Re: mainframe career advice

Hi Charles,

very quick comments below...

"charles hottel" <jghottel@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
> I am currently learning Java and the next logical step to me seems to be
> to learn J2EE and Websphere. What books, web resources or other resources
> would you recommend for learning J2EE, Websphere and Rational toolset?

J2EE I have no idea. My developers all use it and they were pretty anxious
when I referred to it as Java. The Enterprise Edition apparentlyhas specific
features that are very important, and close to the hearts of J2EE
programmers. As Iam not involved in coding other than suggesting general
approaches and supporting people who are stuck, I simply haven't had time to
find out more about it.
Websphere is a generic IBM term for a number of middle tier products and
services. (GOOGLE is good)
The Rational toolset requires a proper understanding of OO concepts and
terminology. UML is a good start. I am teaching myself (with help from team
members) how to use the Rational tools, but they are much too expensive to
install on my own computer for playing with. I am finding mixed things about

I have an information structure I need to obtain, in order to manage and
monitor a highly fluid and dynamic project. (Multiple tasks running
concurrently with all kinds of dependencies and constraints, within
stochastic timeboxes. MS Project is good for the general picture but it spat
the dummy when it saw the details... :-). Anyway, I decided what I needed
and put together a structure with the necessary objects, attributes, and
relationships. I could implement this as an ACCESS or SQLServer DB in a
heartbeat, and access it with Java or COBOL, but I decided to use the
Rational toolset, mainly so my BAs wouldn't think I was doing my own
thing... :-) And much of the data I need to restructure is actually stored
in the Rational tools. (Things like use case descriptions and requirements,

I got into ClearQuest and ran a tutorial which seemed pretty
straightforward; create a DB schema and attach it to a database, then let
the tool do its stuff... I created ny structures on Access and pointed
Clearquest at them, but it decided not to play because the tables were
already defined. I thought that was a bit poor. I expected it to analyse the
existing tables and create the bloody schema for me.(I know this is easy,
because I wrote code to do it when I developed the ISAM2DB tool a few years
back.) It would only function if it was pointed at a database with nothing
defined on it; then you have to define everythng you want, through the tool.
I'll try again on Monday...

> Most of the books I have read so far have discussed basic Java, Java
> servlets and JSP. I read Just Java 5th ed. (Dec 2001) by Peter van der
> Linden which discussed J2EE and Java Beans a little, but he said he could
> not recommend any J2EE books at that time, so I have been concerned about
> getting some "good" references. I also have his 6th edition to learn some
> of the new Java features but in a quick scan I do not see any J2EE stuff
> and the Java Bean chapter seems to have been removed .

Beans (like all components :-)) are an essential part of the modern world. I
can't think off-hand of any particular references I would recommend, and
I'm writing this in Auckland so I don't have access to my bookshelves at
home. I'll have a chat to the J2EE people and see what they would recommend.
Will try and get back here next week.
> Good luck on your project.

Thank you. :-) Good luck is always a useful ingredient in the project mix.
Phase 1 completes at end December and is slightly ahead of schedule. Phase 2
is where the timeboxed JAD sessions come in and that will be full on and
very hectic. It will run for around 18 months, along with some other
workstream activities that will concurrently support the JAD teams, some
functionality being delivered by a third party that I need to keep my finger
on, and some infrastructure nonsense that I'll keep as far away from the
team as possible; just make sure they have everything they need when they
need it.

We are all pretty excited at the prospect and I know it will be fun next

Sorry I can't be more helpful, Charles.