Home > Uncategorized > CICS is not my mother…

CICS is not my mother…

I was born 19 years after CICS, CICS is old enough to be my mother. I became aware of CICS about 2 years ago, though of course it had always been there, watching over me as I used an ATM for the first time or ordered that set of curtains, so pervasive in my life, and yet I never knew it…

Anyway, moving away from the “CICS is my estranged mother” metaphor; when I joined this department ten months ago everything was new. I had a little bit of experience with Assembler (I wrote a game of ‘pong’ using a z80, 8k RAM and 8k ROM- turns out Assembler 390 is not like this at all). Using green screens reminded me a bit of what I thought programming looked like before I actually did any, like in bad 1980’s hacker movies. My first week here is sort of blurry I remember my surprise that some applications are still using (or have ever used for that matter…) the F1- F12 keys and the confusion over that “Ctrl is now enter, and enter is return” thing. That took some getting used to. In fact, as someone whose programming experience is mainly from text editors and Eclipse, everything took some getting used to.

CICS is hard to get into, aside from the changes in the way your keyboard works, there’s the fact that it’s huge. There is so much to know; I think of it like that computer game, Age of Empires. I know about my bit, but everything around it is all blacked out, and I have to find out more about it by exploring. The exploring part is done by talking to people, this is what I really like about IBM. Everyone wants to help. Not only are my colleagues very smart, they are also very helpful, and if they don’t know the answer to my question they are also prepared to help me find someone who is. Being an Industrial Trainee in CICS is hard because a year is not enough time to explore enough of the map to be really good at anything, but its also great experience; I get to work on and contribute to a product that last year earned over $1 Billion, and I get to work with the leaders in the field.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. John Farley
    April 22, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Well Alice,

    CICS is BIG and robust ,to handle all the online work it does. So welcome to “Wonderland , Alice”. I was working on CICS SYSTEMS INTERNALS when it became a Program Product after being an FDP, in the 1970’s.

    It has come a long way from the 1970’s and the days of single CICS Regions. I work on CPSM along with CICS and the Z/OS systems. We have 100’s of complec CICS Regions running to support our users.

    Welcome to the CLUB.


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