IBM Practically Begging CS Students To Become Mainframe Programmers

from the not-dead-yet! dept

Yes, mainframe computers still exist, but the people who work on them are increasingly aging themselves out of the job market. That, apparently, is a problem for IBM, who wants to keep selling mainframes, just as companies realize they can usually get by just fine without them. So, IBM is giving various college programs access to mainframes and encouraging classes teaching students how to program the big dinosaur iron. Of course, while that may mean jobs that are available now, you have to wonder if it really makes sense to spend so much time to be trained in what’s likely to be a shrinking market. Update: Then there’s the strategy a Princeton engineering dean suggested for Microsoft: hoping that fictional characters go on to careers in computer science to encourage more kids to do so.

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Comments on “IBM Practically Begging CS Students To Become Mainframe Programmers”

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mainframe squirrel says:

Big Iron licenses

If they want people to get into programming on systems, they need to allow the licensing of personal platforms to be available, so that people can easily (and cheeply) have access to the platforms.

I doubt that people will be as interested in programming on systems such as the S/390 Zos, if they can’t have access to it on their own terms, as much as having to go to a central server for access.

Anonymous Coward says:

I worked on a mainframe right from college

My college taught COBOL, but we all just used Platinum Tools and DB2. It was totally different. I also had to do some client-server programming. My college taught Pascal, but we all just used Access Basic and Powerbuilder. I also had to build a website. My college taught PowerPoint, but we all just used HTML and FTP. I also had to build some back end reporting apps on the weblogs. My college taught C, but I just used perl. To summarize, if you want to work with computers AND go to college, major in mathematics, NOT computer science. IBM will give them mainframe time, but will they give them the state of the art “fast unload” tools that are used 90% of the time on the job, seeing as those tools are made by other companies?

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