This just in: Y2K recruiting hangover lasts fifteen years

Just saw this article about the aging workforce of mainframe programmers. And I started to feel my age. About three years into my recruiting career, I was staffing contractors for a consulting firm. A part of my income was commission-based and while we were supposed to be able to staff client/server gigs, all they kept asking for is Assembler programmers. Thanks sales team and damn you, Y2K!

Bad flashbacks. Late nights in the office, bad coffee. Different kind of person gets into that machine-level stuff. They are happy to tell you anything you want to know about computers. Anything. They know it all...they can take a computer apart and put it back together. They can build one out of cocnuts, dental floss and a cereal box. They are very patient folks with a short-sleeved dress shirt and a beard, which is very uncomfortable for the ladies (cue rimshot). In fact, I remember  very few females doing this kind of work. We could talk-into and train new college grads. Job fairs and some lady stalking me because she knows CSAM (I have absolutely no recollection of what that is). Someone telling me that they want to be a client server. Flashback. A little disappointed when I woke up at about 2 AM on January 1, 2000 and everything was fine. Fine, people. Collective drama!

Like an extremely detailed explanation of the layers of programming languages starting with a 2 hour primer on machine-level language, I couldn't get through the article. But I'm sure it's interesting. The topic just resonated with me because I have been there. Anyone know Assembler? How about COBOL?

I thought it was hard enough to find these folks back then (97 ish), but with todays technology? That is quite a recruiting challenge.


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