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A humble request for direction for my career .

 
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sunny_io

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Joined: 11 Jul 2007
Posts: 68
Location: noida

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:36 pm    Post subject: A humble request for direction for my career .
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Hi All.

I have been a mainframe developer for 4 years now. I work with a MNC and have been working on a product made by my company . This product has an architecture written in assembler and application programs we write, use drivers ( written in assembly language ).

As a programmer for this system, i dont need to code for "file reads" or "Db2 access".. These tasks are done by "assembler written programs" and We focus on only bussiness logic. Most jobs are already there so I havent written a new job as yet... The screens are also not designed in CICS but on a middle layer which is again written in assembler.

I have learnt here how to "use" these assembler written tools. To work I needed an understanding of this architecture and the way system is running functionally. Its a banking software and I am part of support and maintenance team. So I also learnt a lot of functional aspects of the system and its design from functional perspective.

So as you all can rightly guess, I have little or no knowledge of CICS , JCL , DB2 . It has taken me a while to realize that though i earned a good degree of respect from my seniors and clients here in my company but outside these 4 walls, i am a novice or a fresher.. more so , the project is now declining..

I have tried to do my best here making efforts to deliver good work and on time. but overall this has not contributed to my knowledge growth.
I only concentrated on the work i got ..so i never learnt assembler or any extra stuff that i could have learnt working here.. I only learnt what was required.. ( P.S we dont get any work on assembler )

In retrospect I was the fool toad, never looking out of my well , thinking that the well is the ocean. Offlate i read a one liner for IT people " always learn more that what you should be knowing".. wished i had realized it a little earlier.

Anyway, I wanted to request you all to kindly guide me on what options i should consider.
I thought of doing an MBA and quitting this line altogether but somehow i feel without establishing myself here, i doubt i would learn to establish myself anywhere.

How to start and with what is my constant thought .. I think just reading from manuals doesn't inspire me enough to learn but hands on and working does.
I was looking for projects that I could do online from home and learn side by side but didn't find any .
www.Limeexchange.com offers work for free lancers but only in open technologies but nothing for mainframe programmers

Any comments/suggestions are more than welcome

Sincerely
Sunny
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sunny_io

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Joined: 11 Jul 2007
Posts: 68
Location: noida

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:01 pm    Post subject: More to it
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I would be more than happy to work from home for free for anybody, learning is all i should be seeking for now
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dick scherrer

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Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 19270
Location: Inside the Matrix

PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:36 am    Post subject:
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Hello,

As you have already been with your organization 4 years, you might consider talking with your manager about how to "grow" to the next level - actually working with the product code itself (if this is something you are interested in). You might also ask for some assignments that would be learning exercises and done outside of regular work time.

Quote:
I was looking for projects that I could do online from home and learn side by side but didn't find any .
www.Limeexchange.com offers work for free lancers but only in open technologies but nothing for mainframe programmers
If there is an opportunity to work online from home (several people i've met do this), the client will expect someone who is already experienced - not one who is just beginning.

Quote:
Most jobs are already there so I havent written a new job as yet...
I would guess that more than 85% of the work going on is either maintenance or enhancement. Very few "big, new, things" are being built just now. . .

One of the things you need to look into deeply is what you want to do for the next few years or longer-term as a career. Once you know where you want to go, you can then make a plan to get there. As i've told many people who have reported to me over the years - "Tell me what you want to do and i'll help you get there" Don't tell me "I want to do something else". I believe that a person should manage their career for themself (with the help of their spouse and/or children if this will affect a family). Others may be able to help, but the one making these decisions should be in control.
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manishmittal

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Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 49
Location: Gurgaon

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:54 am    Post subject:
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Adding to what Dick suggested. More than 85% work in mainframe is support or enhancements.Also more than 85% mainframe programmers are in the same boat as you are.So don't feel bad but keep learning new things as its only been 4 years.This is the time of learning.
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mtaylor

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Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 108
Location: Kansas City

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:32 am    Post subject:
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I was in the same situation, my company was larger and I had more variety but as others said, there's not a lot of new stuff going on in mainframes, plus it's the easiest thing for management to ship 'over seas'. I've heard even Indian shops are outsourcing to cheaper countries now.

I switched to J2EE, I had to take an entry level position, but I am much better off now. Professionally it's much more satisfying because I work with all the latest tech in that realm. I've found in open systems my enthusiasm has been rewarded as opposed to being a mark against me like in the mainframe world.

That's been my experience, maybe switching to another technology could be an option for you.
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Akatsukami

Global Moderator


Joined: 03 Oct 2009
Posts: 1755
Location: Bloomington, IL

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:35 am    Post subject:
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Depends on what you like to do. At my client, a lot of new development is in Java...writing thin clients to display the results of queries, computations, etc., carried out on the mainframe. The number of programmers needed to write those clients is several times that needed to write the PL/I, Rexx, and JCL to feed them. Why, I decline to speculate here.
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