I have been working for a MNC in India for the past 2 years. My nature of Job includes creating SAS programs and using JCL to run this SAS and get reports or other stuff from the DB2 databases or files. I also write simple SQL queries for DB2. I am right now in a stage where I need to decide whether I need to get into SAS or mainframe since most companies here don't use SAS in mainframe environment and there is very less chance of getting anew job with the same skill set. I am excited about a career in mainframes in the application side and not in SAS. But my current Job allows me to work with JCL, ADB2 user level only and not the other skills like COBOL, VSAM, MVS, CICS,DB2 etc. Now my question is:
I know that I need to learn COBOL. which best way you suggest to develop my skills in it through self learning.any books references. Also is there any trial version software where I can practice Cobol which would help me when I work on Cobol in mainframe environment?
What will be the best ways to know these other skills (at least I need to satisfy the interviewer) that I am familiar with the fundas?
I am totally confused where and how to start.Please provide your valuable suggestions. Which would help me to put in the right track for becoming a application programmer in mainframe.