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Open Mainframe Mentorship Summer 2023

By | July 6, 2023


The Open Mainframe Mentorship program continues to be one of its most popular projects. Since its launch, the Mentorship program has helped more than 70 students gain experience in a hands-on learning experience with Linux, open source, and mainframes. This year, we yet again set a new record of applicants. In the Summer 2023 term, which began on June 1, more than 725 developers and students applied for the 8 mentorship programs. Our program’s incredible mentors had the challenging task of reviewing the applications to select 11 mentees.

Mentorship this year includes Open Mainframe projects such as Zowe, COBOL Check, Software Discovery Tool, COBOL Programming Course, App Store UI, and ADE. The mentees will complete their summer term with real-world, hands-on experience utilizing Linux, open source, and mainframes that they can carry with them into the next phase of their career path. Some even return to be mentors in our program!

Please meet our Open Mainframe Project 2023 Summer Mentees and Mentors:



COBOL Programming Course – COBOL Check Integration

Mentor: Sudharsana Srinivasan / Lezlie Browder

Mentee: Ashis Kumar Naik, Odisha University of Technology and Research, Bhubaneswar

Ashis Kumar Naik

Fun Facts: Love to play chess on my off time,love to watch tech talks, Like to watch movies and series.

Mentorship Description: The goal of this summer mentorship is to create a chapter in the COBOL Programming course that focuses on unit testing/debugging COBOL code. The concept of Test Driven Development incorporating the COBOL Check project into the course. This wil ensure that we are able to provide our learners with the end to end experience of learning a programming language and the concept of code & test.

Software Discovery Tool Back End Improvements and Deployment Automation (2 Mentees)

Mentors: Elizabeth K. Joseph / Arsh Pratap

Mentee: Aashish Khatri, Indian Institute of Information Technology Gwalior

Aashish Khatri

Fun Facts: 

  1. I love listening to jazz and classic rock.
  2. I love playing football, snooker and squash.
  3. I like travelling.

Mentee: Prince Singh, Indian Institute of Information Technology Gwalior

Prince Singh

Fun Facts:

  1. I love sports, whether I’m playing or watching it.
  2. I love to solve problems and tweak things here and there.
  3. I binge watch a series or leave it at all.

Mentorship Description: The Software Discovery Tool is an online search tool for Linux distributions and other software sources that support the s390x (IBM zSystems) hardware architecture. At the core, it’s written in Flask, micro web framework written in Python. The mentorship this summer has several components, giving a potential students the ability to review outstanding issues and craft a program that leans into their strengths and stretches into areas they may be interested in. The core task we’d like to see completed is the implementation of a MySQL back-end, which is currently in a “proposed” state and needs to be reviewed and tested for robustness. The administration and deployment of the tool in production also needs to be automated further, as some of this is still a manual process for the version in production. Finally, there are also UI improvements needed for the tool to address common pain points.  Experience with Python will be needed to complete this mentorship, and the potential mentee should also have interest in learning how to manage a production environment on Linux.

Move COBOL Check to the Next Level

Mentor: Rune Christensen

Mentee: Issac To, King’s College London

Fun Facts: 

  1. I am a dog person 
  2. I traveled to 5 countries in the past 2 weeks 
  3. I enjoy playing taekwondo and badminton


Mentorship Description: COBOL Check is a framework that enables unit testing of COBOL programs. Currently the framework is useable and support the goal of unit testing COBOL programs. But we have many ideas to improve the project. We would like a mentee to help us add improvements, like code completion and a linter for the Visual Studio Code extension, more mocking functionality, additional output formats, extended expander functionality and many other features. Other goals for the mentee is to get more of the existing code under tests, add to the documentation of the project and improve the maintainability of the project. 

The ultimate goal, is to release a version 1.0.0 of COBOL Check.

During the mentorship, the mentee is expected to have daily meetings with the mentor and will get access to the European team heavily involved in developing the current version of COBOL Check.

App Store UI (2 Mentees)

Mentor: Leanid Astrakou

Mentee: Sidharth Mohanty, Odisha University of Technology and Research, Bhubaneswar

 Sidharth Mohanty

Fun Facts: 

  1. Caffeine, gym, and coding: my epic love trio.
  2. I love to watch movies (a big James Bond fan)
  3. I love to explore different technologies

Mentee: Priyansh Mehta, Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing Jabalpur

Priyansh Mehta

Fun Facts:

  1. Loves experimenting with things even if it breaks them.
  2. I love programming because it’s never repetitive, always something new to learn.
  3. Bing watching documentaries is one of my hobbies.

Mentorship Description: Using the existing npm app registry, create an app store UI in the App Framework’s virtual desktop to download and install apps. Via the new enhancement to zwe which adds new ‘zwe components’ commands and with configuration manager, we can define an extension registry and pull extensions. The app store UI will invoke zwe which has a pluggable handler API which then talks to a package manager. The package manager receives and downloads requested extension and dependencies. While the package manager can be of any type, current support and a good starting place is npm. This would be a completely new app, from top to bottom, that will exist in the personalization & system widgets area in the Desktop and is an excellent opportunity for both a talented engineer and UX designer to make a huge imprint on the future of the Zowe desktop. The ideal candidate would have experience in Typescript/Javascript, Angular or React, Node.js, and HTML & CSS but having at least working knowledge in one or two areas is alright.

Zowe Python SDK Enhancements (2 Mentees)

Mentors: Timothy Johnson / Fernando Rijo Cedeno

Mentee: Abdul Samad Siddiqui, Usman Institute of Technology University

Abdul Samad Siddiqui

Fun Facts: 

  1. I like math and love solving problems.
  2. The reason I chose software engineering is because I am an introvert and prefer to work alone.
  3. I like to do multiple things at the same time.

Mentee: Aaditya Sinha, Noida Institute of Engineering and Technology, Greater Noida

Aaditya Sinha

Fun Facts: 

  1. I love playing chess 
  2. I have also started reading blogs and articles on medium cause I love reading 
  3. I buy lot of books

Mentorship Description: Finalize team configuration support and make other enhancements to support a v2 release.

There is growing interest in the Zowe Python SDK. In this project, the mentee will make various enhancements to this SDK, many of which are listed here – This work will include enabling the Python SDK to leverage Zowe team config – a major enhancement in Zowe V2 LTS. This work will be significant in moving the Python SDK toward a Long Term Support Release. We envision the Zowe Python SDK to be used in Python automation scripts, testing frameworks, and applications.

Unix System Services for Zowe Client Java SDK

Mentor: Frank Giordano

Mentee: James Kostrewski, Farmingdale State College

James Kostrewski

Fun Facts: 

  1. This is my 2nd undergrad degree (1st in business)
  2. I’m a twin.
  3. I love food and drinks with lime.

Mentorship Description: Help complete USS Rest Api wrapper calls for the SDK

Zowe Security Workgroup CVE Publication Automation

Mentor: Jakub Balhar

Mentee: Sidharth Bhardwaj, Maharaja Surajmal Institute of Technology, New Delhi

Sidharth Bhardwaj

Fun Facts:  

  1. I like to take pictures of landscapes and nature in my free time
  2. I love to play football, and I play as a midfielder
  3. My all-time favorite show is Breaking Bad

Mentorship Description:  Mentee will help prepare pipelines in the GitHub Actions to automate the processing and publication of found CVEs together with managing of the CVEs.

Creating a ZSS backend provider for Zowe CLI

Mentor: Sean Grady

Mentee: Anh Nguyen, Texas A&M University, Sunnyvale, California

Anh Nguyen

Fun Facts:  

  1. I held my first photography exhibition when I was 17 years old.
  2. I almost pursued Philosophy instead of Computer Science for college.
  3. I have tried learning to swim 3 times, and none of them was successful.

Mentorship Description:  The Zowe CLI program runs on PCs for users to interact with a z/OS mainframe remotely. It can be used directly for automation, such as CICD, or to enable popular but otherwise z/OS-unaware programs, such as editors and IDEs. The CLI accesses a mainframe via network APIs present on that mainframe, such as web server REST APIs. Often, such APIs will be from non-Zowe dependencies, but in this project, you will be working within the Zowe community to enhance the CLI so that it can use Zowe’s own ZSS web server as a source for z/OS data.

This project will, at minimum, involve programming to utilize existing HTTP network APIs to fulfill a nodeJS interface for each type of data possible to use in the CLI.

As the project progresses, you may also get the opportunity to add new HTTP APIs to the ZSS server, which is a z/OS native C webserver. You may also get to reuse the code written for the CLI to similarly enhance Zowe’s addon to Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code, the Zowe Explorer, to enable VSCode to edit files and datasets on z/OS using an all-Zowe codebase.

Stay tuned for more information from our mentees as they document their mentorship experience through blogs and videos. Return to this page for more information about our mentorship programs.