Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC 
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 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC


Weather Rep

Quote:
>> My question is this: I get gobs of resumes from guys who could do Cobol,
>> but refuse to do Cobol. They want VB, Access, Oracle.....money is not
>> their primary concern. Doesn'y anybody WANT to code Cobol anymore?

k>I'm an old programmer, you can see the glare of the sun on the top
k>of my head, but even with 27+ years, I've never written a COBOL
k>program, I do PL/I, C/C++, Rexx, and asm370 and that's it.  I don't
k>do SQL, Pascal, etc.  What I'm trying to say, and I may be having a
k>senior moment, is that those resumes may be from an ACCESS-clicker
k>who put COBOL on his resume to pump it up.  You're looking for
k>COBOL so you called him on it. He's in h*ly-sh*t mode, 'what the
k>f*ck do I do now?'  So to save face, he says that he could do COBOL
k>but refuses.  To continue, then why list it on your resume?
k>Because he wants to look like a big dog, bark like a big dog, run
k>like a big dog, sniff a ... oops, sorry, got carried away.

This could be true. But the more likely "creative writing" an Access or
other munchkinware mouse clicker would use would be C/C++ or the latest OO
language, since these guys aren't interested in Y2K work.

k>Fact is, this computer sh*t is complex and anyone listing more than
k>3-4 areas out of the several dozen major categories is either lying
k>or is very superficial.

A sweeping statement.

I'm currently working as an MFC (yes, that yucky, Windows-based, C++
library), Visual Basic (even yuckier!) and REXX developer. I am also the
COBOL guru, the S/390 assembler guru, the JCL guru, the IMS guru, the CICS
guru and the OS/2 guru.

I also do data normalization and other DB2 (and DB2/2) stuff, since I'm the
database guru too. I was originally taken on as an MS Access developer.

It's a pity they don't have any Honeywell/GE-Bull-NEC mainframes, since I'm
fairly hot on them too.

None of the above are areas where my knowledge could be called superficial.
Intense and detailed are more accurate adjectives.

k>Your client deserves a COBOL-head who has at least 3 years of
k>intense experience, who loves COBOL, and knows the language
k>subtleties.  Oops, 3 years, if they start now, they'll be ready by
k>spring 2000.

Knowing COBOL and loving COBOL are mutually exclusive options. The only
programmers I have met who love COBOL didn't know it very thoroughly (e.g.,
did not know how to use a DECLARATIVES section, always used ACCESS DYNAMIC,
etc.), and knew no other languages at all.

Given the present job market, I'd be reluctant to do COBOL too. So I don't
at the moment. [Different from 18 moths ago, when I was doing COBOL and
IMS-DB/DC, strictly on the big iron.]

Nonetheless, you are correct that a paying client should be supplied with
honestly competent personnel, not just breathing bodies with creatively
written resumes.

k>Texas is a low tax state.  You want to see taxes, come to Washington
k>DC. We'll slap an annual sales tax on your car, the county will add

Sheesh! Tell me about it. ... :-(

[And I lived on the "low tax" side of the Potomac.]

Regards

Dave
<Team PL/I>
___
 * MR/2 2.25 #353 * Are Casey and Kildare a "paradox"?
--
Please remove the '$' in the from line before reply via email.
Anti-UCE filter in operation.



Mon, 27 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC



   [...snip...]

Quote:

> I'm currently working as an MFC (yes, that yucky, Windows-based, C++
> library), Visual BASIC (even yuckier!) and REXX developer. I am also the
> COBOL guru, the S/390 assembler guru, the JCL guru, the IMS guru, the CICS
> guru and the OS/2 guru.

I dunno about no MFC or C/C++, but, I like Visual BASIC! Been doing it since
v1.0 came out.

   [...snip...]

Quote:

> Knowing COBOL and loving COBOL are mutually exclusive options. The only
> programmers I have met who love COBOL didn't know it very thoroughly (e.g.,
> did not know how to use a DECLARATIVES section, always used ACCESS DYNAMIC,
> etc.), and knew no other languages at all.

Everyone knows how to code a DECLARATIVES section. Makes I/O error trapping and
handling so much easier. As for the ACCESS MODE clause: any programmer who
doesn't know when to use RANDOM, SEQUENTIAL, and DYNAMIC, gets his hand
slapped, and is sent back to do remedial coding.

   [...snip...]

Quote:
> Regards

> Dave
> <Team PL/I>
> ___
>  * MR/2 2.25 #353 * Are Casey and Kildare a "paradox"?
> --
> Please remove the '$' in the from line before reply via email.
> Anti-UCE filter in operation.

Always wanted to learn PL/1, but, alas, never got the chance... ::sigh::


Tue, 28 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC

Quote:

>What I'm trying to say, and I may be having a senior moment, is
>that those resumes may be from an ACCESS-clicker who put COBOL on his
>resume to pump it up.  You're looking for COBOL so you called him on it.
>He's in h*ly-sh*t mode, 'what the f*ck do I do now?'  So to save face,
>he says that he could do COBOL but refuses.  To continue, then why list
>it on your resume?  Because he wants to look like a big dog, bark like a
>big dog, run like a big dog, sniff a ... oops, sorry, got carried away.

When I first started working in the industry I got the impression that
anything up to 75% of the people working in it knew not much more than
FA about it. My opinions have not changed.

Quote:
>Fact is, this computer sh*t is complex and anyone listing more than 3-4
>areas out of the several dozen major categories is either lying or is
>very superficial.

Agreed. I do an introductory lecture to my students at the beginning of
the course in which I tell them that the industry is enormously wide and
it is impossible for any one person to be an expert in any more than a
very small number of skills. This does not stop them from being able to
converse intelligently about others and nod their heads at some of the
more vague items, it merely limits the areas in which they can earn a
living.

I go on to say that it is a mistake to try and become an expert in
everything because you end up a very sad, boring person who nobody
will want to know.

Chris



Tue, 28 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC

Quote:

> Steve the Recruiter interupts...
> Help me understand something. I advertise (some would say spam) for
> Cobol programmers on all the employment newsgroups. In the last 3 months
> I've only gotten ONE person who was interested in programming Cobol and
> he was 100 miles north of Toronto and had been retired from IBM for 10
> years.  

> My question is this: I get gobs of resumes from guys who could do Cobol,
> but refuse to do Cobol. They want VB, Access, Oracle.....money is not
> their primary concern. Doesn'y anybody WANT to code Cobol anymore?
> Steve Wray Recruiter


Quote:
> Help me understand something. I advertise (some would say spam) for
> Cobol programmers on all the employment newsgroups. In the last 3 months
> I've only gotten ONE person who was interested in programming Cobol and
> he was 100 miles north of Toronto and had been retired from IBM for 10
years.  

> My question is this: I get gobs of resumes from guys who could do Cobol,
> but refuse to do Cobol. They want VB, Access, Oracle.....money is not
> their primary concern. Doesn't anybody WANT to code Cobol anymore?
> Steve Wray Recruiter       Wed, 09 Apr 1997

No, most (almost ALL of them don't).  Here's why:

I'm 43 now. The following was true when I started working in the computer
industry
in 1972, and it is STILL true now. It's just human nature!

When I was a young hot shot (in retrospect I wasn't, but just thought I
was <grin> ),
what I wanted to work on was the "cool, neat-o" stuff, because it was:
  1) cool and I could brag about it to my friends
  2) new and interesting and had the eye of upper management, and hence was...
  3) ...good for my career

Development (I.E. NEW stuff) was the place to be and where the money was.
Ergo, that's where people wanted to work.

It wasn't until I had 8+ years of experience that I went out in my own
business doing contract programming (mainly dull COBOL maintenance work)
and discovered that one could make a lot MORE money by wanting to work
on things like payroll/accounting/etc. systems doing only maintenance!!!
In short, work that "no one in their right mind" would accept because it was
dull, boring, and, worst of all, "uncool".  Telling one's peers
that one was doing "payroll stuff using COBOL" was the social Kiss of Death!

***THAT*** is why you're having a hard time finding guys to do COBOL work.
And, because you are also, in my opinion, looking in the wrong places.

For example:

I'm (NOW) a businessman FIRST - I don't work on systems because
it's good for my career, or because they are the latest "cool" thing,
or because it's a great opportunity or challenge, etc. etc. the way
(much) younger folks think - I work on systems BECAUSE I GET PAID.

THAT is the sole overriding consideration - by now (starting in 1972)
I've worked with a combination of over 30 different computers, languages,
and operating systems (roughly 10, 10, 10 each).  After a while it all just
blurs together.  Being asked to work one more different/weird/odd system
is no big deal *TO ME*, but it *is* to someone still fairly new in his
career path.  There, choosing the "wrong" system (or the "not currently
'cool' ")
system might mean a setback of years, and the jeers of friends!

All of the guys I know in my age group are in roughly the same boat.
Most of them don't give a damn about the latest "cool" things any more, because
they've been around long enough to see MANY "cool" things come and go.
(Duh, say, .....  remember "structured programming..." )

What they'd love to have is some kind of ongoing project (Y2000!?) that
would pay them
well for their experience, and which they could cheerfully grind away at,
and then take the money and do the REALLY "cool" stuff that is NOW important
in their lives  --  like playing with their boats, or their
grandchildren, or woodworking stuff, etc. etc.

None of them get offered that kind of work, though, because pointy-haired
management bozos seem to have this fixation on people with (and I quote)

"             2 - 3 years experience" in  
[...insert moronic list of requirements that even God could not do all of... ] "

(Aside: It makes one wonder if the instant you get to 4++ years of
experience you
 immediately get trucked off to a dump somewhere.)

So, Steve, target the guys in their late 30's and 40's, etc., and convince
management that these guys are a useful AND LOYAL resource.

THESE guys have the experience and interest to work on important but usually
boring code (there are still LOTS of mainframes out there running COBOL...).

Better hurry up, too.  I've know several guys who have died of heart attacks
around age 40, so the supply of them is starting to shrink. <grin>


Was:  IBM sysprog [...] custom Mac software(C/assembler) 1972-1996
Now: Private investor
  old EDP hand since 1972;  collector of IBM 029 keypunch drums



Tue, 28 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC

Quote:

> Steve the Recruiter interupts...

> Help me understand something. I advertise (some would say spam) for
> Cobol programmers on all the employment newsgroups. In the last 3 months
> I've only gotten ONE person who was interested in programming Cobol and
> he was 100 miles north of Toronto and had been retired from IBM for 10
> years.

> My question is this: I get gobs of resumes from guys who could do Cobol,
> but refuse to do Cobol. They want VB, Access, Oracle.....money is not
> their primary concern. Doesn'y anybody WANT to code Cobol anymore?

> Steve Wray Recruiter - " Most of the things worth doing in the world had
> been declared impossible before they were done."

Steve,

I'm one of those people that could do COBOL but refuses to do COBOL.

Why?

Well actually, it has very little to do with the language itself
(although COBOL certainly is the most boring language on the planet).
No, the real issue is not COBOL but the places that COBOL is used. IE,
large mainframe shops. These places are designed to be as frustrating as
possible to anybody that wants to get the work done. Read a couple of
Dilbert books - those things really happen. Scott Adams gets hundreds of
letters all saying "you must work at our place". Nobody with an ounce of
energy anywhere in their make up wants to work in an environment like
that.

The site I started at required me to get two signatures to run a test
job. Later on, I became one of the people elegible to sign. I signed up
to a hundred of the damn things every day. I still have no idea what any
of those jobs did. I'm sure that none of the people that signed mine had
any idea either.

Now I write Windows software, mainly in C++. I work mostly from home and
try to keep  my customers at least 1000 miles away which cuts down but
doesn't completely eliminate the 4-hour paper-clip control meetings.
Right now I'm wearing my bath robe. I only wear my suit when somebody
dies. I'm *much* happier.

Which would *you* rather be doing?

You couldn't take my lifestyle away from me for double my billing rate.
Ten times *might* do it. But only for a short contract.

Terry Richards
Terry Richards Software.



Tue, 28 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC



:Steve the Recruiter interupts...

:My question is this: I get gobs of resumes from guys who could do Cobol,
:but refuse to do Cobol. They want VB, Access, Oracle.....money is not
:their primary concern. Doesn'y anybody WANT to code Cobol anymore?

That's because nobody ever WANTED to code Cobol in the first place. In the
large shops, there were programmers, and there were analysts. The analysts
got all the respect -- the programmers were second class citizens. My
friends used to refer to them as "sweat shops". Programmer was an entry
level position, a way of paying your dues until you had enough experience
to become a project manager, an application specialist, a system analyst,
or some other title that allowed one to display a bit of initiative.

My advice is to change you ad to something like this:

Wanted
APPLICATION SPECIALISTS
Payroll - AR - AP - Credit & Collections - Inventory Control - MRP  . . .
(MVS/COBOL)

Best,
        -- Chuck Crayne
-----------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------



Tue, 28 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC

In a message dated 04-11-97, The Programmer said to All about Re: Brief Y2k
Weather Re

P>I dunno about no MFC or C/C++, but, I like Visual BASIC! Been doing it
P>since v1.0 came out.

VB is easy, but it has its limits. So does C++, but these are vastly wider
than the limits of VB.

Quote:
>Knowing COBOL and loving COBOL are mutually exclusive options. The only
>programmers I have met who love COBOL didn't know it very thoroughly (e.g.,
>did not know how to use a DECLARATIVES section, always used ACCESS DYNAMIC,
>etc.), and knew no other languages at all.

P>Everyone knows how to code a DECLARATIVES section. Makes
P>I/O error trapping and
P>handling so much easier.

Not everyone who _claims_ to be a COBOL expert even knows DECLARATIVES
exist, let alone how to use them. This is particularly true in the IBM
mainframe world.

P>As for the ACCESS MODE clause: any programmer
P>who doesn't know when to use RANDOM, SEQUENTIAL, and DYNAMIC, gets his
P>hand slapped, and is sent back to do remedial coding.

Most people who learn COBOL in the IBM world are actually _taught_ that they
should always use DYNAMIC, since you don't need to think what you really
want to do, you just code random or sequential I/O requests as you feel
like. Worse still, many use a START statement followed by a READ NEXT in
order to read a record at random, after having coded ACCESS MODE IS DYNAMIC
in the ENVIRONMENT DIVISION. In many cases, this is the only I/O that ever
occurs on the file.

Thus, we have: ACCESS is always DYNAMIC;
               I/O always uses sequential statements;
               I/O is always functionally random.

We could now ask ourselves why COBOL programs have a reputation for running
slowly.

We PL/I bigots have always believed that COBOL programmers were hired so
that managers wouldn't be the technically dumbest people on site.

P>Always wanted to learn PL/1, but, alas, never got the chance... ::sigh::

As you might have seen, I program in a plethora of languages. PL/I is the
pick of the crop, IMO. There is even a Visual PL/I under OS/2.

Regards

Dave
<Team PL/I>
___
 * MR/2 2.25 #353 * A nudist wedding makes the best man easy to identify.
--
Please remove the '$' in the from line before reply via email.
Anti-UCE filter in operation.



Tue, 28 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC

Quote:

> > Steve the Recruiter interupts...
> > blah, blah, blah, (Steve-tired of own voice-deletes copy)... Doesn'y anybody WANT to code Cobol anymore?

> Steve,

> I'm one of those people that could do COBOL but refuses to do COBOL.

> Why?

> Well actually, it has very little to do with the language itself
> (although COBOL certainly is the most boring language on the planet).
> No, the real issue is not COBOL but the places that COBOL is used. IE,
> large mainframe shops. These places are designed to be as frustrating as
> possible to anybody that wants to get the work done. Read a couple of
> Dilbert books - those things really happen. Scott Adams gets hundreds of
> letters all saying "you must work at our place". Nobody with an ounce of
> energy anywhere in their make up wants to work in an environment like
> that.

> The site I started at required me to get two signatures to run a test
> job. Later on, I became one of the people elegible to sign. I signed up
> to a hundred of the damn things every day. I still have no idea what any
> of those jobs did. I'm sure that none of the people that signed mine had
> any idea either.

> Now I write Windows software, mainly in C++. I work mostly from home and
> try to keep  my customers at least 1000 miles away which cuts down but
> doesn't completely eliminate the 4-hour paper-clip control meetings.

Terry, I thought that QOS/Q1/ISO900...(ad naseum) owned the copyright on
"4 hour paperclip control meetings."

Quote:
> Right now I'm wearing my bath robe. I only wear my suit when somebody
> dies. I'm *much* happier.

Terry, I don't know if somebody dying makes me any happier, but I would
like to thank all of you who took the time to email me and post replies
to this newsgroup.

Regards,
Steve Wray Recruiter - "Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from
getting into situations where you need it."



Tue, 28 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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