Sunday, March 04, 2012

What does "going the distance" mean for older IT workers?; companies brace for retirement of "mainframe knowledge"

I’m ever more impressed that ever these days about how many innings a career needs to have. 

I went 31-plus years without a layoff and with almost no unemployment gaps in my “mostly mainframe” IT career.  But in December 2001, it had a cardiac arrest.  I was 58.  At the time, companies expected people to “retire” in their late 50s, and start drawing social security at 62.

Of course, this is no longer sustainable.  “Going the distance”, to provide analogy to baseball’s idea of a complete game, now will mean making it to perhaps age 73 or so, going 45 years instead of 30.

Companies are expecting mainframe-savvy workers to disappear, or at least it would look so from this article on “Mainframe Zone”, by Stu Henderson, recent (Feb. 15, 2012) link.

Here’s a perspective from IBM in building applications in z/OS, with some discussion of the philosophical implications of the history of EBCDIC, which was in wide use in the old computing world before ASCII was, link.

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