Keeping up With the Zowians – Best ways to follow Zowe community developments

By February 4, 2019 February 8th, 2019 Blog

Tim Brooks from  IBM keeps us up to date on all things Zowe and offers pointers to anyone using the platform. 


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Zowe is an open source project on z/OS and has been developing very quickly over the past ~6 months. With two week sprints and a monthly release cadence, most people don’t have the time to keep up with all the community developments and still do their day jobs. Time is always the most valuable and finite asset, so the following resource recommendations have been categorized based on the amount time and commitment you have to devote to keeping up with the Zowians.

Just Checking In (~30 min/week): The following resources are available to anyone interested in the project, but for those who only have time to follow the major announcements and are interested in learning more about high-level value propositions. The following social media resources are a must for you:

  • LinkedIn: Search and follow #Zowe to make sure Zowe announcements appear on your news feed. Also, feel free to connect with me – I try to post the 1-2 most important developments each week.
  • Twitter: Search and follow #Zowe to see the most recent conversations. Also be sure to follow @OpenMFProject, the community that hosts the Zowe project.

Curious and Wanting to Learn More (~60 min/week): So you are interested. Zowe might be a project whose vision and professional goal’s to modernize the mainframe user experience peak your interest. But you aren’t quite ready to jump in. You want to learn more about the project before investing the time required to get familiar with the code and exploit the Zowe technology. If this is you, here are some links you’ll want to save in your bookmarks:

  • Zowe.org: This is the developer community site and there’s a lot to explore.
    • A great place to start is the project documentation and visit the “Getting Started” section to learn about the architecture and components. If you keep reading you’ll find the archive of the release notes which describes what’s new or changed in each release.  
  • Ask for an Overview Presentation: Work with your software vendor, or reach out directly to the Zowe User email distribution list and connect with a Zowian to schedule a 1-on-1 project overview presentation.

Ready to get Involved – Perhaps you expect to work with Zowe related products and services. Maybe you have talked with your manager and you are planning to invest your time in learning about and contributing to the Zowe community. No matter your situation, you are looking to get connected directly with the development community and begin participating in open source development. If this is you, here are the resources to get you looped in to all the day to day developments (there are over 50 committers whose full-time job it is to work on this project):

  • Get connected with the developers: We use a variety of tools in the open source community.
    • The most direct and quickest way to connect is through Slack.   
    • You can’t use slack, or don’t have access? No problem reach out to the Dev User email distribution. Even if you have access to Slack, you should subscribe to this Dev User email distribution because it’s the same tool we use to schedule our meetings/scrums.
    • Join one of our open zoom meetings by viewing our developer calendar. We use Zoom for all our meetings, and minutes are posted here.
  • Check out what we are working on: We use Waffle, a Kanban tool that aggregates all our Git Issues. You can use Waffle filters and tags to see who is working on certain issues, when they are expected to be done and which Git repo the issue belongs to.
  • Get your hands on the source: Visit our Github page to view the source files and please  submit issues, make pull requests and ask for help.

 

Fig 1: Zowe Community Waffle (Kanban) Board: Used to manage all Git Issues open across all Zowe Git Repos. Use the filter in the top right to filter for what you are looking for.

 

Fig 2: Zowe Community Developer Calendar: Used to bring Zowe community members together for scrums/standups as well as cross squad playbacks. Each squad manages its own set of repos and calendar events.

So there you have it. Keeping up with the Zowians is as easy as determining how involved you want to be in the project and community. If you have any problems accessing any of these resources you can always reach out to the Open Mainframe Project who manages our open source tools and services by sending them an email at omp-members+help@lists.openmainframeproject.org .