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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.

Compuware Interns Get New Perspectives of the Mainframe and Detroit

By | August 30th, 2016|Agile Dev, DevOps, Workforce|

Detroit was a new city for the Compuware interns, but it’s also becoming a new city to itself. And like Detroit, the mainframe is becoming a new platform equipped with the familiar culture, processes and tools millennials need to be successful, regardless of their experience levels.

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Recruiting the Mainframe Workforce: Hiring Millennial Developers

By | June 14th, 2016|Agile Dev, DevOps, Featured, Recruiting for Mainframe, Workforce|

When our journey towards mitigating the mainframe skills shortage at our company began, we responded to the foreshadowing of a major skills gap that needed our immediate attention; we realized the next generation of developers wasn’t going to come to us, and that we needed to go to them; and we created a plan for how we should begin reaching out to them.

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Millennialize the Mainframe: Q&A with Compuware Recruiter Leigh Ann Ulrey

By | May 24th, 2016|Millennialize the Mainframe, Workforce|

For a perspective of how Compuware goes about finding Millennial mainframe talent, I spoke with Leigh Ann Ulrey, responsible for Compuware’s Global Talent Acquisition. Ulrey is the first and last touchpoint for candidates in Compuware’s recruitment process, giving her a unique vantage point of the generational changeover between retiring mainframe experts and Millennial developers.

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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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The Compuware Value Improvement Program: A New Year’s Resolution

By | December 21st, 2015|Code Quality, Customer Experience, Workforce|

As we rapidly approach yet another Christmas I am wondering where the year has gone. Perhaps it is just my age catching up with me, or maybe time just flies when you are having fun. Whichever it is, I surely had a productive and satisfying year and no Dickens’ ghosts [...]

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Sustaining Efficiency Through Analytics in a Changing World – Three Questions That Expose the Human Capital Threat

By | May 15th, 2015|Code Quality, Workforce|

The world wakes up every morning oblivious to the fact that the mainframe will never fail them. Whether getting cash from an ATM, shopping online or trading stocks, the mainframe plays a critical, but often under appreciated role in the customer experience. This has been made true, in great part, [...]

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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 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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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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