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Re:The Mainframe Brain Drain (1 viewing) (1) Guest

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TOPIC: Re:The Mainframe Brain Drain
#3196
Re:The Mainframe Brain Drain 6 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: -1  
A recent report on walletpop I just read listed the Ten most profitable majors for undergraduates. I have listed them below in summary. I find it amazing that Computer Science still comes in at #4, yet with all of that demand for CS majors and IT skills we still can not overcome the brain drain in Mainframe computing. I am not sure I would recommend CS at a major to a college freshman - would you?


1. Engineering.
2. Economics.
3. Physics.
4. Computer Science.
5. Statistics.
6. Biochemistry.
7. Mathematics.
8. Construction Management.
9. Information Systems.
10. Geology.
 
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#3212
ciony ()
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Re:The Mainframe Brain Drain 6 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: 1  
The mainframe was still dead way back in 1989 when I started my career as a mainframe assembly language programmer at IBM; funny how long a dead platform has managed to stay relevant. ;)

Mainframe programming is an excellent introduction to a career in computing, but frankly was only possible given IBM's substantial training of raw college Comp Sci graduates.
IBM was relatively unique at that time in terms of its educational investments, and I think that approach has largely gone by the wayside across the board now. The lack of such training eliminates US entry level jobs, relegating these jobs to the veterans and to offshore resources (though who is training them?). Thankfully there are many other technology platforms that are far more accessible today for IT professionals starting their career, but that doesn't help the mainframe brain drain. If companies want to build these skills onshore they are going to have to invest in training their workforce.
 
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#3247
Re:The Mainframe Brain Drain 6 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: 0  
As a person who also had to take COBOL and RPG programing through school I tend to think that these areas really should be dead but probably will not be for some time. There are still a number of different large scale companies that use these systems and they need the programmers. I for one made sure to take the C classes when I was in school as they are considerably more relevant now then COBOL or RPG in normal everyday programing. But unless something has changes since I went to school the CS programs probably still suck.

-sean
 
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#3317
Re:The Mainframe Brain Drain 6 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: 4  
Computer Associates completed a market survey in August 2009 that indicated that 70% of companies interviewed see their aging mainframe workforce as a "critical pain point" in their future. Yet only 40% indicated they were doing anything about it. In fact, from my experience, with the recent recession, many companies have taken the opportunity to actively retire aging mainframers in an effort to downsize.
 
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#3325
Re:The Mainframe Brain Drain 6 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: 0  
The one thing I can say for most of the old school mainframe folks I know is that they know their stuff. If you are still going to be using these systems you really need to have them around. I have seen a couple of different companies which laid these people off in an effort to save money but required the newer people to manage these systems. That did not go over so well...

-sean
 
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#3337
Re:The Mainframe Brain Drain 6 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: 4  
true enough. Although the lines are being blurred by software like RDz and CICS explorer as well as unix system services, the mainframe is a rather unique skill set. While a college student could easily learn the basics in a year or two, a senior programmer would need a minimum of 5-8 years experience.
 
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