Master the Mainframe Global User Group

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Weekly t-shirt challenge: Career advice and questions

  • 1.  Weekly t-shirt challenge: Career advice and questions

    Posted Fri February 28, 2020 09:47 AM
    Career Advice and Questions

    So many great webinar ideas!  You've given me a lot of work!  Congratulations to @Md.Sadek Hossain Asif for getting the most votes!  Clearly we need to do something around the variety of programming languages.

    This week, I'd like to start a conversation about careers.  If you're looking for career advice, ask your questions.  If you have some advice to share, please post that.  As always, the entry with the most Likes will win a t-shirt.

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

    2.  This week, reply to the thread with your Career Advice and Questions.  

    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)!

    Misty Decker

  • 2.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: Career advice and questions

    Posted Fri February 28, 2020 11:38 AM
    Edited by Mark Martin Fri February 28, 2020 11:38 AM
    What roles and skills are needed in IBM's future within Systems? Do we have learning curriculum in place to meet the future demand? If so, can someone point me to the learning path?

    Mark Martin

  • 3.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: Career advice and questions

    Posted Mon March 02, 2020 08:48 AM
    What roles and skills are required to learn for CMOD (Content Manager On Demand) in IBM's future Z Systems? If  do we have any learning paths please do suggest.

    Vijay Kumar V

  • 4.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: Career advice and questions

    Posted Tue March 03, 2020 08:10 AM
    For someone that is coming out from Uni/College, full on open systems knowledge, knowing that you can use your skills on z is a good notice. But... Considering this, what would be the best way to approach: focus on open skills, learning only what you really need on skills on z? Focus on z, to compensate the abscense of z skills on graduation? Or go on things as needed?

    Fábio Emilio Costa
    Performance Analyst
    Sao Paulo

  • 5.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: Career advice and questions

    Posted Wed March 04, 2020 01:47 PM
    Fábio, I'm sure others will respond.  But I saw this in my email inbox this morning and I wanted to contribute.  We just had a younger developer on our podcast that we interviewed.  He is working on the z/Open Automation Utilities team, he discussed his first two years with IBM.  He's been with Z his entire time, but works primarily in Shell, and is a big Python guy.  He knows Java too.  The biggest things we learned from him is that having the formal education is extremely important, but not the most important thing.  He mentioned that the Operating System classes he took in undergrad were probably some of the most helpful for him.  He also says that working on Z now, versus just a few years ago, is completely different.  The way a developer works on Z is becoming very similar to the way a developer would in a cloud/distributed enterprise.  And for Systems Programmers, and Non-devs, we have been doing a lot in the way of automation; for instance look at Ansible on Z.   I would 100% recommend people take the Master the Mainframe course.  Even if you aren't a student, you'll get credit and a badge.  Another series of courses (with Badges) I'd recommend are all three in the IBM z/OS Mainframe Practitioner Professional Certificate on Coursera.  I've taken the first of the three and they were very helpful in understanding the basics of the Z platform.   I'll leave some links for you in case you want to share:

    Chris Hoina

  • 6.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: Career advice and questions

    Posted Thu March 05, 2020 10:16 AM
    Hi Fabio,
    I think what you focus on will depend on what job you land understanding that everything you have learned is your base to build on.   If you land in a z area you will naturally build out your z skills but you should be able to relate those to things you learned on open systems.   The knowledge of desktop, server, and mainframe, how they are similar, how they are different and how they inter-operate is important and there are not a lot of people that can cross all the environments.   If you are on z, the ability to work with and talk to the open systems people in "their" language will serve you well.  Similarly, if you are on open systems and can talk to the z staff in "their" language.   Sometimes those seem like completely different languages and sometimes more like dialects of the same language. 
    We have had great success hiring people straight out of college with no z exposure but the passion to work and learn new material.  Don't be afraid to go toward z with few z skills.   There is plenty of specialization within the z ecosystem too so there may be a niche that really excites you.

    Steven Lauretti

  • 7.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: Career advice and questions

    Posted Thu March 05, 2020 03:28 AM
    Mainframe job ads always appear to ask for applicants with a lot of experience in the area. Does anyone have advice on how to approach employers saying you have experience in one area of MF but would like to cross train into another area (e.g. move from development into systems ) ?

    William Downie

  • 8.  RE: Weekly t-shirt challenge: Career advice and questions

    Posted Thu March 05, 2020 10:26 AM
    William,  I understand completely what you mean.   I have seen several postings for openings within my own area and I feel like I am not qualified for the position after 40 years of service in that area.   Apparently there are 2 schools of thought when people are creating job postings.  One is to put every possible skill you are looking for hoping that you will find someone with some portion of those skills.  The other is to look for the unicorn that has every one of those skills and not hire until you find them.   There is no way to know unless you at least apply.  Knowledge of the development side can serve will in an infrastructure area.   If you developed in COBOL and become the COBOL support person, that is an advantage, you know code and create basic tests.   If you go to database support and worked on the development side using database interfaces that is a natural fit too.
    Remember the mainframe staff is aging quickly and they need new hires.   You can't be starting out and have lots of experience.  It just does not happen.   Apply but be prepared for rejection.  Remember, it is their loss not yours!

    Steven Lauretti