Category Archives: General

Facebook and the Systems Programmer

Facebook is easily the king of the social networking world. It seems like everyone is on Facebook. While I mainly use Facebook for personal communications, many use it for professional purposes – to promote their business or services, or to socialize with others in their profession. And yes, there are resources on Facebook for the CICS systems programmer.

The first place to look on Facebook are the CICS- or systems programming-related groups. The I ♥ CICS group, where members are encouraged to post tips, experiences, and resources, boasts 448 members, and is easily the largest CICS group on Facebook. At least, the largest group interested in the IBM software called CICS; you will find that there are many other types of CICS groups that have nothing to do with transactional processing if you do a search! A newly formed group, CICS TS Q&A, looks to be promising as new members jump on board. Its whole purpose is for CICS folks to have a place to ask questions and get answers. A couple of others not specific to CICS you may want to check out include IBM Mainframe Professionals and Mainframe Sysprogs.

Why check out these groups? Because that’s where you’ll find others in our field! “Friend” all those you know (request that they become your Facebook friend), and read the posts for new info and to learn about others that you do not know yet. Scan their profiles to see if they blog, as most bloggers have a link in their Facebook profile. By “friending” them, you will also learn some interesting tidbits about some of the leaders on our field; for example, Leigh Compton is an avid reader!

As I mentioned, I primarily use Facebook for personal use, and I’m sure you will find many people you know in other fields that you may want to keep up with using Facebook. It’s a great tool for that. Just don’t overlook the ability to also use it to keep up with your CICS colleagues!

I’ll post more info about Facebook as new angles appear, or as I learn new things about it that I did not know before. By all means, if you have some additional insight, please share! Facebook … Get on it, and use it while it’s worth using, before it becomes overcommercialized!

Next time … Twitter!

Follow theCICSguy on twitter here

Social Networking and the Systems Programmer

I saw recently that Facebook is now the most popular web site in the US, getting more hits than Google. Social networking is exploding! Professionals (and those planning to become professionals) need to watch what they post on these social networking sites, but they can be useful and fun when used properly.

How are you using social networking sites? If you are not using any, you are missing out on some potential fun in keeping up with friends and colleagues, and you are also missing out on a lot of information being put out by leaders in our field. In my next series of blog postings, I plan to lay out how I use some of them and what tools I use. Some I use strictly for personal use, but many I use professionally. If you use any additional social networking sites, or know  of additional tools to make the most use of them or get the most enjoyment out of them, please leave a comment and share.

The social networking sites I will cover include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • WordPress
  • YouTube

OK, it may be a stretch to consider WordPress and YouTube as social networking sites, but there is the opportunity to interact and there is CICS information to be learned from others posting on them, so I am including them.

So, next time around we’ll take a look at Facebook.

Follow theCICSguy on twitter here

The Right Kind of Offshoring Activity

Sallie Mae, the leading provider of student loan programs, announced last week that it is returning its overseas operations to the US, creating 2,000 new jobs. The jobs to be created over the next 18 months include call center, IT, and operations support positions in various communities across the country. Just the kind of news we need in this economy. If only more companies would admit it when offshoring does not result in the results desired and bring more IT jobs back to the US.