I remember my first few weeks working on MVS. The syprogs around me used JCL, assembler, and what seemed to be an arcane set of CLISTS to manage the system. Lucky for me, there was this new language on the scene called Rexx that allowed me to use skills I already had to build management routines. Like it did for many others in the industry, Rexx allowed me to grow my MVS skills and manage my environment without having to learn everything all at once.
Today, the language used to manage most platforms is Python. With Python being available on z/OS, a new generation of systems programmers can use existing skills to help them learn not only how to manage z/OS, but to create new methods for using and managing the platform. Python is going to introduce a whole new generation of sysprogs to z/OS.
There is an open-source movement surrounding the management of z/OS. Since managing your systems is not part of your company’s advantage, the idea of using open source to manage your environment is part of the new wave of becoming a z/OS sysprog. Other platforms already rely on open source for managing their environments, it is time for our platform management to follow suit.
Starting with SHARE Virtual Experience 2021 next month, we are running a hackathon focused on starting a collaborative, open-source effort. Having hackathons at SHARE events will help to create a body of code that we all need to make z/OS more accessible, and is an opportunity to build a new generation of sysprogs. Most importantly, it will give those of us with decades of experience the opportunity to start passing what we know on to the next generation.
In the past, people came to SHARE to hear about what a select few have done on the platform, or what the latest vendor capabilities were and how to take advantage of them. With the hackathon, every SHARE attendee can become a teacher, and every participant a student, with a unified goal to make utilizing the platform easy and accessible to anyone.
Having hackathons at SHARE also means that attendees can take an active role in moving the platform forward. Each registrant will be able to demonstrate their unique perspective and love for the platform. Being part of SHARE means showing others how to use z/OS the way you do. We all can be the teachers. We all have something to share.
During the event, which kicks off on August 2, we will start by focusing the hackathon on basic system management tools. Even such a straightforward activity will give everyone an opportunity to demonstrate their unique knowledge of the platform. Moving forward, organizers hope to expand on the collective knowledge of the community to continue building support for the platform we all love and have dedicated our careers to support and nurture. Hackathons provide a new venue for learning, networking, and, of course, creating code for the platform.
Up to 20 teams with 3–5 hackers each will be able to join the hackathon. Registration is open now through August 2. All you need to do is opt in to the Hackathon when you register for SHARE Virtual Experience 2021. Click here to sign up — join us with or without a team for the kickoff and team building exercise!