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DevOps vs Mainframe Programming

By m23khan ·

Almost a year ago, my Department shifted focus from Development to become the Company's DevOps team. Therefore, my role changed from being a ruby/shell developer to a DevOps Specialist (with focus on both Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment).

Since we are still fairly new to DevOps concept at the company, while we have created a DevOps toolchain, I still have a long way to go learning the tools that were utilized by a Contract Employee to provide us with a industry-standard DevOps solution (JIRA/Bamboo/Jenkins/etc.).

On the other hand, at my Company, I have been offered a Mainframe Developer role with another Department (not that I applied for it or expressed any interest in mainframes). The toolset that will be utilized is Cobol, JCL, and other standard mainframe technologies.

I am hoping if somebody can guide me towards which one would be a better choice.

I realize that DevOps is very much in-demand and mainframe skill-shortage is also a much discussed topic these days.

I would appreciate advice that takes account of:

- job market
- anticipated future demand (5 years)
- future of DevOps vs future of mainframes

What confuses me:

- Given that DevOps is a fairly new concept in IT industry, I don't know whether it is a concept that is here to stay or if there is unsustainable hype around it.

- When I worked on mainframes (2009-2011), I found all of my mainframe colleagues very much avoided non-mainframe technologies while simulatenously being unsure and pessimistic about future of mainframes.

- It seems, at least at my company, all code and applications that can be taken out of mainframes is being taken out of mainframes and that mainframes are only being used to store core-business logic that cannot be taken off without risk or for sensitive databases.

- Outside of Banking/Insurance and some legacy hospitals/Government/Transportation IT, mainframes are no longer being used or are being phased out. On flip-side, DevOps can be found in all sorts of industry.

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