unix, COBOL, REXX, all through VS Code. Round it all out with a grand challenge where you craft your customized fully-equipped Mainframe creation.

    For the social cause to I liked: IBM contributing to social cause !! through these hackathons and events, ref.IBM Cognitive – Cognitive for social good

    shrey patel