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Become A Mainframe Programmer

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Working As A Mainframe Programmer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $97,130

    Average Salary

What Does A Mainframe Programmer Do

Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. In addition, programmers test newly created applications and programs to ensure that they produce the expected results. If they do not work correctly, computer programmers check the code for mistakes and fix them.

Duties

Computer programmers typically do the following:

  • Write programs in a variety of computer languages, such as C++ and Java
  • Update and expand existing programs
  • Test programs for errors and fix the faulty lines of computer code responsible
  • Create and test code in an integrated development environment (IDE)
  • Use code libraries, which are collections of independent lines of code, to simplify the writing

Programmers work closely with software developers, and in some businesses their duties overlap. When such overlap occurs, programmers can do work that is typical of developers, such as designing the program. Program design entails planning the software initially, creating models and flowcharts detailing how the code is to be written, writing and debugging code, and designing an application or systems interface. Programmers often use an IDE, which allows them to create, edit, and test code.

A program’s purpose determines the complexity of its computer code. For example, a weather application for a mobile device will require less programming than a social-networking application. Simpler programs can be written in less time. Complex programs, such as computer operating systems, can take a year or more to complete.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS), which consists of applications provided through the Internet, is a growing field. Although programmers typically need to rewrite their programs to work on different system platforms, such as Windows or OS X, applications created with SaaS work on all platforms. Accordingly, programmers writing SaaS applications may not have to rewrite as much code as other programmers do and can instead spend more time writing new programs.

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How To Become A Mainframe Programmer

Most computer programmers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related subject; however, some employers hire workers with an associate’s degree. Most programmers specialize in a few programming languages.

Education

Most computer programmers have a bachelor’s degree; however, some employers hire workers who have an associate’s degree. Most programmers get a degree in computer science or a related subject. Programmers who work in specific fields, such as healthcare or accounting, may take classes in that field to supplement their degree in computer programming. In addition, employers value experience, which many students gain through internships.

Most programmers learn a few computer languages while in school. However, a computer science degree gives students the skills needed to learn new computer languages easily. During their classes, students receive hands-on experience writing code, testing programs, fixing errors, and doing many other tasks that they will perform on the job.

To keep up with changing technology, computer programmers may take continuing education and professional development seminars to learn new programming languages or about upgrades to programming languages they already know.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Programmers can become certified in specific programming languages or for vendor-specific programming products. Some companies require their computer programmers to be certified in the products they use.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in computer programming by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Advancement

Programmers who have general business experience may become computer systems analysts. With experience, some programmers may become software developers. They may also be promoted to managerial positions. For more information, see the profiles on computer systems analysts, software developers, and computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Computer programmers must understand complex instructions in order to create computer code.

Concentration. Programmers must be able to work at a computer, writing lines of code for long periods.

Detail oriented. Computer programmers must closely examine the code they write because a small mistake can affect the entire computer program.

Troubleshooting skills. An important part of a programmer’s job is to check the code for errors and fix any they find.

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Mainframe Programmer jobs

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Mainframe Programmer Career Paths

Mainframe Programmer
Project Leader Database Administrator ETL Developer
ETL Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Lead Project Manager Program Manager
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Technical Project Manager Implementation Manager
Integration Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Lead Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Mainframe Developer Senior Software Engineer
Lead Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Project Leader
5 Yearsyrs
Mainframe Developer Lead Technician
Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Leader Business Analyst
Quality Assurance Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Programmer Business Analyst Quality Assurance Lead
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Business Analyst
Senior Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Project Leader Business Analyst
Senior Data Analyst-
6 Yearsyrs
Cobol Programmer Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Senior ETL Developer
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Systems Administrator Software Engineer
Senior Programmer Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Applications Developer Business Analyst
Senior Quality Assurance Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Programmer Senior Programmer Software Engineer
Senior Quality Assurance Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Cobol Programmer Systems Analyst Quality Assurance Analyst
Senior Quality Assurance Tester
6 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Systems Analyst
Senior Systems Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Analyst Quality Assurance Analyst
Senior Test Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Lead Quality Assurance Manager
Test Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Mainframe Programmer Demographics

Gender

Male

75.2%

Female

23.0%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

63.2%

Asian

25.1%

Hispanic or Latino

7.1%

Unknown

3.9%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Carrier

50.0%

Spanish

50.0%

Mainframe Programmer Education

Schools

Oklahoma State University

9.1%

University of Alabama

6.1%

Arizona State University

6.1%

Dickinson College

6.1%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

6.1%

Southern Methodist University

6.1%

University of Colorado at Boulder

6.1%

Strayer University

6.1%

University of North Texas

6.1%

Indiana State University

6.1%

University of Phoenix

6.1%

Illinois Central College

6.1%

Missouri State University

3.0%

King's College

3.0%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

3.0%

Saint Mary's University

3.0%

Louisiana Tech University

3.0%

Vincennes University

3.0%

Northern Arizona University

3.0%

University of Pennsylvania

3.0%
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Majors

Computer Science

26.8%

Computer Information Systems

10.1%

Business

10.1%

Electrical Engineering

9.5%

Computer Engineering

7.1%

Engineering

6.5%

Computer Applications

4.8%

Management

3.6%

Management Information Systems

2.4%

Mathematics

2.4%

Information Technology

2.4%

Computer Programming

2.4%

Computer Technical Support

1.8%

Accounting

1.8%

Information Systems

1.8%

Civil Engineering

1.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.2%

Biology

1.2%

Finance

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.7%

Masters

19.9%

Other

11.9%

Associate

7.5%

Certificate

4.0%

Diploma

4.0%

Doctorate

1.0%
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Temporary

Real Mainframe Programmer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Mainframe Programmer Teksystems, Inc. Pennington, NJ May 07, 2016 $132,170
Mainframe Programmer Populus Group LLC San Antonio, TX Aug 06, 2016 $123,133
Mainframe Programmer Diversant LLC Pennington, NJ Jul 25, 2016 $108,000 -
$125,000
SAS Mainframe Programmer Insurance Services Office, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Apr 01, 2016 $105,500 -
$125,000
Mainframe Programmer Companion Professional Services, LLC Columbia, SC Jan 01, 2016 $105,248
Mainframe Analyst/Programmer Principal Ebsco Industries, Inc. Birmingham, AL Oct 21, 2016 $102,928
Mainframe Analyst/Programmer Principal Ebsco Industries, Inc. Birmingham, AL Dec 02, 2016 $101,462
Senior Mainframe Programmer Superior Solutions Inc. Baltimore, MD Sep 04, 2011 $97,178
Mainframe Analyst/Programmer Principal Ebsco Industries, Inc. Birmingham, AL Oct 21, 2013 $97,000
Mainframe Programmer Revere Info Tech, Inc. Columbia, SC Aug 17, 2016 $90,000
Mainframe Programmer Companion Professional Services, LLC Columbia, SC Jan 01, 2016 $90,000
Senior Mainframe Programmer Ads Alliance Data Systems, Inc. Columbus, OH Oct 11, 2016 $90,000
Mainframe Programmer Companion Professional Services, LLC Columbia, SC Jan 15, 2016 $89,741
A Senior Mainframe Programmer (Software Developer) Seven Seven Softwares Roseland, NJ Sep 01, 2014 $80,500
Mainframe Programmer Companion Professional Services, LLC Columbia, SC Oct 15, 2011 $80,000
Mainframe Programmer Companion Professional Services, LLC Columbia, SC May 01, 2013 $80,000
Mainframe Programmer Dataquest, Inc. Camp Hill, PA Oct 29, 2013 $78,146 -
$81,120
Mainframe Programmer Companion Professional Services, LLC Columbia, SC Jun 01, 2014 $78,000
Senior Mainframe Programmer V.L.S Systems, Inc. Durham, NC Sep 19, 2011 $78,000
Mainframe Programmer Companion Professional Services, LLC Columbia, SC Aug 20, 2012 $78,000
Mainframe Programmer Seven Seven Softwares Roseland, NJ Sep 01, 2013 $75,500
Mainfram Programmer Cerebrum Software Solutions Inc. Maryland Heights, MO Mar 12, 2016 $72,000
Mainframe Programmer USM Business Systems, Inc. Chantilly, VA Oct 19, 2010 $71,000
Mainframe Programmer (Software Developer) Seven Seven Softwares Roseland, NJ Sep 01, 2012 $70,500
Mainframe Programmer Protege, LLC Durham, NC Feb 15, 2016 $70,000 -
$90,000
Senior Mainframe Programmer V.L.S Systems, Inc. Baltimore, MD Nov 07, 2011 $70,000
Mainframe Programmer Protege, LLC Cary, NC Aug 31, 2015 $70,000 -
$90,000
Mainframe Programmer Protege, LLC Durham, NC Aug 31, 2015 $70,000 -
$90,000
Mainframe Programmer Protege, LLC Durham, NC Sep 14, 2015 $70,000 -
$90,000

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Top Skills for A Mainframe Programmer

CobolIIMvs/JclDB2CicsVsamOnlineScreensSQLTestDataSpufiXpeditorIMSDb/DcBusinessRequirementsProceduresZ/OSQMFLanguageEndevorMvs/EsaTestCasesDesignDocuments

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Top Mainframe Programmer Skills

  1. Cobol II
  2. Mvs/Jcl
  3. DB2
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Optimized and modified COBOL II programs on an IBM mainframe for centralized dealer warranty claims administration.
  • Support day-to-day activities using Cobol/CICS/DBs2/IMS, Assembler, DB2 utilities, Visual Basic, Xpediter, MVS/JCL.
  • Coded new Batch COBOL DB2 programs as per the requirement.
  • Corrected CICS screens so users can input data more efficiently.
  • Analyzed various data stores (DB2, VSAM, etc.)

Top Mainframe Programmer Employers