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Champions on Tour – part 1

Some Champions go to San Francisco, others thrown themselves in front of the Wolves…

February 13 my plane touched down on Luton Airport so I could make my way to Wolverhampton. Let me tell you, the M6 is *not* my friend.

Thanks to my fellow Champion Herbert, who set up “Critical MaSS: Introduction to the Mainframe Software Stack”, I could spend two days at the University of Wolverhampton to ‘Teach The Mainframe’ to the uninitiated.

During two days, with brilliant intermezzo’s from RSM Partners and JPMorganChase (can I say that? yeah I can say that, I just can’t share their awesome slides!) I could introduce the uninitiated students at Wolverhampton University into the wonderful world of Z.

I am willing to bet quite a few of those students will remember what they did for the first time in their lives on Valentines day 2019: Allocating a dataset! (via TSO, ISPF and JCL)

During the first day the students were introduced to the Mainframe Platform (yes, hardware things) and taught how to logon to z/OS running on such Mainframe. It should come as no surprise that logging on (in?) to a Mainframe takes about 30-45 minutes the first time ๐Ÿ™‚

Most of the students came eye to eye with the fearsome endboss of level 1 : “X-Man“. But after beating him, they were logged on (in?) and ready for the next labs … (for some reason that X-Man reminds me of that ‘Blocker’ Lemming)

The rest of day one, and a great deal of day two were spent on basic navigation through the system, the concept of datasets, basic security, and rudimentary TSO functions. We even ventured into the depths of JCL and submitting jobs.

For the closing finale, and for a bit of extra fun, we ran the Initech CTF. A Capture the Flag scenario based on the Initech systems using the gateway drug ‘security’ to get the students hooked on ‘The Mainframe’.

I for one enjoyed my days in Wolverhampton and quite frankly can’t wait to get back ๐Ÿ™‚