Many clients and users at TUG meetings have expressed concerns to me about losing experienced members on their Nonstop team. These team members work in different groups, such as development, support or operations for the NonStop platform. Their contributions are crucial in the ecosystem of their company’s mission critical applications. There is great concern in losing that pool of expertise.
The most common reason for this “brain drain:” retirement. These experienced staff members are gradually “graying” after decades of supporting and working with NonStop, and will leave a big knowledge/expertise gap when they retire. Without the replenishment of this NonStop expertise, companies will risk the failure of not delivering the necessary performance and reliability, which have always been the cornerstones of the NonStop platform.
That being said, this issue is not limited to the NonStop end user community. NonStop software vendor partners also have a need to fill the NonStop knowledge gap required to support and develop solutions for the NonStop market. Many, if not most, of these software partners share the same concerns as end users.
Yet, we neither seem to see enough attention drawn to this increasingly important subject, nor are there a lot of discussions on what solutions can be put in place. So, what can be done to improve this situation?
I propose that a great step forward would be to share information and start discussions openly in a regular Connect forum. Connect is the most popular communication tool in the NonStop world, and successfully engages everyone in the NonStop community – end users, partners, executive management, HPE. Such a Connect forum will bring synergy from the whole NonStop community to collaborate on potential answers to questions like:
- What are NonStop end users doing about this issue?
- What kind of effective education is needed to train more new NonStop team members?
- What kind of technical training do NonStop users need most?
- What do new NonStop users, with mostly Windows and Linux backgrounds, find most difficult in the onboarding process?
- Are there educational institutions teaching COBOL?
- What are some of the customer success stories?
- What are software partners doing to help new IT staff be more productive more quickly on NonStop?
- Are there any OSS/Open Source success stories out there that can help get younger developers up to speed faster on NonStop?
- Other questions… What are YOUR thoughts on this issue?
I hope that you will join me in contributing articles and sharing information in this Connect forum, and in doing so, help us tackle this important topic. Our collective work will help ensure NonStop remains a successful and relevant platform for the enterprise world. Now is the time for all of us to work together to move this forward!