Friday, October 3, 2008

Part 3: Real-world challenge

Part 3: Real-world challenge

Approximate time to completion: Weeks to months

You must complete Part 1 and Part 2 of the contest before beginning Part 3.

After completing Parts 1 and 2 of the contest, send an email to with the subject "Part 3 signup" to be registered as a Part 3 contestant. Please do not send this email before completing Parts 1 and 2.

The object of this part of the contest is to get you involved much deeper with the workings of the z/OS mainframe system. You will be tackling issues that occur in real-world IT shops.

Part 3 is set up as a series of increasingly difficult challenges. IBM does not necessarily expect contestants to successfully complete every challenge. Each Part 3 task is assigned a point value for successful completion, with partial credit awarded for partial task completion.

The two contestants to accumulate the most points in Part 3 will each win an MSI Wind laptop computer running Linux and an expenses-paid two-day trip to the IBM Mainframe Lab in Poughkeepsie, NY. Third, fourth and fifth place contestants each win an MSI Wind laptop.

Part 3 of the contest ends at midnight on December 29, 2008. No extra points are awarded for finishing early, so take your time and make sure you complete the challenges correctly. Winners will be notified on or about February 2, 2009.

Good luck!
The descriptions and walkthroughs for the Part 3 challenges are located in members on the z/OS contest system. The challenges entail:

1. COBOL programming
2. DB2 SQL programming
3. Java programming
4. Assembler programming
5. REXX programming
6. Program performance evaluation
7. Solving a number slide puzzle (the grand finale!)

Best of luck to all of the students who are brave enough to tackle Part 3!

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Getting started with Part 3:
Contestants: to start Part 3, go to your ISPF command line (option 6) and enter the following command:


This command will create 7 data sets:

1. 'Z9#####.PART3.DATA'
2. 'Z9#####.PART3.JCL'
3. 'Z9#####.PART3.SOURCE'
4. 'Z9#####.PART3.README'
5. 'Z9#####.PART3.OUTPUT'
6. 'Z9#####.PART3.LOAD'
7. 'Z9#####.REXX.CLIST'

Have a look inside Z9#####.PART3.README. You'll see members STEP0 through STEP7:

STEP0: Introduction
STEP1: COBOL Programming
STEP2: DB2 SQL Programming
STEP3: Java Programming
STEP4: Assembler Programming
STEP5: REXX Programming
STEP6: Program Performance Evaluation
STEP7: Number Slide Puzzle

You'll also see these members:

Information how to ftp z/OS data sets to your workstation

Informational URLs about technology used in this contest

Your first challenge is located in Z9#####.PART3.README(STEP1).

The Master the Mainframe Contest Team congratulates you for making it this far and wishes you the best of luck through all of the Part 3 challenges. We look forward to seeing your submissions!

This is even more fun!


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