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MVS z/OS Mainframe Systems Support and Training


Joe Polizzi - My Profile    

Experience Summary

MVS z/OS Systems Programmer

Storage Manager

Capacity Planner

Assembler Programmer

Systems Availability Specialist

Performance Analyst

Disaster Recovery Planner

MVS Catalog Specialist

RACF Security Manager

Applications Programmer

JCL Production Control Analyst

MVS Operator - Operations Specialist


I have experience in many aspects of IBM MVS mainframe business systems. I have operated, installed, configured, modified, debugged and supported all levels of IBM’s MVS z/OS operating system and associated program products.

Companies / Corporations  

  • TIAA-CREF (Charlotte/Denver Remote Support)
  • MOI (Sub-Contract USAF)
  • SRP (Salt River Project)
  • DHL
  • Charles Schwab
  • Banner Health Systems
  • American Express
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Crocker National Bank

MVS z/OS Mainframe Professional

  • Technologist / Manager / Director
  • z/OS Consolidation & Integration
  • z/OS Special Projects
  • z/OS Installation & Daily Support
  • z/OS Disaster Recovery
  • z/OS Internals and Diagnostics
  • z/OS Program Product Support
  • Mainframe Assembler Programmer
  • Coding VB or Web interfaces
  • z/OS Debugging and Troubleshooting
  • z/OS Availability and Situation Manager
  • z/OS Operations Specialist
  • z/OS Technology Sales Support
  • Computer Trainer (Custom to your needs and your applications)


  • MVS z/OS Installation, Support, Operation
  • Unix Systems Services
  • Hardware Configuration Dialog (HCD)
  • Websphere OS/390 with IMS bridge
  • IPCS Debugging and IBMLINK
  • Assembler Coding (User Exits)
  • Upgrades
  • Crisis / Situation Management
  • High Speed Networking to mainframe
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Consolidation and Integration
  • MVS Subsystems - JES2 VTAM TCPIP etc.
  • Extended Remote Copy (XRC)
  • OEM Product Installation and Support
  • Unix Administration
  • FLEX/ES Installation and Support
  • OS/390 on Hercules Installation and Support

Desired Work Location

Telecommute from home office in Phoenix, Arizona and/or on-site at customer location.


As of February 2011 - Immediate. I will telecommute and/or provide on site support as needed as a contracted or FTE employee. I will communicate daily with my employer. I will convey project status and report accomplishments on a regular basis. I will provide off-hour pager coverage. I will provide daily support, project support, crisis support and planning assistance.


Oct/1996 – Present - Lead Technician - Global Solutions Consulting - Phoenix, AZ

Contracted and consulted on OS/390 and z/OS related technology. Typically, my contracts have been local (Phoenix & LA) and lasted anywhere from 3 months to 2+ years. Since 1996, I have assisted the following companies with various projects:


  • Banner Health (Y2K transitioning)
  • National Data Corporation (OSA & TCP/IP Implementation)
  • Verizon Wireless (Conversion from VMS to OS/390)
  • Cyclone, Inc. (New Install & Configuration of OS/390)
  • Charles Schwab (Mainframe Availability Specialist – Weekend Support)
  • Open Mainframe Solutions (New Install & Configuration of OS/390)
  • ViaSoft, Inc. (TCP/IP activation)
  • Arizona Department of Transportation (Upgrades, USS, Websphere, IMS Connect)
  • Compuware Corporation (O/S and Program Product installs and upgrades)
  • Stae Tech, Inc. (Small SYSPLEX establishment, HMC customization)
  • Stonebranch, Inc. (General SYSPROG duties)
  • Hyundai Motor America (Upgrade to OS/390 2.10, ongoing SYSPROG support)
  • Develop Custom Training for Charles Schwab and Wachovia Bank (Trainframe)


During this time, I also started Trainframe, Inc., a training company that specializes in operations training for Operations. See www.trainframe.com for more information.

Dec/1989 - Oct/1996 - Lead OS/390 Systems Programmer - American Express - Phoenix, AZ

Lead OS/390 Systems Programmer. Installed and supported new IBM operating systems and hardware and software technology. Personally designed and installed American Express’ high speed channel network between Phoenix and Ft. Lauderdale that currently supports nation wide statement printing. Also designed and supported high speed channel network between Phoenix and other worldwide data centers in Brazil, Canada, Japan, Argentina and England. Was instrumental in 18 worldwide site consolidations into the Phoenix data center. Was main technical escalation point and crisis manager for all change related system problems across 23 LPAR images.

Sept/1985 - Nov/1989 - Sr. MVS Systems Programmer - Northrop - California

Senior MVS Systems Programmer. Installed and supported new IBM operating systems and third party products. Print / Output Manager (Xerox and IBM high speed printers). Xerox PDL / FDL specialist.

Jan/1981 - Sept/1985 - Lead MVS Computer Operator - Crocker National Bank - California

MVS Computer Operator and Master Scheduler


As a senior / lead systems programmer, I have been responsible to trouble-shoot, support, maintain and implement new and existing technologies.  As a plus, over time, I have learned a lot about other non-mainframe environments too.  This has served me well because of the complicated interfaces and dependencies on other platforms.  My expertise, however, lies in the mainframe environment.

z/OS on zSeries

I have worked with IBM mainframes since 1981.  I started as an MVS operator and worked my way up to an MVS Systems Programmer by the late 80's.  Along the way, I have worked on every IBM architecture since (not to mention Amdahl and Hitachi versions of CMOS processors, when they were still in the game).  Over the past several years, all of the hardware that I have been working on has been zSeries running z/OS and z/VM.  I have been involved with upgrade challenges such as MVS/XA to MVS/ESA conversion, 31-bit to 64-bit conversion, planning and executing JES2 cold starts during upgrade(s), retrofitting user exits, converting catalogs, RVARYing RACF databases, converting from WLM compatibility mode to Goal mode, many, many hardware push/pull upgrades (or downgrades).  As a hobby, I run z/OS 1.2 on my Hercules laptop.  I have a copy of z/OS 1.8 and am in the process of upgrading.


Working with TSO/ISPF is mandatory when administering MVS systems (unless the customer is a Wylbur shop).  I consider myself expert in TSO/ISPF.  In August 1990, I published an article in NaSpa magazine detailing how to drive ISPF dialogs using assembler coding techniques and macros.  I can provide a copy of this article upon request.  I can customize logon procs and allocations using LIBDEF statements.  I frequently use REXX and CLIST programs to execute custom and canned ISPF applications.


Again, working with SMP/E is mandatory as an MVS systems programmer.  Over the years, I have maintained third party products such as CA, Compuware, MXG, ASG, LRS (to list a few) using SMP/E receive, apply and accept methodology.  In my experience, each shop rolls out fixes and upgrades differently, however, the SMP/E steps are the same.  The SMP/E zones will often vary from shop to shop, for instance, we used an "X" "Y" "Z" zones at American Express where "X" was always the backout version, the "Y" zone represented current production, and the "Z" zone was where we would roll new updates to.  Once the zones are updated, each shop always has their own roll-out to production methods (direct zone updates, clone across, etc.).  I have implemented hundreds of PTFs and have experience with CBPDO and ServerPac installations from scratch.  In all cases, backout is of utmost importance!!!

Workload Manager

While contracting at Hyundai, I was responsible for converting the systems from Compatibility to WLM Goal modes.  During this process, I had to create (and tweak) WLM policies based on their business goals and the types of transactions they ran on their systems.  I admit, I had to back out a couple of times due to response time problems, however, after some diagnosis, I was able to tune properly, and Goal mode stuck thereafter.  The key was, I was available, measuring and monitoring and was able to back out quickly with an barely an impact.


As a systems programmer, I have also worn the "capacity planner" hat.  I have worked with MXG and SAS in the past to analyze past SMF data in order to plan for future expansion.  I am very knowledgeable about SMF record types, and the type of information that can be extracted from SMF.  I have installed and upgraded MXG and have run IVPs to test functionality.  In many of the large shops that I have worked, we had dedicated capacity planners and performance analysts, but in some of the smaller shops, we did it all.  It has been a while, but I used to write many programs in SAS, mainly for basic report writing.  Now, I prefer REXX.  SAS is preferred with MXG, as it is based around SAS code and interfaces.


I have upgraded RACF a few times during my career.  In all major upgrades, I have had to perform a RACF database conversion to upgraded levels.  Testing, backup and backout is key.  Also, during RACF maintenance, (for instance, when increasing the size of the database) I have had to RVARY to switch between the primary and secondary databases and dynamically vary them offline/online in order to perform the upgrade without taking a system outage.  For administration purposes, I am capable of granting / removing access and privileges to users, groups, generic profiles and other RACF defined resources.  in many shops that I have assisted, I have performed the similar functions using CA's ACF2.

DFSMS, DFHSM & Storage Subsystems

As a systems guy, I have always had to understand my way around the storage environment (both software and hardware).  I have never worked directly in a designated Storage Management group, however, I have assisted and collaborated with the storage folks throughout my career.  As a systems programmer, I frequently check storage pools using ISMF.  I have dynamically updated SMS ACS allocation routines.  I am expert with utilities such as DFDSS / ADRDSSU and ICKDSF.  I have assisted with mass data migrations from one storage subsystem to another due to a hardware push/pull.  I have written dynamic allocation routines using assembler coding techniques and macros.  I have defined large storage systems to z/OS using HCD - defining several channels through switches to various tape and disk storages systems (ATL and VTS).  I was heavily involved in implementing STK Tape Silos at American Express.  In my view, the storage group also maintains system catalogs, however, I have had lots of experience with catalog utilities, such as the many options of IDCAMS, including import connect / disconnect and backup utilities.  One time at Hyundai, I had to forward recover one of their user catalogs (recover from backup and forward recover from SMF).

VTAM, TCP/IP & Channel Extension

I have supported, upgraded and maintained both.  I have frequently updated and maintained VTAMLST and VTAMLIB members as well as exit points within VTAM.  When NCP was prevalent, I was responsible to perform NCP gens.  I helped NDC (formerly Walsh America) with configuring their OSA adapters and properly defining their TCP/IP configuration to get their IP network online.  I did the same for ViaSoft here in the valley on their small P/390 mainframe running OS/390 at the time.  I designed and implemented American Express' worldwide channel extension equipment where I extended high speed printers and tape drives from Phoenix to Brazil, Japan, UK, Canada and Australia.  Much of this technology was based on a modified version of the IP Stack.


I have supported many systems and sysplexes running CICS/DB2 as well as IMS and IDMS.  I must say that I my strengths are in z/OS and it's related subsystems (JES2, LLA, VLF, VTAM, TSO, TCP/IP, USS, RACF, WLM, etc.) and less in the online subsystems.  However, I have implemented PTFs and researched APARs associated with online systems.  I have created DB2 databases for various subsystems requiring DB2 to function on the mainframe (such as Mobius ViewDirect).  I have captured and analyzed CICS and DB2 dumps using IPCS for various problems that I have been involved with over the years.  I know where to look when trying to find out more regarding transaction errors and DB2 lockouts.  I am also skilled at using various performance monitors (such as Mainview and Omegamon) when looking at and trouble shooting the online environment.

Internals, Dump Reading & Working with Control Blocks

I have used IPCS and ABENDAID many times to format and read many system and application dumps.  I have used both assembler and REXX to extract system information contained in control blocks.   I have coded authorized programs that have taken advantage of Dataspace and Hiperspace.

Job Control Language (JCL) & Utilities

You cannot be a MVS Systems Programmer without mastering JCL.  I can code JCL from scratch, however, that would be silly, as I probably have something in my library that will work with little modification.  As a SYSPROG, I have used every IBM (and third party) utility at one time or another.


I can proficiently code in the following languages:

  • Assembler - HLASM - ALC
  • REXX
  • SAS
  • JCL
  • Visual Basic 6 - VB6
  • Shell Scripting - Various Flavors
  • ISPF
  • Xerox PDL and FDL
  • Fortran
  • Various Report Writer Languages
  • HTML
  • Captivate (formerly RoboDemo)

Hardware Management Console (HMC)

On the HMC, I have experience in defining new LPARS, Coupling Facilities and other SYSPLEX related resources.  At times, I have had to adjust LPAR settings related to storage and CPU resources.  I use the HMC frequently to troubleshoot hardware problems and identify bottlenecks.

Pulling Cables, Wiring, Plumbing & Networking

Oh yeah!  The fun stuff... Many times I have strapped on the knee pads, put on the gloves and hunted for the floor puller.  I have worked with everything from BUS/TAG to Fiber to Category 5.  I have planned for electrical, A/C, Water Chiller, Security Cameras and sensors, Rack cold/hot aisles and switch / director devices (mainframe and non-mainframe).

Hardware Configuration Dialog - HCD

Once you have everything "wired-up" then you have to tell the hardware and O/S what's out there.  I have made IOCDS updates and associated HCD SYS1 IODF updates.  I have implemented such changes via schedule Power on Resets POR or dynamically using the MVS ACTIVATE command.


2002 - IBM Satellite Education - US-AZ-Phoenix

For three years, I had IBM’s satellite classes received into my home office 7x24x365. This provided ten channels of prerecorded classes on all IBM’s course curriculum.

1999 - IBM Education Card - US-AZ-Phoenix

IBM Education Card - One Year - any class - many classes

1992 - University of Phoenix - US-AZ-Phoenix

Bachelors DegreeBusiness and Management

1986 - UCLA - US-CA-Los Angeles

UCLA MVS Systems Programming Certificate

1984 - Long Beach City College - US-CA-Long Beach

Associate Arts - General

Throughout Career - Professional Training - Various Vendors

Related to current S/390, zSeries, z/OS, OS/390, MVS  projects and technology.

Estimated Hourly