This is the 11th excerpt from the second book in the Defen series: BIT: Business Information Technology: Foundations, Infrastructure, and Culture
Note that the section this is taken from, on the evolution of the data processing culture, includes numerous illustrations and note tables omitted here.
--- This is a virtual tour of a data processing center. There are several important things to note about this:
The data center employs 552 full time people on permanent staff and about 40 full time equivalent contractors. In addition the company pays for desktop and network services and support via contracts with IBM Global services. At present the corporate human resources group lists openings for mainframe support staff with knowledge and experience in any of the following major toolsets - all in use at the data center.
ADS/O, Abend-Aid, Assembler, BMS-GT, C/C++, CA7/11, CICS/DB2, CICS/IMS, COBOL90, CSP, CULPRIT, DB-DC, DB2, DB2/SQL, DCCS, Endeavor, IDF Workbench, IDMS,n IEF/Composer, IMPROMPTU, IMS, IMS-DB/DC, IMS/DL/I, ISPF, MQ/JCL, MQseries, NetView, PLS/I, QMF, RACF, R EXX, SCLM, SDF II, SDF2, SDSF, SPUFI, Supra, TELON, TSO/ISPF, VSAM, VTAM all for the S/390 or zOS environments.
|Typical Programmer/analyst Credentials (Resume abstract)|
Over 22 years of applications development and project management experience mostly with COBOL/VSE, COBOL II, CICS,
IMS, VSAM, DB2 and JCL.
Substantial project management experience including SAP implementations and all phases of applications development including requirements analysis, bachman diagramming, information engineering, coding, testing, maintenance and operational optimization using BAL.
Business experience is primarily retail insurance, banking, and related financial corporations. Project managed major Y2K remediation effort touching over forty million lines of risk analysis code.
In addition the company has posted specific openings for the following specialties:
This role requires external contact. The persons filling this role will meet with business users and manage contact between the systems department and those users to assure user satisfaction with systems services.
This role requires external contact. Persons filling this role will work with business users to document requirements and gain formal sign-off on specifications and other deliverables. The analyst focusses on the business relationship between the data center and its users.
This role requires external contact. The incumbent will be required to work with users and contractors to ensure effective network operations.
This role focuses on managing the business of the data center.
|Example job description - Project Manager|
The project manager will define, develop and implement a financial claims interface linking existing financial
applications to leased software. The team will be approximately 16 people. The project manager will need to develop
detailed migration plans for each phase of the project and manage the project through to completion.
Mandatory skills include:
For zOS with emphasis on assembly and de bottle necking. Must have sysplex experience and at least five years in support of MVS/ESA, OS390 and zOS running DB2 in a CICS/VS environment.
Most of the people who work in the data center are highly qualified within their specialties and bring considerable expertise to bear on their roles. In general their resumes reflect the need for clear role separation and thus technical specialization in the data center. Few lower level staff, for example, will make claims like:
Implemented Nola to S/390 with CICS/DB2 and supported its deployment to 240 users for six months.
What you see instead are claims like:
Successfully developed and tested BAL application component to report value of the ENCODING_SCHEME column for AP_Vendor_Payments table to AP run-time interface link manager using DB2 catalog table SYSIBM.SYSTABLES to access DB2 subsystem parameters SCCSID, MCCSID, and GCCSID.
It is important when reading mainframe (or any other systems related) resumes to bear in mind that over 90% of projects fail to meet performance, budget, or timeliness expectations, but that nearly 100% of the resumes show nothing but steadily increasing responsibility, growing success, and increasingly significant business contributions.
Similarly the resume, the requirements list, and the specialty lists above all contain technical errors - For example, Windows Professional does not exist (almost every Windows variant has a "professional" variant) and neither does COBOL/VSE. In addition, the requirements shown for the project manager position contain technical impossibilities such as those requiring five years of experience with then three year old technology.
This kind of imprecision on resumes and skill requirements is widely considered both normal and acceptable in the industry. ---
Notice that getting the facts right is particularly important for BIT - and that the length of the thing plus the complexity of the terminology and ideas introduced suggest that any explanatory anecdotes anyone may want to contribute could be valuable.