Robin Hopper

Freelance Database Expert & Quality Assurance Freelancer

Location:United Kingdom
2 Skills
Telephone: 00420 773213190 Nationality British


1982 – 1986 Brunel University.

B Sc. Mechanical Engineering.

1998 - 2001 The Open University.

Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

2003 ITIL Service Management Foundation

2006 Prince2 Project Management Foundation

Work Experience:

November 2008 to present CA Czech Republic, Quality Assurance Engineer.

Quality Assurance testing of CA’s DB2 for Z/OS Database Management products. This includes the testing of a new web interface for DB2 tools, the web interface is provided by a Tomcat server running under Z/OS. Specifically I am responsible for QA of how the performance products are integrated into the web interface, products such as Detector, Insight and Sub System Analyser.
The job involves designing, documenting and running testing scripts, reporting any issues to the developers located in America.
I also have experience of IBM and CA DB2 utilities, in this role I write scripts that define a suitable DB2 data structure, load data into this database and then run a combination of CA’s and IBM DB2 utilities against this data.
The purpose is to recreate customer problems then test the fix for this problem, or to indentify problems with the products before they are released to customers. The work requires extensive knowledge of DB2 and CA’s DB2 utilities. An important part of the job is testing new releases of DB2 to ensure CA’s utilities are compatible with the new features in the latest DB2 release.
The software is developed using Agile Methods, so I work as a QA expert on a development scrum team having daily video conferences with the developers in America.
Where possible tests are automated either on the mainframe, or with Quick Test Professional, Service Test and Quality Centre.
The projects are supported on a global basis, so for example where a QA engineer in India needs help with a mainframe issue they will call me as I am recognised as a suitable mentor when mainframe skills are required.
With the help of CA I have filed a US patent for an invention in the change management field, and I have another invention involving controlling ‘corporate spam’ that has been authorised for US patent filing.

January 2008 to October 2008 IBM Czech Republic, Z/OS Administrator.

Providing general mainframe and batch processing support for IBM’s customers in Italy and Germany, specialising in supporting the Italian customer base. The global delivery centre in the Czech Republic is relatively new so it was necessary to use my mainframe skills for whatever tasks were required whether to support the operations department, provide 3rd level RACF support or 2nd level batch processing support.

August 2006 to August 2007 Barclays Bank plc (contract position), RACF Administrator.

Mainframe security (RACF) specialist supporting the logical access on Barclay’s mainframe systems. Tasks include management of the business as usual orders queue, implementation of solutions following audit findings, production of reports for Sarbanes Oxley compliance and support of a RACF database cleanse project. It was also necessary to support the Connect Direct group to solve job errors as mainframe security problems are not always correctly described in the Connect Direct software.

June 2001 to July 2006 Gedas UK Ltd, Infrastructure Consultant.

I was responsible for system security, change management, job scheduling, storage management and performance monitoring on the Volkswagen UK and LDV mainframe systems. In addition I have managed two projects, the implementation of an outsourcing project and coordinating a major mainframe system upgrade.

Mainframe Outsourcing Responsibilities
1. Managing the initial testing and setup of mainframe outsourced systems.
2. Main technical contact between service provider and customer.
3. Coordinate Disaster Recovery tests.
4. Production of monthly reports, including excel charts showing system performance.
5. Recommend improvements to service e.g. more efficient use of resources available.
6. Trouble shoot performance problems, implementing system tuning solutions to improve performance.
7. Matching changes in the business to increased demands for IT services.

Experience of TWS Job Scheduling.
I have been using TWS for 10 years, attending a TWS administrator’s course. Key TWS duties include:
1. Defining new applications
2. Defining event triggered jobs
3. Defining special resources
4. Fine tuning the schedule for better performance
5. Setting up calendars and periods
6. Loading the current plan
7. Reporting on schedules to developers and management
8. Error handling including fixing JCL errors.

Experience of SMS, Storage Management
1. Defining naming standards to ensure efficient storage management.
2. Migrating disk pools from a non-SMS to an SMS environment.
3. Reviewing SMS rules i.e. Data class, Storage class, Management class,
4. Backup and restore policy

Software Experience in General
Z / OS 1.4 (MVS), JES2, CICS, OPC, DFHSM, SMS, Main View, Control D, JCL, DB2, IMS, AS, JES328X, VTAPE, CA1, TeraData, VSAM, Consul / RACF,CA7, Sysplex, SDSF, ISPF, Connect Direct, CA DB2 batch utilities, SMP/E.

December 1999 to June 2001 Norwich Union

Senior Mainframe Operator – Norwich Union acquired the London and Edinburgh Insurance .I was recruited to operate the London and Edinburgh systems, this involved using my experience but also learning new skills. Norwich Union had no information about how the system had been designed, so there was a considerable amount of investigation needed to effectively operate the system.

June 1990 to December 1999 Abbey National

Shift Operator 1 – My position as Shift Operator involved monitoring four production systems and four development systems during the day. The night shift involved monitoring the batch schedules and correcting any batch errors. The computer operations department at Abbey was expanding rapidly with new applications being added, the rapid increase in the workload meant that new working practices had to be adapted.

Service Operations Analyst – A department was created to deal with all batch work processing and I moved to this department. The job involves using OPC to schedule the work on Abbey’s IBM mainframe systems. There were four production partitions with eight on line systems, manipulating the schedules during the day and correcting any job errors during the night.

April 1989 to May 1990 Paxus Financial Systems.

Lead Operator- I was working on a facilities management project between Abbey National and Paxus. The work involved deputising for the shift leader and supporting online systems and batch work for 3 applications (Payroll, Insurance and Personal Loans).

October 1988 to March 1989 C.B.S. Records.

Senior Operator- I was responsible for running the over night batch work, correcting any errors and for monitoring the online systems during the day.

April 1987 to September 1988 G.E.C. Computer Services.

Trainee Operator- Basic operator duties including loading tapes, printing and delivering tapes to the offsite store.

Operator- my duties were extended to providing first level support for networking problems.
Skills (2) Rating
Quality Assurance