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1997-12-03 21:40:19


A Shortage of U.S. Programmers: 400,000? 500,000?



There are an estimated 600,000 mainframe programmers needed to fix U.S. systems. Some 200,000 are in the work force. There are 300,000 retired mainframe programmers.

But . . . 90% of programming is maintenance. All 200,000 can't be put on y2k projects.

But . . . all 300,000 retirees are not available.

But . . . some estimates are as high as 750,000 needed.

How ya gonna fix it?

In the U.S.

Then there's the rest of the world, where 80% of the code is.

For asking such questions in public, I'm dismissed as an extremist.

The story appeared in the CHICAGO TRIBUNE (Dec. 1).

* * * * * * *

With estimates that it will take 600,000 qualified programmers, systems analysts and testers to solve the year 2000 problem, but that there are only about 200,000 in the work force, the potential shortfall is cited as a reason that millennium-bug costs will rise and all systems might not get fixed in time.

Payson says there are roughly 300,000 such professionals who either are retired, semiretired, part-time workers or those willing to moonlight, if the price and conditions are right.


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