IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 23

How Russell Tobin, Per Scholas and
IBM brought new talent into the mainframe workforce
By Adam Oxford // Photography by Jonathan Robert Willis

"I

found out about the course
from my mum," says Darnell
Brown, one of six students
from Cincinnati, Ohio, who recently graduated from a five-week
boot camp program introducing
them to the fundamentals of
mainframe computing. "I knew
nothing about mainframes at all.
I'd barely even heard of them, and
I'm an IT student."
Brown, also a student intern at
the University of Cincinnati, hopes
to pursue a career in networking
and security.
"I don't think anyone needs a
background in IT to excel in this
course though," Brown adds. "I
Ä(ÉÃÄ ÃÄ® &1Ã!$Ã%ÇÉ ÇÉÃÄ ÈÃ
math, so I could do it, but you get
the knowledge at the pace you can
handle it. The mainframe is broad
and doesn't have to be heavily
technical if you don't want it to be.
It's more important to focus on the
logical aspects of it."
The boot camp Brown found so
eye-opening was convened by IT educational organization Per Scholas.
The pilot project is designed to meet
pressing needs in the U.S. today.

The initiative addressed the
growing shortage of IT professionals with experience in IBM Z*
system architecture. It also aimed
to provide opportunities for people
who haven't had the funding or
educational background typically
ÉÉÈÉÈÃ&!ÃÉ&Ã! Ã&Éî$%&Ã%&É"Ã!Ã&ÉÃ
ladder in the industry.
"Ä%ÉÈÃ! Ã&ÉÃ$É%'&%Ã!Ã&Éî$%&Ã
cohort of students, and Brown's
experiences, the pilot appears to
have been a success. "Everyone in
the program has either resumed
work with their former employÉ$%à Ã&ÉÃÄ $ÄÉîÉÈÃ!$ÃÄ%Ã
moved on to accept offers elsewhere," says Brown.

The Scope of
the Challenge
Many businesses are absolutely
reliant on mainframe systems for
critical applications within their
organizations. This is particularly
true in sectors such as banking,
insurance, government, transportation and retail where raw throughput and reliability are essential
for business. The IBM Z platform
has proven highly adaptable to the

needs of the cloud economy, and
with its ability to run thousands of
virtual machines simultaneously, it
consistently outperforms commodity hardware and host cross-platform
applications. 71 percent of Fortune
500 companies use mainframes.
The trouble is that traditional mainframe skills, including
programming languages like
COBOL, have quietly been dropped
from formal training programs in
learning institutions and within
the workplace. Competition for
&ÄÉ &Ã!&É Ã!Ç'%É%Ã! ÃI"$!®ÉÃ
skills around mobile, cloud and
Ä$&®ÇÄà &ÉÉ ÇÉÃ$Ä&É$Ã&Ä Ã
infrastructure, so many young IT
workers haven't been exposed to
mainframe computing and the
opportunities it presents.
IBM predicts that by 2020, between 37,200 and 84,000 positions
for IT workers with mainframe
skills could be vacant. Among its
mainframe client base, 90 percent
of customers are concerned about
$ÉÇ$'&É &Ã Ã&Éà É0&î(ÉÃ1ÉÄ$%NÃ!Ã
full 49 percent say that they're "very
concerned." (See bit.ly/2LBHMRp
for a comprehensive investigation of

IBMSYSTEMSMAG.COM NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 | 23


http://www.bit.ly/2LBHMRp http://www.IBMSYSTEMSMAG.COM

IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018

Table of Contents
Editor's Desk: Room for imporovement
Currents: The big redesign unveil
Currents: ExxonMobil and IBM improce the mobile app user experience
Currents: 8 emerging storage trends of 2018
Currents: Solutions
Currents: Remembering Dr. John Ehrman: The father of IBM High Level Assembler
Partner POV: DevOps requires quality, velocity and efficiency to transform software delivery life cycles
Cover Story: Enabling opportunity: Get the most out of IBM Z with Secure Service Containers and a consumption-based pricing model
Feature 1: Skilling up: How Russell Tobin, Per Scholas and IBM brought new talent into the mainframe workforce
TECH Showcase: How to reap the full benefits of virtual tape storage, properly measure its performance and choose the right strategy for your business
Techbits: Banco do Brasil improves processes after migrating to the IBM Db2 Utilities Suite for z/OS
Techbits: Multifactor authentication is a user-friendly upgrade to password-only systems
Beyond the Box: The mainframe Playground Education Initiative opens the mainframe to the next generation
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Power Systems
2018 Mainframe Solutions Edition Product Index
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Intro
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Cover1
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Cover2
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 1
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 2
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 3
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Table of Contents
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 5
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Editor's Desk: Room for imporovement
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 7
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Currents: The big redesign unveil
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Currents: ExxonMobil and IBM improce the mobile app user experience
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Beyond the Box: The mainframe Playground Education Initiative opens the mainframe to the next generation
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 11
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Currents: Solutions
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Currents: Remembering Dr. John Ehrman: The father of IBM High Level Assembler
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Partner POV: DevOps requires quality, velocity and efficiency to transform software delivery life cycles
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 15
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Cover Story: Enabling opportunity: Get the most out of IBM Z with Secure Service Containers and a consumption-based pricing model
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 17
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 18
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 19
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 20
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 21
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Feature 1: Skilling up: How Russell Tobin, Per Scholas and IBM brought new talent into the mainframe workforce
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 23
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 24
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 25
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 26
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 27
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 28
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - TECH Showcase: How to reap the full benefits of virtual tape storage, properly measure its performance and choose the right strategy for your business
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 30
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 31
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 32
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 33
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 34
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 35
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Techbits: Banco do Brasil improves processes after migrating to the IBM Db2 Utilities Suite for z/OS
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 37
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Techbits: Multifactor authentication is a user-friendly upgrade to password-only systems
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 39
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 40
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Cover3
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Cover4
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Power Systems
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - 2018 Mainframe Solutions Edition Product Index
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - SE2
IBM Systems magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2018 - SE3
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