[geeks] Disney going to HP Linux for animation
geeks at sunhelp.org
geeks at sunhelp.org
Tue Jun 18 12:53:01 CDT 2002
~ -----Original Message-----
~ From: Kris Kirby [mailto:kris at catonic.net]
~ Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 12:11 PM
~ To: 'geeks at sunhelp.org'
~ Subject: RE: [geeks] Disney going to HP Linux for animation
~ Sounds like experience worth having. How does one get into the MF gig?
Well, for me it happened because I'm one of a dying breed who understands
Token Ring, BiSync, SNA and SDLC (dinosaur networking
architectures/topologies for IBM's mainframes). I've never had the good
fortune of having a purely datacomm job, so I learned by immersion in the
IBM shops I've worked in. My exposure is strongest in VTAM and CICS (the
communications and I/O end of the machine). I definitely don't "code", I'm
not that smart.
Mostly, they hire degreed CS majors and tend to promote slowly (this is a
stereotype but often true). Its not unusual to find sharp people babysitting
tapes and printers. Usually suits are standard attire (maybe not now
though). Of all the places I've worked/contracted the IBM shops were the
least "fun" but the most challenging. You don't get much chance to "play",
"test", "try" or fail. Good ideas take at least a half-year to become a
project and have a team assembled around them. When 16,000 employees sit
idle if a mistake happens you tend to sweat the details. I landed most of
these jobs by contracting. I find lots of contractors in such shops.
Contracting is about the best way to get MF experience.
You also find strange job titles. Things that make you ask "you get paid for
that?". Jobs like Reports Analyst, who make sure that the exec staff have
daily reams of paper full of useful data to guide the company with. You also
find Operators, also known as Tapeswappers and Printer Jockeys (my apologies
to any Operators on the list). I didn't find very many System Admins in
these shops, as there was mostly one system to admin. Also, there are lots
of people with Analyst at the end of their title. The only thing I've
noticed different about a network analyst and a network engineer is that the
analyst spends more time looking at trends and statistics and the engineer
spends more time building/designing/troubleshooting the network. Otherwise
they have about the same skillset. I used to think specialized analysts were
just monolithic timeclock-punching joe_sixpacks-in-a-suit. Over time I have
realized they have exacting difficult jobs that require that they "get it
right" every time without fail (but its still boring work).
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