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jasorn
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:53 pm
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Reading the topic on topics not allowed to post about, I noticed the reason for many is "this has been covered many times".

Would it be helpful if someone(me?) consolidated/summarized those "many times" into one post for quick reference?
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Nic Clouston

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:08 pm
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I doubt if that would help. There are so many 'duplicates' because TS's don't search first. So a consolidated topic would be ignored anyway.
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Rohit Umarjikar

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:25 pm
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You could do it by yourself by typing what you want in the little search box provided in each section and you get consolidated list for relevant posts which has the silimar problems discussed.

If none of them helps then post a new topic.
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jasorn
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:37 pm
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Sure. Everyone can search. In fact, we probably don't need a forum either. Everyone can RTFM. So, we only need forums to cover undocumented functionality.

With that out of the way, I've been considering how the forum might be more useful. As I see it searching is a critical part of problem resolution, but one that could be better.

Searching already filters out most of the questions. Believe it or not, the vast majority of the people that seem to not have bothered to search first, have searched first. It's just they couldn't make sense of the search results.

I, being an 'expert' myself, often have this issue. Sometimes Either I don't understand the result and need someone to explain it in different words. Sometimes there so many different solutions offered in which some are good and other s not, that it would be helpful if the solutions were vetted by people with the goal of making things friendlier to others. Sort of like sticky posts.

In my mind, this would take things to another level.

Other things I think would improve the typical help forum experience.

1) No RTFM replies. Links to manuals are ok because sometimes people don't know where the manual is.
2) No "google is your friend" replies.
3) Have a form to accept questions. Along with other things, like links to manuals, that form could
search the forum(not the net) and present results for the user to read before posting the question. The links to those could be posted in the question as things the user agrees he's read before the post was made. Also, this form can include a checklist of things to do to try to find the answer.

4) When solutions are found, those should then be added to the above mentioned 'sticky posts'.

5)People who ask questions but don't follow up with the solution they went with should be put to death. The implementation details of this one are a bit tricky.

6) Yes, a lot of this should already be done already. My point is that I think the next step of customer service includes handholding just as it does for everything else. Also moving towards being more friendly to the user. My belief is that if the process of asking for mainframe help is super friendly to the dumb new user, we'll be helping turn them into a smart, less cranky old user.


I'm anticipating SYOFF replies: Start Your Own Fine Forum. That's more work than I'm willing to undertake and isn't the point of this post. The point is to discuss possible improvements along the lines of "There's always room for improvement."
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Rohit Umarjikar

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:12 pm
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Do you also aware there is Beginners Forum for those who don't try and just blindly post any basic questions? If you aware then ain't it just easier to send them away to the Beginners forum and lock the topic here ?

Second, This forum has most of the details discussed in past, all it takes to spend sometime and go thru the discussions which many don't want to do and that's the cause of duplicate posts ( no forum can't control that by any means) and we live with that forever.

Third, Why do you think people don't have to fo Google Search to get to the bottom of the problem? I always do many does which helps you to get clue and solve the problem. If still someone is struggling then they just say what they tried to solve the issue and that's allowed here.

Fourth, What do you not understand the results ? can you give an example to define your problem?

Regardless how many improvements you make to this site, if people tend not to do research and post blindly then all those efforts are gone no where. So let the OP do some research and spend some time to solve their problems than someone does free full coding work for them.
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enrico-sorichetti

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:22 pm
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the main problem is the lack of abstraction capability ...

different people will express the same problem with different words -
usually with poor precision -
and most of the times in way difficult to understand

the above reflects on the way they search for a solution
searching with the right words will usually find the link to a solution
and most of them seem incapable of doing it

that' s the reason I usually post also the search tokens leading to a successfull search
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vasanthz

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:29 pm
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Quote:
Sure. Everyone can search. In fact, we probably don't need a forum either. Everyone can RTFM. So, we only need forums to cover undocumented functionality.
"1) No RTFM replies. Links to manuals are ok because sometimes people don't know where the manual is. "

I strongly agree to this point. Freshers who enter the field are not trained in Mainframes during their college. They have some exposure to other programming like C or Java. So they get training from some Mainframe training institute for few months(3 months) and start their career.
None would have experienced Mainframes and have no way, even if they are intrigued. F****** IBM would not offer tools like zPDT for free to encourage people learning. They need $4000/year for it.

Back to the point, the reality is most people don't know even "what a manual is" and finding them is hard, if you don't know what you are looking for.
If a user has SMTP issues, he/she cannot go look at IP configuration guide and make any sense out of it. It has overwhelming amount of information.
I am not saying we should do the manual reading for them. But help them learn how look for that information.
Also there are other things like reference guide, user guide, configuration guide, Message Guide, Design Guide, Toolset Guide and so forth.

I say these, because I've been through this and never knew how to refer manuals most of my career.
RTFM is just an insensitive reply in my view. It's like a doctor telling an apprentice, "go read the manual on cardio vascular surgery and do the surgery".
Quote:
My belief is that if the process of asking for mainframe help is super friendly to the dumb new user, we'll be helping turn them into a smart, less cranky old user.

True & agree.

But I feel having "Common questions" in a single place would not be effective
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enrico-sorichetti

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:27 am
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Quote:
RTFM is just an insensitive reply in my view.


that' s just Your view ...
I am getting really fed up with all this PC horse manure

once upon a time ...
RTFM and come back after You have done a bit of homework was the usual answer
and nobody ever complained about it

for what reason should we spend our time and share our experience gained by RTFM
for people who just do not care and want a simple way out of their problems

sooner or later they should start learning to RTFM icon_cool.gif
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Rohit Umarjikar

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:32 am
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Quote:
I strongly agree to this point. Freshers who enter the field are not trained in Mainframes during their college. They have some exposure to other programming like C or Java. So they get training from some Mainframe training institute for few months(3 months) and start their career.
None would have experienced Mainframes and have no way, even if they are intrigued. F****** IBM would not offer tools like zPDT for free to encourage people learning. They need $4000/year for it.
Why anyone needs tool when they working on a real projects? They can practice it in dev region whatever they want, can't they? Those who wants to aspire in Mainframes then there are many free emulators to practice on.
I have gone thru the same when I started my career, but then one can always practice it .
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Rohit Umarjikar

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:33 am
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Quote:
for what reason should we spend our time and share our experience gained by RTFM
for people who just do not care and want a simple way out of their problems
Totally agree. They must learn RTFM at some point sooner than later. If we don't let them do now then they get into a bad habit of asking someone else do their work and switch between the forums if one kicks them out.
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vasanthz

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:49 am
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Quote:
"Those who wants to aspire in Mainframes then there are many free emulators to practice on. "
tell me one that is legal and free :-) Not FanDezhi.

Quote:
Why anyone needs tool when they working on a real projects? They can practice it in dev region whatever they want, can't they?

Read what I said, I was talking about freshers or people in college. Not people working already. IF I wanted to learn IPLing a system, I can't do it on a test region. I would be more comfortable to muck up things on my personal system than a shared environment.
Quote:
for what reason should we spend our time and share our experience gained by RTFM
Then why are you on a help forum?
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enrico-sorichetti

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:51 am
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the main problem as I see it is the lack of basic environmental training the freshers receive on the job

where are the manuals ...
who to ask, what to do for the most common problems
help desk availability... yes many well managed organisations have a help desk for the IT people
samples of the jcls and utilities to be used for the most common tasks

if they had received a minimum of it we would not see that many questions like
I got the zxc1234 message what should I do

frankly too many times a forum is the substitute for poor work organisation bad practices and basic in house training

in a couple of cases the TS even answered ...
Quote:
I am asking on a forum because my manager told me so


but what really bothers me are the employees of consulting companies asking for help
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Rohit Umarjikar

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:27 am
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Quote:
tell me one that is legal and free :-) Not FanDezhi.
I would let you do RTFM icon_biggrin.gif I know there are may discussions on this in past.
Quote:
Read what I said, I was talking about freshers or people in college. Not people working already. IF I wanted to learn IPLing a system, I can't do it on a test region. I would be more comfortable to muck up things on my personal system than a shared environment.
They can learn by joining any coaching classes like they do it for C or Java. And then practice it on free emulators.
Quote:
Then why are you on a help forum?
Help someone who is trying but not finding the answers and help them , clue them to reach to the solution and definitely not to do free coding for sure (Some times we do but that's one of the Good days).
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vasanthz

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:34 am
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Quote:
I would let you do RTFM icon_biggrin.gif I know there are may discussions on this in past.

Quote:
"many free emulators "

Show me one, I assume you searched and didn't find any. Cos there is none.
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Rohit Umarjikar

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:57 am
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Quote:
Show me one, I assume you searched and didn't find any. Cos there is none.

That is exactly why one needs to do RTFM. Explore and practice here for most of the things you can think of.
www.tutorialspoint.com/codingground.htm
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enrico-sorichetti

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:04 am
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just be honest all of You please
if You look at the questions asked and at the attitude of the TS
how many of them really deserve to be helped ?
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vasanthz

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:18 am
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Quote:
That is exactly why one needs to do RTFM. Explore and practice here for most of the things you can think of.
www.tutorialspoint.com/codingground.htm
There is none here. The so called "Mainframe emulator or simulator".. How will you try COBOL, JCL, or CICS there? or IPL a system, or add a volume? Stop wasting time and accept the fact you are wrong.

Quote:
just be honest all of You please
if You look at the questions asked and at the attitude of the TS
how many of them really deserve to be helped ?
Call me naive, but I would help them. At least for selfish reasons, it makes "me" feel better.
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Rohit Umarjikar

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:52 am
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You join the class to learn cics jcl and all other stuff, if you have money problems then mainframes ain’t a choice for you . moreover that’s not he population of the people I have objection for so why are you diverting the intent of the post ? If they are beginners they better go to beginners forum and that’s reason why they have that forum created at first place.

90% of the times people ask questions on this forum are professionals who are working on projects and they post without doing no research and that’s exactly to whom we have all these discussions going on so let me get you on track here since you went off the track and I don’t worry for 10% she nice they have a beginners forum created .

You keep on making dumb terminals but I will make them learn something by their own by pushing them to do RTFM first then try and then post and no spoon feeding . Period
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jasorn
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:23 am
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I'm finding this discussion insightful and hope I don't come off as combative because that's not my intent.

Rohit Umarjikar wrote:
Do you also aware there is Beginners Forum for those who don't try and just blindly post any basic questions? If you aware then ain't it just easier to send them away to the Beginners forum and lock the topic here ?

Yes, I'm aware. In my opinion, most of this applies to all questions being asked, regardless of quality or skill level. I opened the discussion based on my personal experience helping people new to the mainframe. Specifically, noting how hostile mainframe forums tend to be to new people asking questions.

But I do see a softer tone in the beginners' forum. However, some of the questions don't appear to be easier than those in the experts forum. However, perhaps suggesting people ask in the beginners' forum regardless might knock the edge off icon_smile.gif

Rohit Umarjikar wrote:

Second, This forum has most of the details discussed in past, all it takes to spend sometime and go thru the discussions which many don't want to do and that's the cause of duplicate posts ( no forum can't control that by any means) and we live with that forever.


I agree with this to a point. It could be that I'm thinking of something along the lines of something like a faq that is distilled out of a forum. But one specific thing I'd like to address is reducing the effort this requires for the person asking the questions "all it takes to spend sometime and go thru the discussions". I believe the most this can be made to be less time consuming the better the community as a whole.

Rohit Umarjikar wrote:

Third, Why do you think people don't have to fo Google Search to get to the bottom of the problem? I always do many does which helps you to get clue and solve the problem. If still someone is struggling then they just say what they tried to solve the issue and that's allowed here.

It's not that I don't think have to go to internet searches to get to the bottom of the problem. On the contrary, my position is that most of the time you tell someone "google is your friend", the person has already tried google can still doesn't understand. This is especially true for me icon_smile.gif I never ask a question of someone in a forum unless I've already searched for quite a bit.
[/quote]

Rohit Umarjikar wrote:

Fourth, What do you not understand the results ? can you give an example to define your problem?

I agree soliciting examples is a useful reply. But this is different from "RTFM" and "google is your friend"

Rohit Umarjikar wrote:

Regardless how many improvements you make to this site, if people tend not to do research and post blindly then all those efforts are gone no where.

Again, my point is most of these people have already searched and don't understand the results.

Why do I believe this? Because I've taken the time to follow up with many people who've asked questions which appear they came from someone who didn't take the time to search. And I found that most of the time they have.

It's my position that in this day and age question forums should be more friendly than many are on this forum to new people asking dumb questions, even when it appears they haven't searched. Perhaps, especially when they it appears they haven't and it appears they are dumb as rocks.

There's a way to reply to those types of posts, and I think it would be much more helpful and build a better community if the same boilerplate that talks about how to ask a question were posted rather than a slew of rude "look it up yourself, !@!@#$" replies. This could even be redirection to the beginners' forum but done in a polite way.

Rohit Umarjikar wrote:

So let the OP do some research and spend some time to solve their problems than someone does free full coding work for them.

Again, it can be stated that we're not here to code for you in a polite manner. I've found that when people are mentored in this fashion they change for the better. It's different when it becomes habit.

But if you're volunteering your time for a help forum and don't feel you have the time for that, why take time to reply rudely instead of not replying at all?
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jasorn
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:28 am
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enrico-sorichetti wrote:
the main problem is the lack of abstraction capability ...

different people will express the same problem with different words -
usually with poor precision -
and most of the times in way difficult to understand

the above reflects on the way they search for a solution
searching with the right words will usually find the link to a solution
and most of them seem incapable of doing it

that' s the reason I usually post also the search tokens leading to a successfull search


I agree with all of the above, especially, that it's helpful to offer search terms.
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jasorn
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:43 am
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enrico-sorichetti wrote:
Quote:
RTFM is just an insensitive reply in my view.


that' s just Your view ...
I am getting really fed up with all this PC horse manure

once upon a time ...
RTFM and come back after You have done a bit of homework was the usual answer
and nobody ever complained about it

for what reason should we spend our time and share our experience gained by RTFM
for people who just do not care and want a simple way out of their problems

sooner or later they should start learning to RTFM icon_cool.gif


When replying to your earlier post, I was going to say, "Unless it's done with a spiteful tone." and look for an example. However, this quote is the perfect example and is exactly the kind of thing I think is less than helpful. I do know my opinion isn't shared by all.

I grew up on RTFM too and I turned out fine! However, I think the time has come that this attitude leave the help forums. Especially for people new to the community, whether experienced or not.

The experienced will have already RTFM or will ask for it. The others will simply tend to be put off by the gruffness.

Why would I spend my time berating someone to RFTM? Especially if I'm irritated they're asking questions without having searched first? If I'm truly trying to help, I see this as a chance for me to really help, starting with helping them ask a decent question.

Perhaps in my capacity of helping people outside of this forum and directing them to ask questions here, more people tell me, "I'm not asking questions there, they're mean.", more than is known.

Relating this to help forums for other platforms, I think linux is a reasonable comparison. To a large extent the distros which attract the most new people are the ones who have shifted from "RTFM" to easing people into understanding how to help themselves before asking questions.

I think that's a model well worth modelling!
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jasorn
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:59 am
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It occurs to me that I didn't look to see if this forum prefer I reply to all in one post or individually. Forgive me if I took the wrong approach.

Rohit Umarjikar wrote:
You join the class to learn cics jcl and all other stuff, if you have money problems then mainframes ain’t a choice for you

Interestingly enough, this is a problem expressed at SHARE. Specifically, that many see this a real problem. That we need to shift to it be able to learn the mainframe at almost no cost, which is the case on just about every other platform.

I make it a habit of suggesting to IBMers they make some sort of system available for no cost for anyone to learn at home. Normally, this suggestion is laughed off. But recently, IBMers have been replying that they do see this as an issue and would like to figure out how to do that and still protect their IP.

I think they are coming around to understanding that if we're going to address the real issue that 29% of mainframers are > 60 while only 7% are < 30, we need to get zos into the hands of young kids with no real requirements including cost or even needing to join a program. College might even be too late.

I discussed this with several people regarding Zowe, which looks like a great framework for the devops crowd, it still requires zos. I feel pretty strongly more and more see this as an issue.
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Rohit Umarjikar

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:15 pm
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Quote:
Again, it can be stated that we're not here to code for you in a polite manner. I've found that when people are mentored in this fashion they change for the better. It's different when it becomes habit.

But if you're volunteering your time for a help forum and don't feel you have the time for that, why take time to reply rudely instead of not replying at all?


Sometimes they are rude but that is how one gets learn to not make a mistake next time else people gets into the bad Habit of repeating it over and over and that has happened in past. So people help but if some replies seems rude then is that a big Deal even if its for betterment of OP?
Ain't OP not suppose to follow forum rules? I mean did you not seen post where OPs replies are rude to them who help? I am sure you will find many if you browse them.
Here is a quick link to the forum rules .. Everyone makes efforts to follow them and OP is required to do too , why exception ( any forum for that matter) ?

Forum Rules -- >Search before Post
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RahulG31

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:35 pm
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Quote:
I thnk I'll see my way out the door. You guys have turned into a bunch of dicks.


A rude reply to probably the most polite person on this forum:

http://ibmmainframes.com/viewtopic.php?p=344547&highlight=#344547

.
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Rohit Umarjikar

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:45 pm
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RahulG31, Great catch!! That's probably why He got Warned.
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