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Recapping Blogs on Skills, Trends and Teachings

A recollection of IT Trendz blogs focused on skills, trends and teachings.

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This is the first of two recollections looking back at posts from IT Trendz published in 2017. If you read IT Trendz, you have probably noticed that the posts that appear week-to-week are usually part of a theme or linked to a main idea. An individual post explores some aspect of the subject. Usually, I have three or four posts on the idea. In this post, I want to explore three of the 12 themes (and some of the 49 variations) that I explored and discussed last year.

Key Skills Needed for Success in Enterprise Computing

I wrote three posts starting on Jan. 30 on key skills needed for success in enterprise computing. A key element of my research was job postings. In the three posts, I noted that job posting have different origins. Some come from the hiring manager who has experience as a programmer/analyst so they are specific and detailed, whereas others are more general and contain some more generic language.

Analyzing a sample of job postings, I started to see a pattern emerging where the needed skills could be grouped into three main categories that included:

  1. Domain-specific (e.g., COBOL and CICS)
  2. Effectiveness (e.g., strong written and verbal communications)
  3. Education, certification and experience (e.g., a bachelor’s in CICS, project-management certification and 5-plus years in the workplace)

These three categories were surveyed in the three posts on this important skills-related topic.

Trend Watch

Starting on Feb. 27, I wrote 10 posts on trends important to enterprise computing from cloud computing to digital transformation.

When a technology has been around for decades, it’s difficult to call it a trend. However, since adoption rates differ, I though it was important to categorize all 10 in this manner. Here is a list of them—hopefully, you will want to revisit one or two of them.

Things They Didn’t Teach Me in School

Starting in October, I wrote about subjects that I became aware of (and, in some cases an expert in) that I heard nothing about in school. Here is a summary and link to these personal studies where I took a “let me explain” approach. These are the posts that I most enjoyed writing in 2017.


Over the years, you’ve probably spent a lot of time reading and studying computer topics. I have attended many classes and even taught a few and never came across the topics of polyglot persistence and programming. If somebody taught me about polyglot anything, I am sure that I would have remembered it. These are topics, polyglot persistence and programming, discussed by IT practitioners and opinions are on both sides—good idea and not so good—let me explain.

Pseudo-Conversational Programming

I spent three months studying COBOL, wrote eight challenging batch programs and then took my first assignment, which involved writing online transactions that I learned nothing about before taking the assignment. Since I had no training in real-time programming (i.e., online transaction processing applications), I needed some tutoring by the analyst assigned to be my mentor. Although he never called it pseudo-conversational that is a good label for the constraints I was asked to operate within. Please read the post to find out more.

How to Automate an Entire Software System

I studied to be a computer application developer. After five years of being an application developer, I was invited to join the system programming team where I stayed for a long time enjoying the many challenges of the work. One of the most challenging kinds of projects was automating systems by using a thoughtful method to automate the start up, shutdown and recovery of an entire software system. Please read the post to find out more.

How to Create an IT Offering

This is the fourth post in a series about things they never taught me in school. Attending classes, I never learned how to create an IT offering. In fact, I never heard of an IT offering until I was 20 years into my IT career. At that time, elements like professional or support services were available in the industry but not yet mature. Please read the post to find out more.

Install, Verify and Move System Software to Production

This is the fifth post in a series about things they never taught me in school. When I took computer courses at a university and from in-house training programs, I never learned anything about the steps to install and make system software ready for test then production use. For the first 10 years that I installed products, I learned just about everything from the product manuals and IBM Redbooks. I am sure there were courses about aspects of the products that I installed and supported, but there was little education funding and most of the skills that I discovered were perhaps best learned through practice. Please read the post to find out more.

Design and Develop Large-Scale System Software

This is the sixth and final post in a series about things they never taught me in school. Over the years, I have taken many different computer classes in schools, through IT companies and by self-study, but nothing prepared me for the rigor of leading a team in the design and development of a large-scale system software product that was expected to be used by many hundreds of customers. Please read the post to find out more.

Blog Posts

Next week, I’ll post a recap of three more themes from 2017 and include a brief discussion of each.


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