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jhufnagle asked
Last Modified: 2010-07-23
I want to learn as quickly as possible as much as I can about z/OS and products in this operating system's environment (ISPF, TSO, etc.) Can anyone recommend a book(s) and/or training tools? I realize I'm trying to shortcut what takes professionals years to learn but, I need to be an effective support person in my new position supporting IBM z/OS. I need to become capable of supporting z/OS as a level 2 support person as rapidly as possible.

Thank you for your recommendations in advance!!
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Top Expert 2014
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Thank you.. I knew when I asked the question that I was probably not going to get any easy answers. Most everyone I talk to says the same thing. It takes years... I am older (57) and just now trying to break into the mainframe world. I am well versed on open systems and our primary business. I just needed to find out as quickly as possible how to become more effective in my job as a zOS support person. Thank you for your honesty. Do you think this is doable before I retire between 63 -65 (6 - 8 years)?
Top Expert 2014

It really depends on what your job is.  Example:  If you are well versed in Oracle, MySQL, MS SQL, PostgreSQL, DB2 on Distributed system, or any other DBMS, then learning DB2 on z/OS will be fairly easy.  There are differences, but mostly in the utilities and interfaces on how to manage the DBMS.

z/OS is also what I call a split personality OS.  It has the traditional "MVS" side that normally is totally Greek to most distributed people, then it has the Unix System Services side (a.k.a. OMVS).  The Unix System Services side is a Unix enviroment that is 99% the same as any other Unix enviroment.

If you are really open minded and can easily grasp concepts and "map" them to things you know, then you can get up to speed rather quickly.


I'm back again....
My responsibilities include...
z/OS Support - PSF, GDDM, OGL, Infoprint Server and an ISV product by OCE' called Prisma Production Host (SPS) for mainframe high speed triplex printing. The group I work with is responsible for the Operating System and and impact software changes will have on the system that could effect production. Your help is most certainly appreciated. I have learned a great deal more since my initial question in December. Any further comments are/will be appreciated!!

Thank you.
Top Expert 2014

Wish I could be of more help.  I have very little experience with the products listed.  I mainly deal with networking (VTAM and TCP/IP) along with a (very) little DB2 and CICS.  I have added LAN printers to Infoprint, updated PSF procs to point to new LU names or IP addresses, and I have used GDDM (about 15 years ago).  Nothing with OGL and nothing with mainframe based OCE' printers.

Good Luck, you know I just looked at your name it seems familiar.  Would you have posted questions in other places dealing with z/OS or even z/VM?  Of course it could be that there are a few "J" Hufnagles around.


I worked previously in open systems web development. I did allot of .NET stuff inclusing C# and VB. You could have seen my name there as I've done allot of navigating Experts Exchange over the years.

Thanks again for all your help. Your response does help me to know that age hasn't gotten the best of me. I am a quick learner but, this mainframe programming stuff has been a real uphill climb. I have to admit, I thought I was technical before I got into mainframe OS support. Now I really know what technical is!!

Well the key is that prehaps the 'majority' of mainstream IT work is based on systems and concepts that were really from the late 70's and early to mid 80's...Windows, etc. z/OS and IBM mainframes have their roots back in the early 60's and are from a totally different 'branch' of computing development to the PCs and Servers most of us know.

Even the terminology is different starting with the dataset/file differences :)
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