The Bug Lady
I'm moving to the US in a few months, and I'd like to know how's it going for the mainframe people over there...
Are there jobs, is everyone still talking about end and ruin as usual? Is CICS being used a lot, even in non COBOL stuff?
Very Special Senior Member
What "end and ruin" are you refering to?
"Big Iron" is almost extinct in the U.S. And COBAL (as well as FORTRAN) applications are a dying and endangered species. Except for a few legacy systems, all of those things started falling into disfavor years ago.
Originally Posted by Varda
Most of the top-end big systems today run a version of Unix or Linux and - believe it ot not - windows.
Yeah, the place where I work has no mainframe computers. It has computers which might at one time have qualified as such, but now processing is distributed and clustered.
So you're moving to the US, eh? Good, I like immigrants who speak English.
Be kind to yourself always.
Originally Posted by Varda
Did you get a work visa?
Every large organization has a gigantic mainframe computing center with 50,000 - 100,000 function points worth of legacy applications in their software library. This includes virtually every government agency and most big corporations. Approximately 30% of the software "developers" in the United States are actually software "maintainers," keeping this old stuff running.
If you've ever been on a project to replace a legacy system, you know what it's like. You're lucky if the new system can perform most of the functions of the old one reliably within two years of "final" release. And there are functions in the old system that you just can't seem to get rid of. The last corporation I worked for celebrated the 20th anniversary of an "interim" document processing system that was built to be "temporary" until the old system was "retired."
There's plenty of work for Cobol programmers.
But there are more jobs for project managers. Although considering the kind of work they want you to do, I would title the job "Microsoft Project Data Entry Clerk."
Mainframe jobs will NEVER die. believe me, 1970s people were saying Mainframe and COBOL will die within years, its still alive and kicking, partly because COBOL is very verbose, so it can be used to write business logic really well. So most of Insurance companies and finance in some cases will use COBOL based systems for batch processing.
All claim processing systems in Insurance sector are COBOL based. Last year it was estimated that there is still like more than 2 billion lines of code sitting in existing systems, that would need some kind of support i am assuming (Can someone get a reference for this ? I am not sure if the number is 2 Billion or less, just to be on the safe side).
The Bug Lady
Read-only, everyone has been saying for 50 years that COBOL is dying, and yet, last year I read somewhere about a Gartner study that found COBOL in 75% percent of all enterprise business processes and a growth in the COBOL code base or more than 5 billion lines a year
doesn't look like it is going anywhere any time soon
The Bug Lady
a spouse visa, my husband is american
Originally Posted by cosmictraveler
The mainframe is a self-contained processing center, powerful enough to process the largest and most diverse workloads in one secure “footprint.” The mainframe is also just as effective when implemented as the primary server in a corporation’s distributed server farm.
This is why there has been a resurgence of mainframe business over the past year. The world’s leading mainframe manufacturer, IBM, has experienced growth of both revenue and MIPS capacity shipped.
IBM has increased its investment in mainframe technologies. These technologies include: improved work load management, memory control and usage, logical partitions (LPAR), Intelligent Resource Director, and Hardware Storage Key Protection
I would say Fraggle and Read-Only are both right. Currently I am working as a developer for a company providing IaaS, in my day job I develop distributed computing infrastructure and as a hobby I develop distributed computing applications.
Fraggle is correct in saying there are so many companies around today which simply have so much legacy Cobol code that it creates a demand for Cobol coders, however even taking into consideration the verbosity of Cobol I doubt the 5 billion lines claim. Working in a job which has you maintain this code would be awful, you'd work all day on old paradigms with very little incentive to do interesting work.
Most modern companies (even very large ones) don't want their on mainframe (unless the CTO has antiquated beliefs). This is because companies rarely hit peek performance of their utilities and often they sit dormant...quietly aging into deprecation as you pay a dozen or so programmers to simply maintain existing software and hardware which only servers as a platform to real applications. They want to have a supercomputer when they need it for only as long as they need it... virtual server farms such as EC2, Rackspace, and Softlayer have filled this void. Most distributed computing which was previously tasked to old mainframes have been migrated to more modern languages and API's.
People no longer develop these applications in Fortran and Cobol, although there's very reasonable reasons for the former. They develop them in C++, Python, Perl, Haskell, using OpenHMPP, OpenSTACK, and GridFS.
Keeper of "good" ideas.
Amazingly bots seem to be ripping off information from sites they find connected in some way to a thread and then posting it as an answer like it's a requirement. This is not Jeopardy and the spam bot is definitely no "Watson".
Originally Posted by amnamansoor
If you want to prove your bot is "intelligent" then you are going about it completely wrongly.
Incidentally Varda's initial query is dated "2008" back when she was looking at getting such jobs over in the US, since then she's been over there, so this actual thread is no longer relevant for the OP.
Last edited by Stryder; 04-05-12 at 12:15 PM.