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My Journey of Personal and Professional Growth as Open Mainframe Project Summer Mentee

By | November 21, 2023

Written by Abdul Samad Siddiqu, a student at Usman Institute of Technology and 2023 Open Mainframe Project Summer Mentee

Abdul Samad Siddiqui

Hey Folks! I’m Abdul Samad Siddiqui , currently a second-year undergraduate software engineering student at Usman Institute of Technology. With two years of experience, I’ve been actively contributing to various open source projects for a year. As a dedicated open source advocate, I’ve organized numerous workshops on my campus to foster enthusiasm for open-source initiatives. In 2023, I had the privilege of becoming an LFX Mentee in the OpenMainframe Projects, specifically for the Zowe Python SDK.

How I Discovered the Zowe-Python-SDK Project 🌟

My journey with the Zowe-Python-SDK began unexpectedly. While working on a university assignment, I received an email notifying me of a rejection from one of the LFX projects I had applied for. Curious, I decided to explore other projects available through LFX. That’s when I stumbled upon the Zowe-Python-SDK mentorship, which instantly caught my interest. I swiftly updated my resume and applied without realizing that it was the final day for applications. Miraculously, within hours, an email arrived, tasking me with a challenge to be completed within two days.

The task involved explaining a POST request, and I crafted a concise email with accompanyingFlask code to demonstrate my understanding. Despite not receiving a response for a week, my patience paid off when I finally received the email confirming my selection. I was immensely grateful to my mentors for believing in my application and granting me the opportunity to contribute to Zowe.

What is Zowe-Python-SDK 🚀:

Zowe is an integrated and extensible open-source framework for z/OS. Like popular operating systems like macOS and Windows, Zowe offers a core set of applications combined with APIs and OS capabilities. These components pave the way for future applications to be built upon. Zowe provides modern interfaces to interact with z/OS, allowing a cloud-platform-likeexperience. The Zowe-Python-SDK specifically enables the creation of client applications andscripts that interface with z/OS REST API interfaces. This SDK empowers Python developers tocraft powerful applications for interacting with z/OS components. Learn more about the mentorship in this video:

Initiating Change as a Summer Mentee 🌞:

As an Open Mainframe Project Mentee, I undertook the task of enhancing the Zowe project. My primary focus was on finalizing team configuration support and implementing variousenhancements for the forthcoming v2 release. This encompassed adding crucial support for Zowe v2 team configuration. In this endeavor, I tackled a diverse range of challenges, including:

[zos-files] Add a method to copy a data set or member (#63)

My first steps into this realm involved creating a method that enabled copying data sets ormembers, injecting efficiency into Zowe’s toolkit.

[zos-files] list_dsn should have an option to return attributes (#117)

With newfound familiarity, I tackled the enhancement of the list_dsn method, ensuring it couldreturn attributes, thus augmenting Zowe’s capabilities.

[core] Load secure values from multiple credential entries on Windows (#134)

I delved into the intricate world of managing secure values, wrestling with the unique behaviorof the keyring library in Python on Windows, compared to other Zowe frameworks like NodeJsand Zowe-CLI.

[core] Save secure profile properties to a vault (#72)

These tasks involved creating a security mechanism that stored sensitive profile propertiessecurely within a vault in the zowe.config.json file.

[core] Save profile properties to the zowe.config.json file (#73)

With proficiency in place, I embarked on a mission to secure profile properties within thezowe.config.json file, aligning with Zowe’s structure and ethos.

Each challenge fused Python expertise, REST API mastery, and analytical prowess. My journey was further enriched by the guidance of mentors Timothy Johnson and Fernando Rijo Cedeno. Our weekly sync-up calls turned into opportunities for brainstorming, discussion, and problem-solving.

Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Triumphs 🤔:

While my mentors provided unwavering support, I faced my share of challenges, especially with the intricate issue of loading secure values from multiple credential entries on Windows(#134). This challenge was intensified by the unique behavior of the keyring package in Python on Windows, which deviated from other Zowe frameworks like NodeJs and Zowe-CLI. However, with their consistent guidance and encouragement, we collectively surmounted this challenge, emerging victorious.

Concluding with Gratitude and Growth 🌱

In closing, I am filled with gratitude towards my mentors and the Linux Foundation. This journey of contributing to the Zowe project has brought about significant personal and professional growth, shedding light on new possibilities and opportunities.