What is involved in Mainframe Testing?



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What is involved in Mainframe Testing?

Postby dbryant » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:43 am

I have a strong (15 years) background in Mainframe Technical Support. I was laid off 3 years ago and have since attempted to return to this environment. The problem that I face is no development experience. I have worked closely with COBOL developers and seen the code, but I have no experience. A large part of my job was to test programs, create test environments on the mainframe and troubleshoot abends and check output for expected return. I have not used the testing software or generated test cases.
I see Mainframe Tester positions available online, However I cannot claim experience. I feel like the job I performed was similar, but maybe not to the same scale.

I think that mainframe tester would be a good fit for me. Any input/advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,

D. Bryant
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Re: What is involved in Mainframe Testing?

 

Re: What is involved in Mainframe Testing?

Postby dick scherrer » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:54 am

Hello and welcome to the forum,

"Mainframe Testing" means different things at different places. "They" know what they mean, but often very poorly describe this when posting positions.

I suspect that you have done a lot of what "they" are looking for. Hopefully, this can work to your advantage.

When approaching these positions, suggest that what you submit (resume, applicaton ,etc) shows various projects you have supported.

Depending on your location, you might consider looking at federal, state, or local government positions. You have to "sign up" and possibly sit for some testing, but this could open the doors to some interviews. Speaking ot location - if you are willing/able to relocate, there may be more potential positions.

Good luck :)

d
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Re: What is involved in Mainframe Testing?

Postby alexlloyd54 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:33 pm

I've worked in two places before, in one of them they used to call it (Studies & Evaluation Dept), and in the other they call it (Quality assurance Dept)

most of their jobs was to create an environment for testing the application systems before they are moved to production (more testing looking for bugs, stress test .. etc etc)

Anyway, why don't you just submit your resume to those online sites and see what would happen next.

wish you good luck,,
If I told you, Mossad would have to kill you :)
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Re: What is involved in Mainframe Testing?

Postby stevexff » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:06 pm

Testing requires a certain mindset, and if you've spent 15 years in technical support you probably don't have it. Testers don't usually fix things, and often the level of technicality found in defect reports is along the lines of 'output is not as expected' or 'job failed S80A'.

Much of mainframe testing is outsourced to offshore companies these days, so there is not much call for onshore testers. But there is a big gulf between developer and tester, and the things that fall down the gap are often environmental. What works fine in development often doesn't get deployed correctly into the various levels of test environment, or when it does there are bind issues (SQLcode -805), RACF, and data problems. Developers often don't have the time or the skills to sort these out, and the testers definitely don't. You don't say whether your experience is batch or online (CICS or IMS), but test environment support might be a good niche for someone with your background. If you can look up a message and understand enough about z/OS to know how to fix it you should be able to drop into this role without too much trouble. You might find it more interesting than straight testing as well, and if you have to do it for eight hours a day, that makes a big difference.

Bias your CV towards environmental support and problem resolution, two pages max (recruiters rarely read past page 1), and make sure you include as many of the buzz words used on the job spec that you have even a passing acquaintance with on page one. The recruitment agency and the company HR folks generally have no real idea of what the job entails, they just tick off the buzzwords, but you need to get past them and in front of someone who understands what you can do for them.

Good luck.
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Re: What is involved in Mainframe Testing?

Postby dbryant » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:25 am

Hi,

Thanks for the replies. This helps alot. I have got to get back into this environment. I have applied to Mainframe Tester positions in the past but didn't make the cut.
I have to step up my search and get serious again.

Thanks again.

D. Bryant
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Re: What is involved in Mainframe Testing?

Postby Peter_Mann » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:03 am

dbryant wrote:I have a strong (15 years) background in Mainframe Technical Support. I was laid off 3 years ago and have since attempted to return to this environment. The problem that I face is no development experience. I have worked closely with COBOL developers and seen the code, but I have no experience. A large part of my job was to test programs, create test environments on the mainframe and troubleshoot abends and check output for expected return. I have not used the testing software or generated test cases.
I see Mainframe Tester positions available online, However I cannot claim experience. I feel like the job I performed was similar, but maybe not to the same scale.

I think that mainframe tester would be a good fit for me. Any input/advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,

D. Bryant

Dave
Carmen Here, I just landed a job back in NW Arkansas, and they are in need of a CICS Sysprog, goto www.jbhunt.com/jobs
Job Opening ID: 1567
Job Title: CICS Systems Programmer

good luck
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Re: What is involved in Mainframe Testing?

Postby anurag_87 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:36 am

Hi,
I believe a tester is as important as a devloper.Any good IT company should take you as Quality Analyst.
Being in IT firm myself, I have seen every project(Dev or Sup) to have atleast 20 percent of the team as testers who do not know anything technically but have great business knowledge.

So my suggestion would be for any interview showcase your business knowledge and have hands on couple of testing tools in mainframe.One which I am familier is Hiperstation.

Bottom line is No code can be developed bug free and testers are required to make it close to bug free
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