What is TPF? 
Author Message
 What is TPF?

I am a recent Electronics Graduate, currently being assessed for
employment by a recruitment agency acting for a US company.

The company, called A.S.M., plans to start an operation in Dublin.
They are recruiting here in Ireland and they intend to bring the
successful candidates to Dallas for a year to train in TPF.  After
that the trainees return to work in Dublin.  

I am told that TPF is Transaction Processing Facility and that it is
an assembly language in which ALL Airline Reservation System Software
is written.

I have some questions.

1)  Is it the case that there is a worldwide shortage of TPF skills
(as the recruitment agency claim)?

2)  Is 12 months a long time to devote to training in TPF?  What level
of competency would be expected after such a period of training?

3)  If the skill level is so high and the experience so rare, why does
the salary appear low (Graduate: IR13,000 rising to IR17,500 after 3
years)?

Because of the investment in training, the company insist on an
initial three year contract.

4)  How PORTABLE is experience in TPF in the Software Employment
Market?

Any advice or information will be gladly appreciated.

Ennis, Co. Clare,
Ireland.



Thu, 23 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 What is TPF?
These are my opinions only...

Quote:

>1)  Is it the case that there is a worldwide shortage of TPF skills
>(as the recruitment agency claim)?

No.

Quote:
>2)  Is 12 months a long time to devote to training in TPF?  What level
>of competency would be expected after such a period of training?

No, TPF is complex to write for and a year of training is not out of line.
You should expect be quite competent in TPF programming.

Quote:
>3)  If the skill level is so high and the experience so rare, why does
>the salary appear low (Graduate: IR13,000 rising to IR17,500 after 3
>years)?

Because there is very little demand for TPF programmers. The situation is
that a very small number of companies need a small number of very good TPF
programmers. They have to pay to train new programmers, but don't have to
worry much about them leaving because the job market for TPF programmers is
very small.

Quote:
>4)  How PORTABLE is experience in TPF in the Software Employment
>Market?

Zero. TPF is a unique environment.

+--------------------------------------------+
|              Michael Quinlan               |

|       http://www.primenet.com/~mikeq       |
|     If it doesn't fit, you must acquit!    |
+--------------------------------------------+



Thu, 23 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 What is TPF?

Quote:
> These are my opinions only...

Glad you said that!

Quote:

> >1)  Is it the case that there is a worldwide shortage of TPF skills
> >(as the recruitment agency claim)?

> No.

At the moment, it seems to be the case that there is big demand
(I would say). TPF seems to be coming back into vogue after a
period of Unixing ("It'll all be replaced by Unix boxes in a
couple of years"). However, a lot of people are training
at the moment. In the Uk currently, there will be about
60-70 people trained by British Airways and Galileo International
(the two big TPF sites in the UK), so that may not last for
very much longer.

Quote:
> >2)  Is 12 months a long time to devote to training in TPF?  What level
> >of competency would be expected after such a period of training?

> No, TPF is complex to write for and a year of training is not out of line.
> You should expect be quite competent in TPF programming.

Yes, it's complex, but not half as difficult as the application
you will end up working in. The likelihood is that you will end
up trained as an applications programmer for an airline or hotel
company in Dallas (such as Sabre, American Airlines' CRS
(Computerised Reservations System)). A year is very little
time to become really productive in application terms although
you should know how to code by then.

Quote:
> >3)  If the skill level is so high and the experience so rare, why does
> >the salary appear low (Graduate: IR?13,000 rising to IR?17,500 after 3
> >years)?

> Because there is very little demand for TPF programmers. The situation is
> that a very small number of companies need a small number of very good TPF
> programmers. They have to pay to train new programmers, but don't have to
> worry much about them leaving because the job market for TPF programmers is
> very small.

Can't really argue with that at the moment. After years of hard times, the
airline industry has been able to keep salaries low and is not keen to raise
them! Most people make their money by taking their experience from place
to place either by moving or by contracting at a reasonable uprate. There's
generally a very poor attitude to ex-trainees within the airline industry.
Apparently, you're supposed to feel grateful for being trained!

Quote:
> >4)  How PORTABLE is experience in TPF in the Software Employment
> >Market?

> Zero. TPF is a unique environment.

Portability comes with the fact that there is basically a company in most
countries that runs TPF, or it's smaller cousin ALCS, with a basically
similar applications system (they're almost all based on a product called
PARS from the sixties). If you don't mind moving around the world then
there's reasonable portability. Apart from America, there aren't more than
a couple of companies in each country. Ireland's only one is in Aer Lingus
(where the salaries are reputedly even worse than those you mentioned!).
TPF does, however, have the alarming drawback that it is non-portable
outside it's own sphere.

Did ASM give you any indication as to who you might be working for back
here? Would it be a remote site (ie a cheaper labour site) for someone
in America, by chance?

--
Eoghan Maher
Twickenham England.
(Contracting in TPF in the UK).



Fri, 24 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 3 post ] 

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