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Senior Systems Engineer: CICS/MQ

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

To support our growing team, we are looking for an experienced Systems Engineer. If you are an individual that is a really strong developer and/or have solid experience in coding, this is the position for you.

Soft Skills

  • Self-starting and motivate, works under little supervision

  • Ability to self-manage multiple projects

  • Network with employees, vendors, and outside organizations to help find solutions or opportunities for improvement

  • Regular communications with their peers; Shares information with the awareness of its effect on others; Demonstrate a balance of speaking and listening so that neither is overly dominant

  • Create technical documents; Review, edit and offer suggestions to others with appropriate oral and written communications

  • Understand waterfall and/or Agile processes

Technical Skills

  • Strong Programming Experience

  • Understand & perform System Performance & Tuning

  • Understanding of how applications interact with System Software

  • Demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of the mainframe platform (software / hardware) for CICS and MQ

  • Understand & perform typical system programmer (SYSPROG) tasks such as: the upgrade & maintenance process, SMP/e, HOLDDATA, early code, Target zones/libraries, system libraries, Terse Files, end of life (EOL), Review implementation procedures and make recommendations to ensure a smooth product release and system upgrades

  • Understand vendor communication protocols/forms when issues arise: PMR, PTF, Hyper fixes

  • Basic understanding of MVS: z/13 – z/15, CPUs, SYSPLEX, LPAR, coupling facility, zIIPs, general purpose machines, WLM, DVIPA, JCL, PDS, ISPF, SMF, IFCIDs, RMF/CMF

  • Basic understanding of storage: SMS, ACS routine, storage pools, vendors (IBM, Hitachi, etc.)

  • Understanding of security: certificates/key rings, RACF, pervasive encryption

  • Work with management to resolve middleware risks that has been identified by compliance, internal and external auditors

  • Understanding of High Availability: CICSPlex System Manager (CPSM), MQ queue sharing and RLS

  • Understanding of z/OS CICS architecture; minimum product exposure: CICS version 4.2; TOR, AOR, WOR, FOR, CSD, RDO

  • Understanding of CICS dynamic routing

  • Understanding of CICS Regions and how it is used to communicate with DB2 & MQ

  • Understanding of z/OS MQ architecture; minimum product exposure MQ version 8.1; channels & queues

  • Understanding of MQ queue mangers/channels and how it is used to communicate with DB2 & CICS

  • Provide recommendations for the middleware platform ensuring its stability, reliability, recoverability, security, scalability

  • Help build out a multi-tendency highly available environment and then ensure continued scalability within the platform

  • Participate in DR exercises; effectively utilizes recovery control practices; implementing changes to ensure recoverability of platform

  • Experience working with vendor utilities; demonstrate knowledge of monitoring tools available

  • Actively worked on system and application performance tuning and monitoring; recognizing performance implication that the system design has; troubleshoot and diagnose issues; provide tuning recommendation; work with development/management on tuning efforts and implementation of changes

  • Help identify new tools, technology, or improvements on the middleware platform

  • Serve as escalation point when needed; Provide oncall support

  • Alert appropriate areas of possible impact of change, whether improvements or negative customer exposure to build customer satisfaction; Notifies management of problems early in the process; mitigate risk and ensure that back-outs can be done within a specified timeframe delivering on the SLA business requirements

  • Provide permanent resolution/follow-up for issues; gather enough information to understand problem correctly

  • Understanding of IBMs strategic software licensing & catalog

Nice-to-Have Skills

  • REXX, ISPF & Skeletons, Pl/1, Jenkins, JAVA, Ansible, CICD, REST Services


  • Tons of room for career growth! We are at the beginning and the team will be growing - leadership positions are there for the taking if you show the desire.

  • Highly technical and hardworking fellow test engineers. We care a lot about what we do and are very active in local meetups and love new insights.

  • Flexible work schedules

  • Employee tuition reimbursement

  • Group Life and disability income insurance

  • Competitive benefits- medical/dental/vision, PTO, bonuses, and highly competitive salary


This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

Grow your career with a best-in-class company that puts our client’s interests at the center of all we do. Get started now! 

We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.