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Current Job situation:Mainframe related technologies or J2EE technolgies

Radha Damera
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 31, 2000
Posts: 35
Hi all....
I have a question about the current job situation for mainframe technologies and J2EE technologies.
Don't mind about my latest question about programming or networking as i asked for my friend and not for me.

I am doing my masters in information systems management and i will be done by december.I have 2 yrs experience in Core Java,servlets and JSP back home.Iam currently working in the maintenance and development of mainframe related programs(as student programmer) for our university mainframe.Iam working on COBOL,JCL,Focus etc.I will be trained in WebFocus shortly.

My question is, Is that better if i combine both my servlets,JSP experience with this mainframe experience or will it be better if i stick to either mainframe related technologies or J2EE technologies(Iam learning J2EE technologies right now).Iam in dilemma as i feel that it is difficult to master both technnologies.Even if i learn both of them,when i join in any company,i might work only on one technology stream and thus i will lose the grip on the other.So as per the current job situation,which technologies have more market in the long run.I feel that mainframe professionals are less in number than J2EE professionals and hence they will have more demand.And once we get a job on mainframe technologies,i feel that such job position will have more consistency than J2EE related position.
But the other side of the coin is,as J2EE technologies are the emerging ones,will we have more demand in the near future(there is enough competition anyway) than the old mainframe technologies.And if we stick to J2EE,even if we are laid off,we can get a new job easily as we are on the emerging trend.
Am I correct?Is that true.

I hope you guys will help me if iam wrong.

Any comments and suggestions are welcome,
Mark Herschberg

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
The JSP/Servlet labor market is definately oversaturated in the US. I don't know enough about other labor pools to be certain, but would suspect it's also true in India.
SJ Adnams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 17421

The problem with mainframe skills is that there are strong indications that IBM's traditional mainframe architecture is slowly coming to an end. I know that's been predicted many times, but the truth is, that rather than the expected implosion, it's been more like the air slowly leaking out of the bagpipe. Which is fine with me. We're already dealing with one industry implosion; we don't need two.
IBM has been dreading -- and planning for -- this event for quite a long time. Modern-day mainframes are architecturally no longer massive boxes with powerful engines in them, but instead networks of microprocessors and I/O devices connected together in a framework. It's already reached the point where many high-performance peripherals are usuable both in a mainframe and a PC configuration and the line continues to blur. IBM's primary response to this has been to promote "on-demand" computing where they offer their technical services in conjunction with pay-as-gou-go aggregations of machines. The only thing I can see wrong with this plan is that a lot of the heavy lifting jobs tend to all come at the same time for everyone (end-of-month, end-of-quarter, end-of-year). But that's not an insurmountable problem.
Already IBM's been promoting non-traditional mainframe configurations with various Linux-on-mainframe offerings. Additionally, they have been very big on Java, which isolates apps from the hardware (and requires more powerful hardware, which IBM is quite happy to sell you).
So what of the legacy COBOL and CICS systems? CICS is in many ways a direct competitor to J2EE. It makes much more efficient use of hardware, but that's not even an issue in these vastly accelerated times. COBOL is another matter. A lot of the daily workhorse systems are batch COBOL. But while many of them still require frequent maintenance thanks to changes in business and new government regulations, the one job market I can confidently state that in the U.S. is more moribund than the Java market is the COBOL market.
At least if my locality is any indication.
There is a concern that since reportedly around half the mainframe people in the U.S. are pushing 50 (or wishing they still were 50), that in as little as 5 years, there may be a serious skill shortage there. In the mean time we seem to be living off the people we picked up for Y2K, and more organizations are moving off of mainframes than are moving in the other direction.

An IDE is no substitute for an Intelligent Developer.
Radha Damera
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 31, 2000
Posts: 35
Hi all....
I stay in michigan,US.So i need the job situation in US.
Thanks for ur suggestions.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Current Job situation:Mainframe related technologies or J2EE technolgies
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