IBM Z Xplore

IBM Z Xplore

The IBM Z Xplore Learning Platform (a new learning platform replacing Master the Mainframe) is a fun way to get hands-on experience across a variety of technologies, to develop valuable skills, and to earn digital badges – no prior knowledge required and available year-round!


This activity kit introduces students to IBM Z and enterprise computing. The learning platform allows hands-on access into the operating system while providing a helpful community, digital badges, rewards and leadership boards. 

IBM Z Xplore Learning Platform:

IBM Z Xplore is a learning platform built to help students, educators, and re-skillers develop and refine their IBM Z skills. Within our platform, we have channels for learning, badge opportunities, and a forum for guidance.

Available year-round to anyone who wants to learn more about IBM Z and enterprise computing. Get exposure through three different channels: Fundamentals, Concepts and Advanced to pick up hands-on experience with IBM Z and earn IBM Digital Badges along the way.

- Fundamentals: Experience hands-on learning about data sets and how to use VS Code. Get introduced to coding languages such as JCL, Python, USS, and more.

-  Concepts: Get increased knowledge on security, uptime, and enterprise scalability. Take a deeper look into subsystems, Db2, and RACF.

- Advanced: Elevate your hands-on learning around REXX, COBOL, Linux, and more.

This activity kit will require the following resources:

  • Internet access
  • Web browser


  1. Channels
    1. Fundamentals: Participants will begin in Fundamentals. There are 7 challenges in Fundaments: VSC1, Files, JCL, USS, Code, REXX and Wrap Up. The challenges within Fundamentals are sequential and provide hands-on experience with the mainframe. To advance through the challenges, you must complete the preceding one. For example, you must complete VSC1 to have access to Files. The Fundamentals channel should take ~10 hours to complete. 

    2. Concepts: After completion of Fundamentals, the Concepts channel will be unlocked. There are five challenges within concepts and participants do not have to complete the challenges in sequential order. These challenges are conceptual, including readings and quizzes for users. You must complete at least two concept challenges to unlock the Advanced Channel. The Concepts channel will take ~2 hours to complete.

    3. Advanced: After completion of Concepts, the Advanced channel will be unlocked. These challenges are hands-on and build and expand on the skills introduced in Fundamentals. Some of these skills include: Db2, JCL, REXX, USS, VSAM, Linux, and more. Throughout the year we will continue to add more Advanced challenges for users to complete. Participants have the autonomy to partake in the challenges of their choosing. You must complete at least five advanced challenges to receive a badge. The Advanced channel will take ~10-20 hours to complete.  

  2. Badges
    Users have the opportunity to earn two industry-recognized digital badges: IBM Z Xplore Concepts and IBM Z Xplore Advanced.
    1. IBM Z Xplore Concepts: Earned after the completion of the Fundamentals and Concepts channel.
    2. IBM Z Xplore Advanced: Earned after receiving Concepts badge and completion of Advanced channel. 

  3. Forum
    IBM Z Xplore provides a community-based forum for users to ask questions and get help on problems. Anyone who is using the platform who has a question to look to the forum for their answer or to post their question themselves. This forum is community-based, meaning other users are encouraged to help one another out and provide insight when possible. Users can post, reply and like responses as well as provide screenshots for help.