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March 13, 2012

The Ambidextrous IT Workforce

Over the years IT pros working on distributed platforms (Linux, UNIX, Windows) have often asked me how they can learn more about the mainframe and z/OS. When it comes to broadening one's horizons, I think mainframe DBAs have an easier time picking up UNIX or Linux (and in some cases Oracle and SQL Server) to support DB2 UDB. Being able to download tools, particularly Linux, is the best way to get started with something new.

Still, I'm seeing more and more people from the Linux world who find themselves needing to learn about the mainframe. This trend really got rolling with last year's introduction of the z/196, and with the increasing use of zBX blades running zLinux as well as z/OS on z/196 and z/114, I think the next generation of IT pros will only continue to find themselves more involved with the mainframe.

If you're an "ambidextrous" worker moving from LUW environments to z/OS, make it a point to bookmark the IBM z/OS basic skills information center. You'll find tons of material on mainframe and z/OS concepts. It'd also be nice to hear about your experiences and how you compare the challenges of managing z/OS and non-Z/OS system, so please share in Comments.