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A mainframe is a massive central computer system that can do large-scale organizational calculations and storage. Mainframe developers work on these mainframes, which can run at high speeds. Unfortunately, fewer developers are mainframe experts. However, they might work in various businesses and locations worldwide with the correct mainframe developer skill set.

They should be well-versed in mainframe languages and applications. A basic understanding of the software development cycle and project management is also helpful. It may also be necessary to have knowledge and skills related to the industry. Most mainframe programmers hold bachelor’s degrees, but some organizations hire employees with associate’s degrees. A computer science degree is not necessary, but it matters in programming.

Mainframe developers create and maintain software programs that run on mainframe systems. To produce high-quality software solutions, they use various tools and programming languages. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the need for technical skills for mainframe developers if you’re interested in working as a mainframe developer.

What are Mainframe Developer Skills?

The primary skills a mainframe developer relies on to succeed in a role are their mainframe developer skills. Many of these abilities are related to the building and maintaining software systems on a mainframe computer, done by mainframe developers using coding and software development. In addition, the ability to collaborate with others and communicate critical mainframe information to non-technical professionals inside a company is a belief held by most mainframe developers.

There are specific skills that many mainframe developers have to accomplish their responsibilities. If you’re interested in becoming a mainframe developer, it’s essential to understand these mainframe developer skills that are necessary for this position.


You can interact with others effectively if you have good communication abilities. A mainframe developer needs to be proficient in both written and verbal communication, including the ability to write documents and emails for staff members. Strengthening your communication abilities is also critical to facilitating effective communication with others.

Analysis Skills

Analytical skills include evaluating facts and information, identifying trends and patterns, and drawing logical conclusions. Programmers apply their analytical skills when writing programs for the mainframe that process massive amounts of data rapidly and reliably. These abilities are also used when they try to fix problems with applications or existing programs.

Data Evaluation

A dataset is examined in data analysis to find important information and trends within it. Knowing how to evaluate data can help you, as a mainframe developer, keep track of the mainframe’s expected and actual performance. This allows you to spot potential problems and offer ideas to improve performance.

Data Integration

The act of merging data from several sources into a more suitable location is known as data integration. For example, an organization’s mainframe may be the location for integrating data from various internal departments or employees. Therefore, a mainframe developer’s ability to integrate data is a significant element.


The scripting language REXX can be used to develop and automate operations. Because it enables them to simplify operations, it is a crucial ability for mainframe developers because it can help reduce the time required to execute some functions. Additionally, since automated processes are more accurate than manual ones, the chance of human error is reduced.


Developers of mainframes utilize the database management system VSAM to store and retrieve data. In addition, they use SQL, a programming language used for building databases. This skill set helps mainframe developers produce programs that others may use. Thus, mainframe developers must be proficient in them.


CICS is a computer language used to create mainframe applications. Developing software that can be used on these powerful computers makes it an essential skill for mainframe developers. For example, mainframe programmers use CICS to create applications that let businesses track their money, manage inventories, and carry out other business operations.


A mainframe is where the database management system DB2 is kept. It is simple to search through and find information in a DB2 database since the data is organized in a tabular fashion. Therefore, understanding DB2 and its use in your mainframe development plans are crucial while working as a mainframe developer.

Digital Security

Computers, servers, mainframes, and other digital devices are secured by digital security. For example, you may build a mainframe system that protects your employer’s information from outside dangers with the support of solid digital security expertise. Doing so can reduce the threat a business will face from its internet security challenges.

Learning Mindset

A person with a learning mindset is keen to further their knowledge and keep up with current developments. Due to the constantly changing nature of digital products, this is a vital skill for mainframe developers. By prioritizing your further education, you can stay current on industry changes and deliver high-quality work for your business.

How to Improve Mainframe Developer Skills?

You can improve your mainframe developer skills by following these steps:

Expand Your Knowledge of Coding

While pursuing your studies and development, learn to code using a variety of programming languages. Although each language is unique, languages can have similar features that can make learning multiple languages simple and give you a more comprehensive range of skills when looking for a job as a mainframe developer. In addition, you can gain a wide range of programming skills that you can apply to the development process by choosing different languages to master, which could help you land more development opportunities.

Learn More

Consider enrolling in a computer science program or a related major at a college or university. Although many tools are available for learning to code independently, businesses may require a mainframe developer to have a bachelor’s degree or above. Thus, getting a degree may increase opportunities as you gain work experience. In addition, growing your network and learning from faculty members who are experienced coders are two additional benefits of formal education.

Use Online Tools

You can conduct independent studies and your regular studies using online tools. You can improve your understanding of mainframe developers by using excellent free resources, like text and video tutorials. You can use internet resources to look for solutions to a particular problem or goal and complement your formal education to finish your projects. You can attend entire classes online or use online resources directly.

Mainframe Developer Social Groups

Joining social groups, like online forums on social media platforms, can be a great way to improve your mainframe developer skills. These groups give you access to other programmers who can help you improve the quality of your code through advice and queries. In addition to valuable networking opportunities, groups can help you meet people who can help you get a job as a mainframe developer.

Create the Code Independently

Do you think about developing your software using the instructions you design? Setting goals outside your existing skill set can encourage you to conduct research and learn new techniques, which is an excellent opportunity to practice working as a mainframe developer and gain new skills.


You can pick up the skills required to become a mainframe developer in several ways. Taking college and university-level courses is one option. In addition, you can learn the mainframe developer skills necessary to become a mainframe developer by taking classes in computer science and programming offered by many institutions and universities.

Getting a job that will train you is another option to acquire the abilities required to become a mainframe developer. Employees who want to learn how to develop mainframe systems might take advantage of the training programs and knowledge articles. This can be an excellent approach to gaining the knowledge necessary to become a mainframe developer and gain practical mainframe system expertise.

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Mainframes | December 21, 2022
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