Thursday, June 06, 2013

Old fashioned state social services (including workforce and MMIS) now have trouble finding mainframe talent -- it's moved on

I am indeed seeing more emails about old-fashioned mainframe skills for contract positions in state governments.  They want the old-fashioned COBOL. JCL:, VSAM, CICS, and sometimes various databases (DB2, even IMS  sometimes).  For example. I got an email about a job involving the Wyoming employment services, with a job that could require travel between Cheyenne and Casper.  (I was personally in Cheyenne one Saturday night in August 1994, on a day where I experienced a personal “epiphany”, but that’s another matter.)

The company that sent the email is TSCTI, 22nde Century Technologies, link. It’s ironic to see mainframe jobs in connection with a “22nd Century” trademark where one imagines supporting systems on spacecraft commuting to the Moon or Mars. 
I near my 70th birthday and have migrated so far away from this area (to media business).   I wish the market had been like this ten years ago.  Mainframe is definitely coming back.  Is it because all the older professionals had to move on after the 2001 9/11-recession?  Has everybody gone?  Does anybody under 55 know mainframe real well?  What is really going on?

Obamacare may present real technological challenges in implementation – because the technical skill set to support it has been forgotten.  

A lot of us "moved on" when we couldn't get jobs during the post-Dot-com and post-9/11 recession -- and now when they need us, we're gone, almost literally to other planets.  
Blame Mark Zuckerberg

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Wyoming strip mine, near Gillette;  I passed country like this in May, 1998 on a Memorial Day weekend trip from Minneapolis.   I recall one big mine.    For what it’s worth, a remember corresponding with PSEG when living in New Jersey, and it said western coal would not reduce the need for strip mining in Appalachia.  Oh, how your young adulthood comes back to memory because of one ad.  Also, the countryside near Laramie (SE Wyoming) is where Matthew Shepard was slain in 1998. 

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