Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Plugging the mainframe brain drain

Filed under
Hardware

In one important respect, the mainframe business is showing its age, as the people who know how to maintain these machines steadily join the ranks of the retired.

This marks a generational passing of the torch. In 1964, the popularity of the mainframe brought about a movement to train and educate engineers to become mainframe specialists. These engineers helped shape the next 20 years of IT innovation in corporations, as the mainframe became the IT environment for data and applications.

By the late 1980s, however, distributed systems began to push the mainframe into the background. Many mainframe specialists shifted into different--some might say sexier--jobs, while others simply retired.

These days, most computer science programs no longer offer comprehensive mainframe instruction. The absence of new blood comes as nearly 80 percent of the people who work in mainframe support are 50 years of age or older. With more than 70 percent of the world's digital information residing on the mainframe, companies are now hard-pressed to find skilled staff to support these critical systems.

In fact, more and more mainframe engineers are being called back into duty well past retirement age because of the knowledge they possess.

The bottom line: Without drastic measures, the mainframe and all the business-critical data it houses could someday become all but inaccessible. Here's what needs to happen to prevent that scenario from ever becoming real.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Scribbleton Has a Ton of Potential

Scribbleton is a very infant -- as in alpha -- release of an innovative note-taking app for Linux that provides cross-platform access with Windows and Apple computers. It creates a personal wiki for storing everything from quick notes to detailed checklists to outlines. It creates links between pages in Scribbleton. Think of this as an easy-to-use database to create links between words, phrases and pages. You can just as easily use Scribbleton to store snippets or volumes of text and quickly locate cross-referenced information. Read more

Apache Storm is ready for prime time

What do you do when you have terabytes and more of data and you want to work it with in real time? Well, one solution is to turn to Apache Storm. Read more

Linux Foundation Announces Major Network Functions Virtualization Project

The project is launching with thirty-eight founding companies, including many of the largest IT companies in the world. Importantly, they include not only cloud and service infrastructure vendors, but telecom service providers, developers and end users as well. (Disclosure: my firm and I represent the Linux Foundation and OPNFV). Read more

AMD Catalyst 14.9 Linux Driver Is Out, Release Disappoints, as Usual

The AMD developers have announced that a new Catalyst 14.9 Linux driver is now out and that it brings support for a couple of new operating systems and a few bug fixes. New AMD Linux drivers don't arrive as often as the community wants or needs them and the company doesn't have the best track record in the open source world. As it stands right now, there are two kinds of drivers available to Linux users, one that's open source and another one that's proprietary. Catalyst 14.9 is made by AMD and provides better functionality than the open source one, but it doesn't get updated too often. Read more