IBM Master the Mainframe 2019

This page contains links to all of the blog posts covering IBM’s Master the Mainframe 2019 contest!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Final words:

73 thoughts on “IBM Master the Mainframe 2019

  1. Hi Kevin,
    I was wondering did IBM change the design for Master the Mainframe 2020?
    Because I believe they are putting challenges to level system.

      1. Well so far I only completed Level 1.
        Unlike like last years, I have less time to complete MTM.
        I have busier schedule.
        But I would like take be at least complete some of the challenges of part3.
        It will be fun to complete the challenges together.
        Thanks Kevin!

  2. Hi Kevin,

    Is there any way that I can IMS DB/DC using this MTM setup?

    Could you please suggest some alternate option if i can’t learn it through MTM?

    Thanks in advance.

  3. Hi Kevin, your blog was very useful to meet the challenges, congratulations
    Can you help me?

    My P2.OUTPUT looks like that:

    _________ #01
    _________ #02
    _________ #04
    _________ #05
    _________ #06
    _________ #07
    _________ #08
    _________ #09
    _________ #10
    _________ #11
    _________ #12
    _________ #13
    _________ #14
    _________ #15
    _________ #3

    How do I put it in order? ;(

  4. Hi Kevin sir

    I am not able find the proper way to fix the LOGLOOK.
    isfsysid- changed to S0W1

    Do any other fields need to change?

    Kindly help me .


    1. Hi Nihar

      I assume this is about challenge #14?

      Did you perform any actions on the mainframe that day? Loglook checks the global system log and if you didn’t do anything yet, you won’t be in it.

      Furthermore you need to change 2 variables correctly, the System ID and the search string. Please verify both these variables. These variables are located between and including line 000009 and 000018. I am prohibited from giving you a straight answer.

      Link to challenge 14:

      Kind regards,

    1. Hi Anonymous

      All part 3 challenges are designed to start over. If you want to start all of part 3 over, then tso sub ‘zos.public.jcl(part3)’ which deletes all part 3 data sets and part 3 work previously completed. Source:

      I don’t think there’s an automated way to redo part 2. Either you can contact IBM to reset your progress manually, or you sign-up for the learners program.

      Kind regards,
      – Kevin

      1. Good afternoon,
        In challenge 7 of part 2 I am having the following error when trying to submit the jobname:
        11.58.09 JOB03112 $HASP165 Z59886A ENDED AT SVSCJES2 – JCL ERROR CN(INTERNAL)
        Because of this error, I am unable to complete challenge 7. What should I do?

        1. Hello

          That is not enough information to diagnose the issue. You have an error in your JCL and somewhere you’ll need to fix it. Please start over and try the challenge again from the beginning.

          Kind regards,
          – Kevin

          1. hello,
            I copy the code from the site and paste it and generate this erro.

            From the start of challenge 7 or start from challenge 1 ?

  5. Hello Kevin,
    Thank a lot for your hard work, because this blog helped out a lot in the second half of part 2 and part 3.
    I got the Part 3 badge yesterday.
    The IBM direction should have better direction or rephrase them.
    But once more, I say thank you for this blog, and other people who comment hints on how to tackle some of the challenges.

    1. Hi Mig

      Thanks for the kind words and also for letting me know you got the badge! It was very fun having you around and interacting with the other users!

      I do agree that IBM should sometimes be more clear!

      Kind regards,
      – Kevin

  6. I got the email this morning that I received the Part 3 badge! I really did “MVP” Minimal Viable product this year..
    Thanks for the blog Kevin – it was fun!

  7. YES!!! I did it…I just receive my email from IBM giving the good news. See email below. Kevin have you receive yours?

    Congratulations! You’ve earned a digital credential from IBM
    You’ve completed the criteria associated with earning a digital credential from the IBM Digital Badge program.

    Master the Mainframe 2019 – Part 3
    Issuer: IBM

  8. Can anyone help me on challenge 14 part 3…i am getting errors like invalid jecl statement, misplaced dd statement and job has no steps eventhough i have done step by step of the instructions…

    1. Hi Anonymous

      “Misplaced dd statement” means either the indentation is wrong or the statement does not belong there. “Invalid JCL statement” means you have syntax errors like Akos said.

      I would advise you to re-do the challenge.

      Kind regards,
      – Kevin

  9. Hello Kevin,
    Do you have any idea where we can find the TSO logon’s?
    There are some in the log. But when you filter there are no timestamps with it.
    So that doesn’t seems very usefull

        1. I’m stuck on 14 now
          With 13 everytime I execute the file
          It just says
          Data set still open
          Even though the output is fine

        1. Once you created the Loglook file in the Rexx directory.
          Run the file and it should give you red text error.
          Go to the SYSLOG because you need to gather information there.
          You have to modify the LOGLOOK file.

          1. LOL what do we need to modify ? I really don’t understand on this input that IBM want “message text where message text includes your id”

  10. Alllllmost there! At this moment, I’m on Part 3, Challenge 13. Last year I made it to Challenge 15 but didn’t observe “Minimum Viable Product” and didn’t finish. This year I’m gonna finish!

    MTM 2019 is going much faster for me than 2018 due to the familiarity that I gained with ISPF etc. over the last year. IBM i has a similar editor but there are differences that threw me (and some still do.)

    As a teenager I *badly* wanted to be what I learned later is a SysProg but I didn’t know what one was, and the IBM’ers that I met didn’t really have an answer to “How can I get a job at IBM writing Operating Systems? I know Assembler!” Had only MTM existed back then…

    1. And thanks for the blog Kevin, it has helped!! I got stuck on a couple spots and while I haven’t peeked at the spoilers, you had a tip like closing the print spool in one of the challenges that got me unstuck!

      1. Hi TRS80

        Thanks for the kind words! Also thanks for sharing you story, I do hope you get to finish this year its challenges. Please let me know when you get the part 3 badges!

        Kind regards,
        – Kevin

    1. Hi Stanley

      I’m not sure what you mean by this. Are you asking how to enter a new line inside an editor? If so, you can enter line command ‘i’ to enter a new line.

      Kind regards,

  11. Hello Kevin,
    I am struggling on challenge 13 when it says we need to include, “Number of active started tasks, number of active TSO users, and number of active batch jobs.” I was wondering if you could help me find where these numbers are located.

  12. Hello Kevin, I’m lost in challenge 13 from part 3. I don’t know how to write what they are asking me exactly.

    1. Hi Jonathan

      Challenge 13 is a bit flexible. They want you to generate a report using the REXX code given to you. But they don’t request a specific format, make it as you see fit. You need to include the following data in your report:

      CPU percent busy for the system
      High unreferenced interval count
      Real storage available frame count
      Number of active started tasks
      Number of active TSO users
      Number of active batch jobs

      I haven’t done this challenge yet so I can’t explain more than this.

      Kind regards,
      – Kevin

      1. Hey!

        First off, thanks a lot for the Blog Kevin! It helps people a lot. And as for those who are concerned with people who use this blog to get credit easy – Their Loss!!!!
        They want to get credit for something they never learnt? It will come back to bite them at some point trust me.

        Coming to my question for you:
        It was obvious from the # and ? symbols in the code that we need to provide those as that it the error message: Invalid credentials.
        I changed it to have the right z##### and my password. But it still wont work.
        Is there something else I need to fix? Or am I doing something else wrong?

        PS: You mentioned working full time… is it in Mainframes? (Just curious)

        1. Hi Anonymous

          First of all, thanks for the kind words!

          Are you talking about challenge #08? If so, changing the credentials and password should be just it. Is there any output log you could share?

          Regarding your personal question, I’m currently a fulltime PHP and Node.js developer. Slowly transitioning to Python. As for mainframe jobs, I’m interested, but I’m hesitant to do a hobby as a job.

          Kind regards,

      2. TRS80 here –
        I just started Challenge 13 and this is the point where the Challenge gets significantly harder! At present I’m digging around to try to find the info that they’re asking for which is a lot of what this challenge is about.
        There are some hints in the Slack channel on challenge 13.
        It’s going to take some time as I work full time as an IBM i developer. Some things are similar between i and z (EBCDIC, packed decimal, REXX although z/os REXX is significantly more powerful) , but the system stuff is totally different.

        1. I made Challenge 13 harder than it is: Look at the documentation referred to in the challenge. It lays out how to find each of the items that are asked for.

    2. So far what I got, is to comment on some of the message variable, while on uncomment some of the code. I believe I did it right, since it gave me Output for challenge 13. Where shows my ID, stamp date, Operating System…, and IBM Z Mainframe…

  13. Hello, I’m stuck in Part 3 Challenge 5 where it says about JAVA in Unix, I dont understand what to do there, I’m doing the ssh z#####@ command and trying to put my password in lowercase but it doesnt work.

  14. Hello, Kevin. I know that you haven’t done part 3 challenge #10 yet but I imagine that you may help me anyway.
    What happens is that when I look at the JES spool the output expected is not there, I guess there is a specific command to make it appear. Would you have any ideas to help me? Thank you.

    1. Hi Luiz

      I believe the cause for it not to be there is because either you applied a filter or there is something wrong with your code. Sorry for not being able to help much, it’ll take a while for me to get to that challenge.

      By navigation to it by using =sd ; st it shouldn’t use any filters. If you don’t see a certain expected DDNAME then there’s something wrong with the code. If you need more help then I would suggest asking in the MTM Slack channel.

      Kind regards,
      – Kevin

      1. Thanks Kevin. I managed to fix the problem without seeing the JES spool but I really believe there is something wrong here =) the path =sd ; st is the one I am using to get to the list but the DDNAME they talk about in the challenge is not there. I’ll try the slack channel.

        1. I ran into the same issue today.
          To view the filters in SDSF you’ll need the command: SET DISPLAY
          You can turn off the filters with the command: FIL OFF

          Then you can change the filters if you want:
          OWNER Z#####
          PRE *

  15. Hi, i’m in the #15 challenge, and i’m little lost…
    All those templates they send to us in the ch15 data set, are just examples right?
    if i use my code from #13, mix with #14, just changing what will be the output, it will be alright?

    1. Hi Arildo Jose Assis,

      I assume you’re talking about Challenge #15 from part 3? Then the templates they sent you are examples. You need to come up with something yourself, you can take my solution from last year as an example.

      Kind regards,
      – Kevin

    1. Hi Ruby

      Because I work full time it will probably take a long time before I release the entire part 3. I can’t guarantee a timeframe for the releases.

      Kind regards,
      – Kevin

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