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Senior Systems Programmer more...
Location:Birmingham, AL
Company:Protective Life Insurance
First posted:March 22, 2019

The Senior Systems Programmer is responsible for the day-to-day support of the corporate Mainframe and IBM i environments and contributes to the environments overall technical architecture, stability, resiliency, and general health.  The Senior Systems Programmer works on multiple products, activities and projects.  The Senior Systems Programmer works independently on complex tasks, projects, activities and support assignments that require advanced skills in multiple technical environments.  The Senior Systems Programmer provides advanced support of Mainframe and IBM i operating systems and related system utilities, installs/customizes/maintains large systems software products, performs problem diagnosis and resolution activities, executes performance analysis tuning and capacity planning, and WLM support for IBM Mainframe zSeries z/OS Systems and IBM i on Power servers.  The Senior Systems Programmer is also responsible for hardware systems & peripherals, zSeries and IBM i based ISV (Independent Software Vendor) software, and the systems network communications.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Daily support of the business-critical z/OS and IBM i operating systems, utility software and hardware.
  • Implement maintenance updates and upgrades of operating systems, software and hardware.
  • Analyze the performance of the system and tune as needed to meet business requirements. 
  • Assist team members to solve problems, make innovative improvements and make decisions.
  • Identify and implement system and process improvements in the z/OS and IBM i environments.
  • Work with application support teams and customers to implement business initiatives.
  • Document system software products including usage instructions, configuration notes, test plans and details of customizations necessary for our environment.
  • Lead project teams to accomplish business and technology goals.
  • On call support to respond to issues with the system 24x7
  • Implementation of system changes after hours or on weekends as appropriate.
  • Communicate accurate and useful status reports to management on a timely basis.
  • Instill commitment to quality, customer service, ownership, and teamwork.
  • Build strong customer relationships. Promote internal/external customer service among organization.
  • Maintain awareness of new technological developments in industry and processes - implement concepts appropriately.
  • Make decisions that reflect the best interest of the company.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Key Scope, Complexity and Risk Factors:

  • Accountable for results of complex function(s) or project(s) with ambiguity, risk, unpredictability, and diversity.
  • Accountable for critical problem solving.
  • Participates and assists with management of medium to high impact projects and/or initiatives.
  • Makes decisions that impact support responsibilities that could affect large groups and/or key business area.
  • Accountability for ensuring servers are operational as needed by the customer. 
  • Ensures delivery to service level agreements and contractual obligations.
  • Define, capture, and report key performance indicators and project milestones.
  • Interacts with customers to build key relationships.
  • Works with management to negotiate vendor and customer business relationships.
  • Works as a team player in efforts to identify new technologies and capabilities needed to improve operational or business performance to the next level. 
  • Optimizes resource utilization to deliver solutions.  
  • Plays key role on strategically important projects/processes in field of expertise.


Reports to:  AVP, Storage and Mainframe Services

External Relationships:   External vendors and consultants


  • Education: College Degree Preferred with experience managing multiple technologies. Industry certifications a plus.
  • Work Experience: 10+ years of technical work experience supporting mainframe and IBM i system software products including operating systems, utilities and ISV software.  AIX and open systems experience a plus.

Other Requirements:       Travel will be minimal and reasonable notice will be given when necessary.  Certifications from industry-related or discipline-related organizations are desirable and may substitute for some work experience.  Certified advanced technical training from manufacturers or technical schools may substitute for some work experience.

Technical knowledge and understanding:

  • Knowledge of the following technologies and skills will contribute to success in this position:
  • Operating Systems installation experience - z/OS, IBM i (Others a plus)
  • z/OS Hardware configuration knowledge and IBM i on P series hardware including VIOS for LPAR virtualization
  • Experience supporting subsystems including: disk, virtual tape, print (Xerox), TCPIP
  • IBM z/OS Assembler language coding skills and experience maintaining operating system exit code in major z/OS components including SMF, MPF, and JES2
  • Experience maintaining and testing disaster recovery plans
  • Third party (non-IBM) vendor package installation and support experience: Levi Ray and Shoup, Triangle Systems, BMC, Compuware, Computer Associates software, Rocket, Haldon, Phoenix, Chicagosoft, Pitney Bowes
  • Strong problem-solving skills to isolate failures, identify remediation steps, develop test plans and verification protocols. A fundamental knowledge of the application programming process is needed to assist developers with troubleshooting and performance issues.
  • Strong communications skills to interact effectively with other team members, customers, management and vendor support personnel. Tailors the detail and formality of communications appropriately for the intended audience.
  • The ability and willingness to perform on call duties and after hour system support. The nature of the work requires the ability to work outside of standard working hours when required.  Systems support responsibilities include the ability to respond for on-call systems at any time of the day and any day of the week.
  • Experience working with vendors and technical experts outside of normal business hours with minimal supervision
  • Accurate work and very careful attention to detail is required to avoid system outages.
  • Able to manage multiple tasks with competing deadlines, communicate progress on a timely basis and respond to changing priorities when required.
  • Able to work independently, follow industry standards / best practices and take responsibility for ongoing professional development.
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