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Future for DEVELOPER in MAINFRAME Technology

 
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bvenu
Warnings : 1

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject: Future for DEVELOPER in MAINFRAME Technology
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Hello Mainframes folks,

I am working in mainframes for the last 8 years, now there is no job security in future for the Mainframe developer. There are no openings in MAINFRAME TECHNOLOGY for the last 2 years, specially for senior folks.

I saw many of the Sr.Mainframe guys shifting to other technologies, like JAVA, CLOUD COMPUTING etc..

Please share your thoughts about Mainframe market
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enrico-sorichetti

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply to: No Future for Sr.DEVELOPER-in MAINFRAMES share tho
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Quote:
Please share your thoughts about Mainframe market


if You are worried about Your future, our thoughts about the mainframe future are pretty useless,

and all depends on Your definition of mainframe ...

the hardware is likely to change but there are roles that will last as long as application development / deployment and maintenance

application design
application development - COBOL, JAVA, Nth generation smart language ???
data base design
systems design
security
network
...
...

all things that are there to stay
mainframe, server farm, ..., ...
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Ed Goodman

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:02 pm    Post subject:
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Seems like there are weekly posts here for "urgent openings" in mainframe positions. Granted, those are probably entry-level, but at least they exist.

One thing that MIGHT be a problem is your idea of a "senior" mainframer. I don't think 8 years is really all that senior. When you get to 15 or 20, then maybe that applies.

I can't really tell where you are from (or where you are trying to work) but I've seen folk from India think they should be in management after three years. It must be different over there, because a three year manager here would be the "fry chief." That's an almost derogatory term for a person doing an unskilled job for long enough that the company gives them a "promotion" of sorts as recognition.

For my situation, I'm finding a lot of unfilled need for people trying to hook up the newer tech to the existing data in the mainframe. We have a lot of Java kids who think that a table with ten thousand rows in it is a big table. They just never learned what really big enterprise data looks like.

My current soap box is IMS Connect. We can create a custom XML response for a query and put the code right in the IMS region where it's coupled with the data. We can get lightning fast response times too. On top of that, we can let the folks who KNOW the system figure out the proper logic for getting to the data. This is opposed to the latest "we can read IMS like it's SQL" fad which always ends up not working right.

So you might want to consider sniffing out those projects where you are and offering to help out.
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Akatsukami

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:14 pm    Post subject:
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Ed Goodman wrote:
Seems like there are weekly posts here for "urgent openings" in mainframe positions. Granted, those are probably entry-level, but at least they exist.

Note that many of those postings specify a maximum level of experience. Why that is I leave as an exercise for the student.
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Ed Goodman

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:07 pm    Post subject:
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Why that is I leave as an exercise for the student.


Now you sound like Julius Sumner Miller!

My first guess is they want low wage beginners, second is they want people who won't question their decisions.

Distant third is they want people trained more recently, in the same city, where they are more likely in the same class/caste/station.
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krishnadevanur

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply to: No Future for Sr.DEVELOPER-in MAINFRAMES
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Not taking away anything from the above statements, I would present the scenario of the legacy technologies(JCL, COBOL,REXX,CLIST,ASSEMBLER etc.) popularly known as mainframe jobs in India.

I have close to 7 years of experience in mainframes. What I've seen off late is that the openings for senior developers(5-9 yrs in Indian context) have shrunk significantly. This may be attributed that whatever the jobs that are outsourced to India requiring mainframe skills can be done with folks having less experience. At my level, I always get contractual openings, although paid fairly, I am not risking my permanent employee position at a good company.

There were huge number of openings for mainframe technologies few years back. Indian IT companies trained hundreds and thousands of IT graduates to work on legacy systems since lot of companies were still having mainframe systems across business verticals like Financial, Retail, CPG , healthcare, logistics, energy etc. Off late, lot of companies are retiring their mainframes and opting SAP and other new generation technologies to fit in to their business CRM and grand scheme of things. Some companies are porting not-so-heavy applications on mainframes to Windows using microfocus etc.
This shift has decreased the requirement of experienced mainframe folks in job market and it's either bringing down the salary level offered or companies are simply not hiring the experienced folks due to the reason that their budget may not be able to accommodate a senior mainframes developer/engineer whom they believe add no value after a few years, hence the contractual openings.

That being said, there are still a lot of companies hiring mainframe resources but just that they should be extremely good and top of the creme, this is solely based on my experience.

In an IT services company, it should be fairly easy to switch technologies since they operate in a wide technology spectrum, as a matter of fact, I also have been suggested one, but I would rather try to be on top of what I have been working for 7 years rather than switching to a new technology and ending up in the same position 7 years later.

P.S.: No offense meant to anyone. Purely my personal thoughts.

Regards,

Krishna
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dick scherrer

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:47 pm    Post subject:
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Hello,

For starters, Most places do Not consider a person with 5+ years a senior developer. . . They may someday become a senior developer, but are surely not one with so few years experience.

Surely a person with 5, 6, 7+ years experience expects to be paid more than someone with zero or one years. Why should the organization pay for a person with more experience (which usually means more $) when they can hire someone who can do what they think they want for less?

What i see happened with Indian IT education companies is that they do not provide a proper education and they rush thru the training far too fast. So there aqre many people being hired that do not have what most IT departments consider the minimum requirements. Just look thru the forum and observe the number of entry-level questions posted by people with even 10 years experience.

Quote:
In an IT services company, it should be fairly easy to switch technologies since they operate in a wide technology spectrum
Why would you believe switching technologies should be fairly easy?

Many organizations (most?) find "switching" to be rather brutal. Due to incredibly good fortune, i have become quite fluent in the 3 main platforms used by business today (the mainframe, Unix, and Win-based systems). Of course this has taken decades and some extreme periods of intensity<g>.

/Opinion On

As you now have 7 years mainframe experience, suggest you continue with this with an eye to learning another technology that might complement your mainframe work. Probably Win-based systems as there are less and less new, big "things" starting up on Unix.

/Opinion Off
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Akatsukami

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:29 pm    Post subject:
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dick scherrer wrote:
Why should the organization pay for a person with more experience (which usually means more $) when they can hire someone who can do what they think they want for less?

Because, in fact, it can rarely do so?
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krishnadevanur

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply to: No Future for Sr.DEVELOPER-in MAINFRAMES
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Quote:

For starters, Most places do Not consider a person with 5+ years a senior developer. . . They may someday become a senior developer, but are surely not one with so few years experience.


I sad it in context of Indian IT industry. Normally, majority people will move on to project management stream and there it is...end of coding.

Quote:
Why would you believe switching technologies should be fairly easy?


Just an example, I am working on a business vertical in which projects are available in every spectrum of technology, may it be legacy, SAP, .NET, java etc. Currently, the mainframe application I was supporting is ported to windows server using microfocus technologies, and yeah, it's a good learning. But sometimes, it happens that you may have to accept projects in entirely different technology, totally unrelated. It'll be difficult since you will be on the project right after training, but working hard in the beginning days and taking help of peers and eventually you will be at par with them in sometime. This is how it works in most of IT services industry AFAIK (in Indian context).
[/quote]As you now have 7 years mainframe experience, suggest you continue with this with an eye to learning another technology that might complement your mainframe work. Probably Win-based systems as there are less and less new, big "things" starting up on Unix.
Quote:


Thank you for the valuable inputs. I was trying to move on to Financial services vertical to work on CICS with java interface, but it may take a while, so, i keep on exploring microfocus.

Regards,

Krishna
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Ed Goodman

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:08 pm    Post subject:
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Just read an article this morning about how Chinese manufacturing is shrinking. All of the things you would expect: workers now reluctant to move into dreary cities and live like bees, environmental concerns being enforced, wages going up.

Some you might not expect: companies don't trust China to protect intellectual property, companies moving manufacturing to US to speed things up, increase in robotics.

The weird part is that the plants being opened in US are still owned by Chinese companies. They have lots of robotics instead of lots of people.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonchang/2012/12/09/move-over-michigan-china-is-the-worlds-next-rustbelt/
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akashs

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply to: No Future for Sr.DEVELOPER-in MAINFRAMES
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Hi,

I am having 8+ years of experience in mainframe technologies.It is really frustrating to get a job in mainframes in USA even as a contractor.I am trying hard for the last 2 months for a mainframe job in USA,not got an opportunity to attend a even single interview.I dont know the actual problem remains with the current IT market or with mainframe technologies.I am hearing lot of comments here of mainframe as a dying technology and no hope for future.Mainframe guys Will have to get trained quickly in some other latest technology.

Thanks,
Akash
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dick scherrer

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:29 pm    Post subject:
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Hello,

Well, opinions vary. There are currently quite a number of mainframe positions in the US - both permanent employee and/or contractor.

Depending on exactly what you have had the opportunity to learn/do in the last 8 years will inflouence an organization.

I know nothing of your particular organization, but i have supported several sites with people who have been their IT depart for more than 20 years. Unfortunately, they do NOT have 20 years experience - they had one (1) year of experience 20 times.

Have you had the chance to "grow" or are you doing much the same as 6-7 years ago?
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Keanehelp

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:23 pm    Post subject:
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With the economy picking up again worldwide...we are seeing more openings in every technology...In fact, there are a quite a few for mainframes in my organization as well and currently we are struggling to find enough resumes.

And not only mainframe we have for AS400 too which is even rarer ...icon_smile.gif
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Keanehelp

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:30 pm    Post subject:
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In continuation to my post above... I recently met a high ranking (read decesion maker) technical executive of a very large financial institution....

His general view about future of technology was that they are going to move towards migrating apps to mobile platforms but will still continue their critical business on mainframe.

One of the reason of this migration was that IBM charges a crazy amount for mainframe maintenance.

So in short--> Non Critical Apps running on mainframe will be moved to other platforms BUT critical business will continue to be on mainframe. --> This will also open lots of new opportunities for migration/integration type projects.

OR

May be better sense will prevail and IBM will come up with some cost effectibe business model for mainframe.... icon_smile.gif
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Nic Clouston

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:18 pm    Post subject:
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Quote:
May be better sense will prevail and IBM will come up with some cost effectibe business model for mainframe

I suspect IBM have a very effective business model for mainframes judging by the amount of money that they invest in, and make from, them.

They could, of course, reduce their prices a lot and still make a lot of money but...they then get the 'antitrust' lawyers on them because other companies in the same field cannot compete due to the size of IBM. So IBM operate with one hand tied behind their backs.
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Rohit Umarjikar

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:54 am    Post subject:
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I work for a company that specializes in COBOL technologies, and it never ceases to amaze me of the people who profess to be IT professionals, how little they know of what really goes on in the back-office of most large corporations.

While the advent of the internet and before it client/server computing heralded lots of new languages and technologies for building front-ends, communication layers and services, these for the most part have only been used for new development. The legacy back-office systems where most of today's large corporations perform order processing and financial transactions are still to this day majority COBOL. If you look at statistics you'll see that more than 70% of all business transactions performed each day around the world are processed by COBOL. There is no way you can perform an ATM or point-of-sale transaction these days without touching COBOL somewhere during that transaction.

This is not because these companyies are lazy and simply haven't gotten around to replacing COBOL yet - there are two main reasons. First, these systems are mature and have been highly customized for decades to tailor them to each company's needs. And since they often comprise code bases in hudreds of thousands if not millions of lines of code, and play such a crucial role in company's bottom line, it is both extremely risky and extremely expensive to replace.

The second reason they haven't been replaced is that they work! They are extremely efficient and performant at what they do. As we like to say, COBOL runs very close to the metal. It has no expansive framework umbrella ala Java or .Net, so the code is very performant. Built a web service that can process thousands of transactions a second? Could you scale that to millions of transactions a second? Probably not, but there are COBOL systems that do that every day.

The other reason COBOL got a bad rap through the years is that it was locked away on the mainframe, accessible only through green screen terminals. The mainframe was/is an expensive and proprietary platform. But there are solutions that allow you to take COBOL systems off the mainframe and run them on distributed platforms. Additionally there are plug-ins for both Eclipse and Visual Studio that allows development to be independent of the mainframe as well. Additionally there are COBOL variants today that allow you to code in and interoperate with OO frameworks such as Java and .Net.

So while COBOL has been around a long time, it has not remained static, and is just as relevant today as any other technology within your IT environment.
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Terry Heinze

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:20 pm    Post subject:
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Well said.
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Anuj Dhawan

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:13 pm    Post subject:
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http://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/team-building-and-staffing/mainframe-brain-drain-not-in-heart-of-texas/d/d-id/1127803
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