IT careers: Mainframes versus midrange

AS/400 jobs
IT careers
Mainframe careers
In the future, which is better: being in mainframes or as400?

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I may be bias but I happen to belive that both the mainframe and the IBM i are both going to be needing programmers well into the next 50 years. There is already a shortage of trained staff due to the dot com bust and the outsourcing of work to India which companies are finding out does not work. It really depends on what size company you want to work for because mainframes are in very large companies while IBM i is in the smallest shops to the largest shops. Both are business machines that run the worlds banks, manufacturing companies, etc.

Personnally I like the IBM i the best because it is still based upon far more integrated and more reliable propriety operating systems so things always work together. The underlying single level storage and virus proof capability of each software object is predefined like files, programs, user profiles, subsystems, etc that never can change its type like the unix and windows environment can, makes this platform one that will continue to be bleeding edge for years.


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  • slack400
    Kudos to Lovemyi!
    2,740 pointsBadges:
  • DiegoDH
    I totally agree with Lovemyi. And besides that, there are simply way too many IT Pros specialized in midrange and Windows platforms. Offer and demand, that rules the market. Good luck! Diego.
    275 pointsBadges:
  • Lightmike
    I agree that there are a few more firms who have been unsuccesful moving off the older technologies as there have been those who have been successful. However, I'm not sure why you would ask which "older, end-of-life" platform is better from a career choice standpoint. If you are starting anew, why not enter the market supporting the newer n-tier technologies? If you wanted to know which older, end-of-life platform would stay on an obsolecence path the longest, I think the bigger the hardware dinosaur you have, the harder it is to extinct, so choose the mainframe path. Most "mainframers" are grey haired, and more and more companies are seriously looking at the older technology as having a certain risk factor, and that risk being finding the talent needed to maintain the systems these platforms support. Even if you argue it is the best performing and most reliable, if you can't reasonably expect to fix it when it breaks due to limited resource availability, you find ways to mitigate those risks.
    245 pointsBadges:

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