Day in the life of a Mainframe Developer at a leading bank
L1 Tech+ Analyst, Vivian Knight reflects on how she’s added value on her client assignment in Financial Services as a Mainframe Developer.
Joining Grayce on the Tech+ Development Programme, I completed my orientation and soon moved onto client site at a leading retail and commercial bank. I’m a Mainframe Developer, working as part of the Live Production Support Team within the Mainframe Centre of Excellence department.
Challenges faced with mainframe in banking
My client’s priority is to ensure all transactions are carried out timely and accurately with little disruption from production issues. Currently, there is a lack of mainframe programmers which is a critical IT issue. The mainframe requires constant support as it stores essential customer data and is the backbone for running and developing the software utilised by the bank and the batch processing of overnight transactions.
Through my role, I provide a new and fresh insight into mainframe technology and software development. Thanks to my training in Mainframe applications, I’m helping to mitigate a possible operational risk for the client as more skilled mainframe programmers continue to retire and move out of the role.
Along with this, I have also worked to fix issues arising in the deployment of new software or problems within current systems, ensuring the bank continues processing with as little disruption as possible.
Building mainframe developer skills
During my training with the mainframe team, alongside other Grayce Analysts, I was assigned a development project. Each Grayce Analyst has to complete this project individually. After being given a documented specification, I created a design plan for the programme using job flow diagrams to show the logic of the software and pseudocode.
Building on this, I began writing the programme in COBOL on the mainframe’s virtual emulator. It was exciting writing a banking application programme. As I got to debugging, I became more familiar with COBOL as I understood what would create errors. I was the second in my team to get a clean compile on my programme. I’d then completed testing and was given approval by a senior software developer. Overcoming the learning curve and becoming comfortable working on development projects in COBOL was a big achievement for me and was incredibly rewarding!
Ongoing training and peer support
The Analyst community at Grayce is so supportive! I can chat and collaborate with other Analysts who are on the Tech+ Development Programme for technical and moral support.
Grayce’s priority is to hire emerging talent from varied backgrounds and support career development whilst Analysts are on client assignment. Graduates offer organisations a fresh perspective to problems, offering new solutions and bringing new skills on board.