August 24, 2010

The Aging Mainframe Workforce

Much press coverage has been devoted to the fact that the IBM mainframe is being managed by an aging workforce. I've also discussed this often, most recently here and here.

One of the people I work for at CA Technologies, Dayton Semerjan, senior vice president, was recently quoted in a Bloomberg BusinessWeek article that details how CA and IBM are dealing with the aging mainframe workforce.

The piece points to a CA customer survey where 70 percent of the respondents called the aging mainframe workforce "a critical pain point." It also notes the steps CA has taken to modernize mainframe management with new web 2.0 technologies.

On the IBM side, the article cites the IBM Academic Initiative program that has partnered with colleges and universities worldwide to develop and deliver mainframe-specific curriculum, as well as IBM's continuing development of faster, more cost-efficient mainframes.

Although (as the article points out), mainframe installations have dwindled to about 10,000 today, given the number of jobs available, now is actually the best time to choose a career in computer science and, specifically, a career on the IBM mainframe.