Skills shortage?

Been following a conversation on the IMS listserver about how to keep IMS data for 15-20 years (e.g. for legal reasons or whatever). Started with good technical recommendations and moved on to what about the skills? No point in having the data if you don't have anyone who knows IMS in 20 years time. Just read this great entry on the subject:

Why blame somebody else for missing skills. Every company should have a list of critical skills. If that company takes skill seriously, they will know that they need to educate some people with IMS.

It should not be that difficult to hire some students from university, tell them if they start learning IMS they will have a job for the next 20 years and off you go. Or something like they did in Germany "Small computers, small salary, big computer, big salary". Or tell them a Java/PHP/C/C++/J2EE programmer competes in a global market with 100 Mio chinese and people from india. How about somebody who knows TSO and JCL? Likely to compete with less than 10000 people in the world.

Sure it takes at least 2-5 years till they can walk alone, but it's worth the effort.

Spot on.

by pwarmstrong February 22, 2007 in Future


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Just for the record: In May 2005 I trained 12 young software engineers in India. We covered IMS/DM and IMS/TM. They already knew JCL, DB2, ISPF etc.

Posted by: Mike | Feb 22, 2007 5:29:44 AM

Everything is so strange... I'm 22 years old and I'm the youngest in our IMS/TM group.


Posted by: Flextron | Feb 22, 2007 3:06:50 PM

If you, as a company, simply hire some newcomers and teach them to be experts in IMS (ie.) and doesn't do anything to keep their skills up2date nor do anything to offer them advanced and challenging tasks, they will soon disappear to other companies. I myself were brought into a company straight from uni and went throught a education in mainframe systems programming, and if my employer can't keep up with my need for challenge, then I'm not working there for very long, guess many young people are like this.
You can't expect people to sit around for 20-30 years and wait until something happens that suddenly requires their knowledge... it will fail

Posted by: Thomas Rasmussen | Feb 23, 2007 12:14:48 PM

Are we sure that there is a skills shortage, or is that between age discrimination(firing computer professionals 40 and over) and MBA-driven shortsighted cost-reductions we find it hard to find willing youth who after brainwashing by the computer science establishment seem uninterested in mainframes?

It might be worth finding out how many 40 and older mainframers would be glad to work if they were given a chance at a wage worth discussing.

Posted by: emes | Mar 22, 2007 5:06:41 AM

It might be worth finding out how many 40 and older mainframers would be glad to work if they were given a chance at a wage worth discussing.

How if no more chance? Like in my country, there are only 4 sites left, whereas 2 of them are going to downsize very soon. Let's say each need 5 persons for regeneration in every 5 years, so all are 20 persons per 5 years.


Deru Sudibyo

Posted by: Deru Sudibyo | May 23, 2007 7:03:49 PM

I work as a trainee in a company and my own boss has told me that will take a few years for me to take control of things in here.
I think that the new generation of people who works with technology is too lazy to assume a big responsibility that is working with mainframe.
Here in Brazil, for example, we don’t have any subject about mainframe in our graduate course. I’m doing all efforts for in the future become an expert in the area.
We have to pay an extra course to gain knowledge or maybe be luck and be hired as a trainee to work at this specific area.

Posted by: Talita | Sep 3, 2007 2:09:48 PM

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