With an average workforce of COBOL experts getting older day by day, the threat of a diminishing skill set has been constantly increasing. As academics are excluding this language in their curriculum, the only way of expanding the legacy workforce is through the training staff from various service industries.
The mainframe community is spread among thousands of companies in State and federal government agencies, retail, banks, and insurance companies, energy and manufacturing industries. There could be at least 100+ Service Industries who have resources from legacy background supporting these apps. Every year when graduates are hired by these companies, depending upon their forecast and requirement, these freshers are trained on mainframes, often by the specialists, to enable them to face the industry challenges maintaining 20+-year-old applications. Many times, it’s a challenge for these graduates who may not be pleased getting inducted into legacy projects as their personal aspirations demand much more than these.
Although Mainframe is still very much alive, developers often feel a near-death experience as they know that it is going to retire soon. Whatever the reason, the fact is that the younger breed of Mainframe developers are primarily produced by these Service Industries. On one hand, while the average life of Mainframe developers increases, the younger college breed will keep the average same. At the end of the day, these trained Mainframe developers come with the challenge of keeping their motivation level high.
The mainframe has changed a lot over its life and will continue to evolve. From a technology performance perspective, the most recent Mainframe systems are much more powerful with additional memory than the original System 360. With the 50th birthday of the Mainframe, we not only mark a key milestone, but also anticipate future innovations that will continue to evolve to support an increasingly digital world.
Illustrations: Vishwesh Bhat
Graphics : William Ebenezer
Post Date: 2015-08-07