Mainframe Propeller Head

Aug 10 2010   4:26PM GMT

Great commentary on the aging mainframe workforce

Matt Stansberry Matt Stansberry Profile: Matt Stansberry

Business Week recently took up the old saw about the aging mainframe workforce, and while the article didn’t cover any new ground (IBM and CA claim companies need more mainframers so they have advocates to drive huge mainframe revenues), the real value of the article was comments from readers.

There were a handful of people defending Big Blue’s position “Mission critical applications are run on mainframes. So are high volume transaction appls. Systems programmers make good money and good job security too. Java and C++ programmers are a dime a dozen.”

But many more took offense to IBM’s crocodile tears about the dearth of mainframe talent, when Big Blue had no problems laying off higher paid, senior mainframe experts in the past.

“Young people, please don’t drink the IBM/CA Koolaid! These companies and the other institutions that use IBM mainframes will dump you in a second when they don’t need you any more. Go to and see how many mainframe jobs are really in your area,” wrote one commenter.

“The article should have been titled ‘IBM and CA Having Trouble Finding Mainframe Skills for $35,000 a Year.'”

One thing the article did not include any of the financial institutions or hospitals that IBM claims will be hamstrung by the pending mainframe brain drain. In fact, I’ve yet to hear from anyone aside from IBM, CA and a couple analysts actually mention this situation. Which begs the question, is this manufactured demand? Is your company facing shortages of mainframe talent? Weigh in on the comments.

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