systems programmer role and jobs



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systems programmer role and jobs

Postby deucalion0 » Sat May 23, 2015 4:14 am

Hello all,

I apologise if I have posted this in the wrong place, I felt this was the correct place due to my question being about system programming.

OK, I will start by saying I graduated with a computer science degree, took a job with a massive IT company and was to become part of the company's brand new initiative to get young graduates into mainframe to ensure they would have people to support the mainframe in the future. They gave us a choice of roles, db2, cics, ims, automation,hardware or systems programming. I knew straight away I wanted to be a systems programmer and almost two years into my career I'm very happy and very challenged, I have learnt so much and continue to do so every day, I love working on the mainframe!

My issue is, I have less than 2 years production experience, my company is not heading in a direction that looks good for me keeping my job, I am worried I will not get another job with so little experience. I actually cannot find any jobs for mainframe systems programmer, those keywords bring back hundreds of software programming jobs or many other non mainframe systems programmer type jobs. Even the ones that are for mainframe are usually security or db2 or cics. Am I not looking in the right place? I mainly Google for jobs, or use indeed or monster. Is there another title that can be used instead of system's programmer?

How would any sysprogs here look for a job? Also, as I want to spend the rest of my working career in mainframe, would you have any tips on areas I should concentrate on so as to get the most important skills which are sought after? I have found one or two jobs for systems programmers, but they ask for so much experience I would never stand a chance. One thing I was worried about was that maybe the systems programmer role no longer really exists, I'm told at my site the duties of a sysprog these days are nothing like they were many years ago due to systems not needing tuned so much.

I want to become a good systems programmer and quick, I spend most of my free time teaching myself as much as I can.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much!!
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Re: systems programmer role and jobs

 

Re: systems programmer role and jobs

Postby Robert Sample » Sat May 23, 2015 9:49 am

I've used Indeed, Monster, DICE in the past and they seem to be okay for system programmer jobs. The role of system programmer has definitely changed over the years -- there is less focus on customizing the operating system and more focus on maintenance, for example. Another major change is that the system programmer role has been splitting -- security, DB2, MQ, CICS system programmers seem to be much more common these days than the classic z/OS (MVS) system programmer. And having 8 to 10 years experience seems to be a common requirement these days. Get as much experience with SMP/E as you can -- and HLASM for usermods if you can.

I've had good success with Indeed using "z/os system programmer" as the job search argument. There are still some jobs returned that don't really match, but not too many to go through. How things will change in the future is not really possible to predict. Factors to consider include the upcoming wave of retirements of mainframe programmers, the ongoing effort by IBM and other vendors to reduce the effort needed to support a mainframe system, the reduced focus on mainframes in schools (meaning fewer mainframe-qualified people), the continuing use of mainframes by large companies, and the expansion of the mainframe into new areas (such as web services and Java programming). Small to mid-size companies certainly don't seem to be going to mainframes as often as they did 20 - 30 - 40 years ago, but the large companies seem committed to the platform.
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Re: systems programmer role and jobs

Postby deucalion0 » Sat May 23, 2015 2:56 pm

Hello Robert, thank you very much for your reply. I am teaching myself SMP/E at the moment, and using it tobinstall CA Endevor, I do find it quite a tricky piece of software but I'm slowly getting there. I will look into HLASM! Maybe once I am fluent in SMP/E I will look into maybe learning CICS or MQ.

Thank you for the keyword search tips, I will start looking using your preferred argument. I think there seems to be more jobs in the USA then anywhere else, I would have no problem relocating if I had to. Thank you!!!!!!
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