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One Campus Martius

Phone: 1-800-COMPUWARE

Web: compuware.com

Learn in the below posts how Millennials are becoming the next generation of developers to enter the mainframe workforce, yet there are a slew of barriers preventing the majority of them from considering mainframe application development as a viable and enjoyable career, instead opting for distributed systems in areas such as mobile and web application development.

Because of the lack of mainframe education in American academics–where most colleges and universities have phased out their mainframe curricula or teach it as an historical subject–the mainframe has been painted in a poor light for Millennials. Organizations shouldn’t expect next-generation developers to file into mainframe shops and begin coding COBOL applications. For one, not enough Millennials are interested, and for another, most of them have never received a thorough–if any–mainframe education.

The onus of handling the shifting mainframe workforce, through replacing highly-skilled developers with Millennials and teaching those Millennial developers how to manage and advance mainframe IP, belongs to organizations. Fortunately, there are modern mainframe application development tools and processes available to help companies shift their cultures to align more with what next-generation developers seek in a career.

Millennialize the Mainframe: Innovation with Java and Eclipse

By | May 5th, 2016|Agile Dev, DevOps, Millennialize the Mainframe, Workforce|

At first, the juxtaposition of mainframe and Eclipse seems counterintuitive—different syntaxes, different cultures, different generations. But the introduction of Java to the mainframe is blurring the line between developers who represent these differences.

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The 2-Week COBOL Sprint: Having a Critical Conversation About Agile

By | March 23rd, 2016|COBOL, DevOps, Workforce|

Perhaps you've realized how poisonous distrust is to your organization. Productivity is suffering, but you’ve discovered Agile can help. Now it’s time to start a conversation with business leaders about becoming Agile and adopting processes like the 2-week COBOL sprint.

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Millennialize the Mainframe: Transferring Technical Skills

By | March 16th, 2016|Agile Dev, App Performance, COBOL, DevOps, Millennialize the Mainframe, Workforce|

It’s becoming easier for Millennial developers to apply their programming skills to the mainframe. Just look at Justin Lewis, a Millennial software developer at Compuware who has leveraged his technical acumen to help the company mainstream the mainframe, bringing it into cross-platform DevOps processes.

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Compuware’s Topaz Workbench Bridges Mainframe Generations

By | March 3rd, 2016|Agile Dev, App Performance, COBOL, DevOps, Millennialize the Mainframe, Workforce|

The “age of the customer” has placed new demands on the mainframe, necessitating the modernization of this venerable platform's development tools for a new generation of developers. With products like Topaz Workbench, Compuware is mainstreaming the mainframe for that next generation.

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Millennialize the Mainframe: A Modern Mainframe Development Perspective

By | February 24th, 2016|Agile Dev, DevOps, Millennialize the Mainframe, Workforce|

Many Millennials still perceive working with mainframe technology as a career dead end. But the opposite is true at Compuware, a company doing well to hire and empower Millennials who view working with the mainframe as a challenge with the reward of opportunity.

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Not Rolling Stone — But Still Worth a Read!

By | September 24th, 2014|DevOps, Millennialize the Mainframe, Workforce|

The September/October 2014 Enterprise Executive cover story features yours truly. This doesn’t quite fulfill my childhood ambition to be on the cover of Rolling Stone. But I’m still very glad that this media opportunity came my way. Here’s why. The “Mainframe’s Next 50 Years” Vision EE’s editor-in-chief Denny Yost got it right when [...]

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What Kind of Developer are You Looking For?

By | September 17th, 2013|Agile Dev, Workforce|

A good developer is hard to come by. I recently read a classic post from Tammer Saleh about the most important trait a developer can have. His verdict? The most desirable trait a developer can have is judgment. Why Does Judgment Matter? Developers have great jobs. They get to work [...]

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Observations about the Mainframe Generation, the State of IT and the Power of Connection

By | May 7th, 2013|Agile Dev, Workforce|

Last week I had the honor of joining other mainframers for an annual sales kick off meeting, marking the beginning of our (Compuware’s) fiscal year. While attending this year, I had the following observations about folks in mainframe sales, the state of IT and the power of connection. About Mainframe [...]

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Observations of a Wanna-Be Mainframer

By | January 10th, 2013|Agile Dev, Workforce|

Compuware recently released the results of a global study on CIO attitudes and experiences with mainframe outsourcing.  The study found that reducing costs is a major business driver for outsourcing mainframe application development, maintenance and infrastructure. Yet, for all of their intentions to save money by outsourcing, companies are often [...]

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Thoughts About Mainframe Developers and Why I Was Oh So Wrong

By | October 24th, 2012|Agile Dev, Workforce|

Many of my jobs at Compuware (since 1984) have involved interacting with development teams for many different product lines. About 1 ½ years ago, after working with newer distributed technologies for 12 years, I made a somewhat impulsive decision to return to our Mainframe Solutions business unit. Here are the [...]

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Evangelize the Mainframe

By | June 28th, 2012|Agile Dev, Workforce|

“Innovation.” The word is fast becoming commonplace – a term you expect to find on Forbes’ snarky list of useless business jargon. To innovate means to “introduce something new for or as if for the first time.” As a veteran mainframer and manager for Compuware, I am responsible for leading [...]

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What Makes an Effective Mainframe Programmer? (Hint – It’s Not Just Cobol Skills)

By | June 5th, 2012|Agile Dev, Workforce|

Computerworld recently ran an in-depth article titled “Brain Drain: Where Cobol systems go from here” This tends to be a particularly charged discussion since these days there is simultaneously a Cobol skills shortage and Cobol programmers out of work. I was happy the author extended the discussion into two other [...]

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Y2K vs. Mainframe Skills Shortage: Why Aren’t We Preparing for the Baby Boomer Drain?

By | May 10th, 2012|Agile Dev, Featured, Workforce|

I’m sure most of you remember what it was like working in IT during the late 90s. The buzz of Y2K was everywhere. While some prepared for the end of the world and for planes to fall from the sky, software vendors and IT organizations worked tirelessly to ensure that [...]

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The Hybrid Programmer

By | April 5th, 2012|Agile Dev, Workforce|

One of the most significant milestones when learning to speak a foreign language is mastering the ability to understand native speakers. Every language comes with its own unique challenges. Some, like Spanish, are spoken quickly while others, like Mandarin Chinese, are spoken at a more leisurely pace, but contain subtle [...]

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