Oh! They Have Put Me On Mainframes. But, Why!

Oh! They Have Put Me On Mainframes. But, Why!

“What have I done to deserve this? I passed my engineering with a first class and have joined this big MNC with dreams of working on the latest innovative IT technologies. But alas, I have been assigned on a mainframe project. Mainframes – the technology of the early 70s – the technology of my grandparents era. My career is ruined!” This is a typical reaction of a fresher who is new to the IT world and has been put on a mainframe project. Why are we still with Mainframe technologies? Most freshers and junior IT professionals do not like the idea of working on mainframes simply because it’s not the ‘in thing’. There is no glamour in mainframe technologies. Many fear mainframe jobs will vanish soon thereby leaving them jobless. Now let’s face the facts. Today, almost all the American and European banking and finance, airline reservations, insurance, health care and many other government and private industries run their core IT on mainframes. Somewhere or the other, a transaction that appears to originate and end on a flashy looking windows, web or mobile screen hits the mainframe in the background. For example, in case of a simple account balance enquiry on a mobile banking app, there is an 80% chance that the transaction has passed thru a mainframe application. If java, .net, web, Hadoop, big data, cloud and other ‘latest’ and ‘glamorous’ technologies are so good, then why aren’t these giant corporations simply not replacing their old mainframe stuff with these new technologies? Why aren’t they getting rid of their mainframe data centres are replacing them with web servers...