Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC 
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 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC

DN> COBOL guru, the S/390 assembler guru, the JCL guru, the IMS guru, the CICS
DN> guru and the OS/2 guru.

Someone gave me an IBM web site for the S/390 to get some info, but
since you know S/390 assembler, is it similar to S/370 asm?

DN> Knowing COBOL and loving COBOL are mutually exclusive options.

:-).  So true.  Too true!!

---
 * OLX 1.53 * haiku: mourning doves on the telephone wires



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

Personally I have not written any real business programs (used to
run a company and/or make money) in my life.  When I finished college
in May, 1977 after finishing a three year business course.  No-one
would hire me because I did not have atleast 3 months on a job (yes
three months).  After kicking around for a while, I finally got a job
programming in MAI-Basic on a mini.  At the same time I started to
write BASIC programs on microcomputers to run small businesses.  That
paid for the bills till my partner wasted the our company funds.

So I go a job repairing microcomputers instead.  I just had to show that
I knew what I was doing to get a job.  I have been at this last company
for 15 years now and am happy.  I also get to see how many big companies
run when I go in to fix thier machines.

Many of the COBOL machines are in big companies that don't seem to
judge you on how good you are at your job, but who you know.  Many
times a manager will ask me to putting in writting an opinion on
an operation because he was force to do it that way by upper management
even when he knew better.  I may join a small COBOL shop, but no
way would I want to join a large company where I am forced to carry
out some-else's bad decisions but there are too many layers protecting
him/her from the results, or thier opinion will carry more weight
than mine when it becomes time to explain what went wrong.

              Earl Colby Pottinger (X-programmer)

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Wed, 29 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC

: Personally I have not written any real business programs (used to
: run a company and/or make money) in my life.

OOPS, that should have said COBOL programs.  I only used COBOL in
school, and on a temp job placement done by the college.

                  Earl Colby Pottinger

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 : Come play Realms of Despair! http://www.game.org :
 ----------------------------------------------------



Wed, 29 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC

Close to being 100% Stan.

MJL.


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


>> 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



Wed, 29 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.

> Terry Richards
> Terry Richards Software.

And I thought it was only where I work. I work on a shop which has
everything from MVS to PC's, fortunatly I stare at a UNIX prompt most of
the day, however to get a piece of software to the QA lab it goes in to
the "cloud", which means MVS, which really is used to perform roll out to
our 3000 and growing remote sites. Just to get it tested I need three
signatures, to get it out to the sites I need four, more if someone else
is monitoring the roll out, and I need thoes signatures each and every
step of the way. I can understand that all these signatures might have
been needed when computer time was directly related to $$, but I can run
programs to find prime numbers all day long on some machines and no one
would notice, I could even run them with a negative nice!

                                                        Groove on Dude
                                                        Michael Conlen



Wed, 29 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC

Quote:

>Now I write Windows software, mainly in C++.

I'm one of Cory's Access-clickers.  As well as general purpose
consulting and networks

Quote:
>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.

My customers are all currently within 100 kms (60 miles for the
Americans) although that may change if my vertical niche database
software becomes commercially successful and viable.

Quote:
>Right now I'm wearing my bath robe.

Ayup.  And I only wear jeans to my customers.  Although with a dress
shirt.

Quote:
>I only wear my suit when somebody dies.

Likewise.  Or weddings.

Quote:
> I'm *much* happier.
>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.

Ayup.  Although I'm an AS/400 RPG person and not a mainframe COBOL
person.

Tony
----
Tony Toews, Independent Computer Consultant
Jack of a few computer related trades and master (or certified) of none.
Microsoft Access Hints & Tips: Accounting Systems, Winfax Pro, Reports
and Books at http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm



Wed, 29 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC

Boy the first version needed editting, so I am re-posting.

Personally I have not written any real business programs (used to
run a company and/or make money) in COBOL in my entire life.  When
I finished college in May, 1977 after finishing a three year Data
Processing business course.  No-one would hire me because I did not
have atleast 3 months on a job (yes three months).  Why would you
hire some-one who quit his/her first employer after only 3 months
for more money?  You should realize such person will in turn quit
your company after just another three months and maybe leave in
you in a very stickly situtation.

After kicking around for a while, I finally got a job programming
in MAI-Basic on a mini.  At the same time I started small business
to write BASIC programs on microcomputers to run small businesses.
Mostly Inventory and Account Recieveable.  That paid for the bills
till my partner wasted most of our company's funds.

So I got a job repairing microcomputers instead.  I just had to show
that I knew what I was doing to get a job.  I have been at this last
company (CONPUTE) for 15 years now and I am still happy here.  I also
get to see how many big companies run when I go in to fix thier machines.

Many of the COBOL machines are in big companies that don't seem to
judge you on how good you are at your job, but rather who you know.

Many times a manager will ask me to put in writting an opinion on a
repair or mode of operation because he was force to do it that way by
upper management, even when he knew better.  Personally, if I have the
right skills or relearned them (I still program), I would only consider
joining a small COBOL shop, but no way would I want to join a large
company where I am forced to carry out some-else's bad decisions but
there are too many layers protecting him/her from the results, or thier
opinion will carry more weight  than mine when it becomes time to explain
what went wrong.

               Earl Colby Pottinger (X-programmer)
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Wed, 29 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC

Quote:

> DN> COBOL guru, the S/390 assembler guru, the JCL guru, the IMS guru, the CICS
> DN> guru and the OS/2 guru.

> Someone gave me an IBM web site for the S/390 to get some info, but
> since you know S/390 assembler, is it similar to S/370 asm?

> DN> Knowing COBOL and loving COBOL are mutually exclusive options.

In the beginning .... actually much later, there was assembler F,
IFOX00.
Then there was assembler H (IEV90). Then there were the SLACMods to
IEV90,
and they became part of the High Level Assembler, standard with OS/390.

For almost everything, backward compatibility was retained. There are
new
system symbols, new options, new ways of specifying options, etc. The
new
hardware has added some new op codes. But if you are conversant in H,
High Level will feel good (especially the new options on the listing.)

As usual, if you have a bug in a macro, the assembler is equally stupid
about what you did wrong. They try, but miss. (If you ever saw the
output of the Waterloo assembler or assembler E, you know that a good
job can be done.)

The high level assembler works for all releases of MVS/ESA and OS/390.
I don't know about XA. IEV90 with the SLACmods did work for XA.



Thu, 30 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Brief Y2K Weather Report NYC

While DECLARATIVE sections can be useful, I haven't found a use for them in  
the programs that I have been dealing with recently.  Status code checking on  
the VSAM files does most of the jobs I want done better and the operating  
system defaults normally are adequate for the rest of the I-O problems  
(except the missing output file DD problem where MVS COBOL creates a  
temporary file that is deleted at the end of the step and that my current  
shop is curing with LE by taking the CBLQDA(OFF) option).  

ACCESS DYNAMIC is used in a lot of I-O sub-programs that are vendor related.    
This way one routine can be called to handle all of the functions.  Current  
IBM MVS implementation of ACCESS DYNAMIC gives tolerably good performance  
based on various tests that I ran.  Neither the all random nor the all  
sequential access was that degraded over the use of the specific access  
although a 10-20 percent CPU savings was obtainable in (only) some  
situations.  

Quote:
> 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.

> >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.

Clark F. Morris, Jr.
CFM Technical Programming Services
Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, Canada




Fri, 01 Oct 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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