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roles of System programmer

 
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Mahi_e

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:58 am    Post subject: roles of System programmer
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Hi Folks, hope i can find the answer as soon as possible here with your help.

May i know that what will be the role and responsibilities of a CICS SYSTEM PROGRAMMER.

Is it different role when compared to CICS Developer.

i came to know that CICS System Programmer should posses knowledge of Installing and updating of Xpeditor/CICS system Interest/CICS system.

what exactly is this?
and is it suits for Developer to do that job?

Expecting very good and soon Reply

Sorry if i posted anything wrong here.
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Bill Woodger

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply to: roles of System programmer
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You should know not to ask for "soon".

A CICS Developer provides things for the Users. A CICS Systems Programmer provides things for the CICS system.

The role is orders of magnitude more technical than a Developer. If you like the technical and can get a junior systems role, that is fine. You cannot go from Developer to Systems without training/time.
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Mahi_e

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:26 pm    Post subject:
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Thank you very much Bill. icon_biggrin.gif
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Nic Clouston

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:29 pm    Post subject:
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You can expect a"very good and soon Reply" but what you will get are replies as and when people who wish to reply do reply - which could be within the next hour or it could be after their holiday. The quality of the reply will depend on people's interpretation of your question and their knowledge.

Now, briefly, a CICS SYSTEM programmer or group is responsible for installing and maintaining CICS and, possibly, some utilities for CICS. They may also maintain other areas of the base system depending on the size of the shop and how it is structured. CICS Developers are just application programmers who use CICS to access data. There is one special class of CICS developer - those within IBM who actually write CICS itself.
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PeterHolland

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject:
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Quote:
Expecting very good and soon Reply


The "soon" is already commented on. But how do you know if a comment is "very good" cause you know zilch about the differences between application- and system programmers.
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Robert Sample

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:36 pm    Post subject:
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A CICS system programmer is a system programmer, first. That implies knowledge of how the system works, use of SMP/E to install releases and patches, how to find (and fix) problems with application programs and knowing when to contact a vendor for support. On top of that basic knowledge, a CICS system programmer must know how to configure CICS, the various tables that are assembled or updated online, and how to specifically maintain CICS (for example, what to do when a region starts generating short-on-storage messages).

The skill set of a CICS application programmer is nothing more than the skill set of an application programmer, with added knowledge about the CICS interface calls, pseudo conversational programming, and so forth. The skill set of a CICS system programmer is completely different and many CICS system programmers I know have never developed a CICS application.
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Anuj Dhawan

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:08 pm    Post subject:
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And if an Application Programmer malfunction only he, owner of that application or some more people know about it -- but if a System-Programmer does someting wrong, the whole world know it! Told to me by my "friendly System-Programmer". icon_biggrin.gif
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Bill O'Boyle

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply to: roles of System programmer
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Anuj,

Wow, ain't that the truth! Bad news spreads fast when the SYSPROG mucks up! I usually keep several towels in my desk draw to wipe the egg from my face.

I've been fortunate over the years to have been exposed to both Application and System skills (having the best of both worlds) as well as being a liaison between Management and Technicians.

Management appreciates it when you can explain things in non-Technical terms and the Tech's? Well, management can be their nemesis.... icon_wink.gif

Regards,
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Anuj Dhawan

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:44 pm    Post subject:
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Yes, that's true. Once at a shop, we had an issue in our PROD LPAR, where in many Jobs started "hanging in" there and Job were taking a long time to execute which made excessive batch running. This caused Jobs hanging at step termination and eventually PROD was reported to run slow.

It eventually tured out to be a problem with the recent IPL, they recycled some CPC Task and all was well. Saying it is easy but figuring it out was a nightmare, specially when it happens as one of the things in morning.
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don.leahy

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:58 pm    Post subject:
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Anuj Dhawan wrote:
And if an Application Programmer malfunction only he, owner of that application or some more people know about it -- but if a System-Programmer does someting wrong, the whole world know it! Told to me by my "friendly System-Programmer". icon_biggrin.gif
Or, as I like to put it: an application programmer can only shoot himself in the foot; a systems programmer can shoot everyone's feet.
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dick scherrer

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply to: roles of System programmer
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Aaahh - for the good ol' days when an application programmer could shoot down an entire CICS region. . .

heh heh heh . . .
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Anuj Dhawan

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:27 pm    Post subject:
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A better experience puts the thing up front, better! icon_smile.gif
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don.leahy

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Reply to: roles of System programmer
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dick scherrer wrote:
Aaahh - for the good ol' days when an application programmer could shoot down an entire CICS region. . .

heh heh heh . . .
I am not a CICS guy, but it is possible to bring down an IMS control region by the injudicious use of the ATTN key when in a BTS session. That usually brings a phone call from a very irate IMS sysprog. You have to buy a lot of beer to get out of that one!
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Bill O'Boyle

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply to: roles of System programmer
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Fortunately, all the customers I support (around a dozen) and all the CICS regions (around 120), most of the application code is in an HLL, such as COBOL and PL/I.

But, there are CICS/Assembler programs here and there as well as "CALLED" Assembler sub-programs, which opens the door to many opportunities as the programmers who wrote them have long left for greener pastures and their replacement's get hives whenever Assembler is mentioned.

Assembler will not return a lovely error-message regarding a possible error-condition like a HLL, as it assumes if you're coding in Assembler, you know what you're doing, such as wiping out an MVS or CICS area. icon_eek.gif

Yes, programmers in an HLL can get imaginary, addressing storage-areas where don't really belong, so wiping out these areas is entirely possible and not necessarily confined to Assembler. But, an HLL won't given you an error-message when you're addressing storage-areas. This is where code-review is a must for any organisation, regardless of the programming language.

So far, have only encountered one issue (Assembler), where an MVC was coded like it was an MVI (very common bug), but it was fixed quickly.
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Robert Sample

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:48 pm    Post subject:
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Quote:
Aaahh - for the good ol' days when an application programmer could shoot down an entire CICS region. . .

heh heh heh . . .
Still not an impossible thing to do.

I was working as a consultant one time when the client programming manager and a fellow consultant got into an argument ovre whether CICS had relaxed the 32K limit on DFHCOMMAREA. The programming manager was maintaining, quite adamantly, that the 32K limit was gone. Finally, he said "I'll show you." and made a quick program change, then compiled the program. He did his newcopy, then typed in a transaction code. And all over the room people yelled "CICS test just went down!"
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dbzTHEdinosauer

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:37 pm    Post subject:
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I have also had the same argument,
normally won after providing

Code:
 Picture                             Storage representation              Numeric values                 
 S9(1) through S9(4)                 Binary halfword (2 bytes)           -32768 through +32767 


and wondering when CICS changed the EIBCALEN from PIC S9(4) comp to whatever

maybe why there exists such a thing as CONTAINERs
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Bill Woodger

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply to: roles of System programmer
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Even when bringing the whole machine down one time, it was the Sysprog's fault, not mine.

DOS JCL is a bit different from OS/MVS-style. If you code // UPSI 1 for your "step" then the value will be propagated to all subsequent "steps".

Our link-editor (FLE/FLIM) was invoked from the equivalent of a proclib. In the "proclib" it should have explicitly set the // UPSI to zero, but the Sysprogs didn't do that.

Result, my job wrote its output thinking it was writing to a 3330 not a 3350. Overwrote the 3350 VTOC with my linkedited program. On the pack which was more important than SYSRES, (another failure of the Sysprogs).

Couldn't restart no way no how. Had to go back to an image copy. Fortunately taken early that morning. Lucky it wasn't a working day, but I screwed up a lot of data-entry overtime.

The good thing is it then got them all concentrating on how to avoid anything similar in the future. Hindsight is good. To cover even the main "likely" eventualities is difficult, and they still get busted for the "one that got away".
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Peter Nancollis

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:10 am    Post subject:
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<bit late>
...."friendly System-Programmer", sorry miss-heard you, but did make me laugh!
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Bill Woodger

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply to: roles of System programmer
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I knew a friendly one. One day he was a bit distracted when I took him something. Turned out he had just got MVS up-and-running. Thing was we were a VM/VSE site: cue Edinburgh accent "I was just looking and I found it on the installation tapes, so I thought I'd give it a go". His boss was in on it (a Glaswegian), and with no online and no daytime batch so no heavy load or sysprog workload... kept them both happy, if unintelligeable when talking to each other... To give you some idea, they seemed to call me Bowel or variations thereof.

Never wondered if the company was paying for MVS as well. When the company was closing down, I found that both DFSORT and Sycsort were licenced... but only Syncsort used...
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Anuj Dhawan

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:15 am    Post subject:
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Peter Nancollis wrote:
...."friendly System-Programmer", sorry miss-heard you, but did make me laugh!
LOL - you did not miss-hear. For me, it was never on the shops I had been to...I just happen to meet, the one, out of work-spehere.
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