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Meet Cobol's hard core fans

Robert L. Mitchell | Aug. 22, 2014
These folks won't migrate. The reason probably isn't what you're thinking.

Cloud. IBM is pushing the mainframe as a consolidation platform for x86-based distributed computing in environments where server or virtual machine counts exceed 200. It sees the mainframe as a cloud appliance for hosting distributed computing workloads, and not just for folks who already have a mainframe and have excess capacity to soak up: In April IBM released the Enterprise Cloud System, a fully integrated Linux-based OpenStack-compliant system with a utility-based pricing model.

-- Robert L. Mitchell


How IT-oLogy aims to close the skills gap
While programs like the IBM Academic Initiative promote curricula to higher education institutions for Cobol and other mainframe disciplines, universities weren't always receptive to the idea coming from a vendor, says Lonnie Emard, president of the Consortium for Enterprise Systems Management (IT-oLogy). IT-oLogy conveys the message that its members, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, Time Warner Cable, Fidelity Investments and other firms, are ready and willing to hire graduates with training in Cobol and other hard-to-fill IT disciplines. "We're all about skills in short supply," Emard says.

The program has three pillars:

  • Promote IT offers outreach to students in grades K-12 to advocate for IT careers and talk about what IT skills will be in demand in the future.
  • Teach IT is a collaboration between industry and academia to ensure that curricula include subjects that meet the needs of businesses hiring in the IT profession, as well as to provide internship opportunities. Emard sees the program as a "minor league farm system" to develop future IT professionals.
  • Grow IT focuses on professional development and cross-training for existing IT professionals.

-- Robert L. Mitchell


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