Joined: 13 Jun 2012 Posts: 126 Location: United States
I was a systems programmer for about 30 years. But, when I started (1964) you pretty much had to do it all, because there weren't any application programmers. The mainframe was new and so was Assembler language. COBOL didn't become available until 1967 or 1968.
I recall installing the first Mainframe operating system (DOS), which was expanded to OS/MFT, then OS/MVT. There wasn't a CICS or database for years. There was no JES or SDSF, there was no input or output spooler. The first major software products were BOMP, DBOMP and ARS. So as each of these products got installed, we had to train developers in how to code for them. As other new products (CICS, IMS, DB2, VTAM, COBOL, PL/I, etc.)came along, I had to install them, learn them and teach them.
As a result, I got used to writing code and developing systems and I was good at it. So, I kind of drifted away from systems programming, into application and interface development. I can still read a core dump, though.