Open source community grows opportunity
Practice independence in your community

Pros build a life beyond the 3000

3000 veterans have been facing a job shortfall for some time now, but some are finding enough work to stay busy, even in a down economy. We heard yesterday that Applied Technologies' Brian Edminster is "staying busier than you'd believe, given the current economy," working engagements with companies that need his HP 3000 and open source skills.

That's a combination often cited as a safe path into a future where HP won't even support the 3000. While it seems easy to say "get better trained on Microsoft solutions," Michael Anderson of J3K Solutions says MS is only part of a smart future.

"I honestly would not count on Microsoft owning the majority of the market twenty years from now," says Anderson, who left an HP 3000 job to start his own enterprise. "Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Learn how virtualization improves the efficiency and availability of IT resources and applications. Run multiple operating systems and learn new concepts, look into cloud computing and open source."

Anderson advised not to put all of your effort into learning any Microsoft technology, but to look into platform-independent technologies. He offered a few links to explore:

Basics of the Unix Philosophy
A Unix Programming Portal 
Cloud computing

In that cloud computing summary, 3000 pros might see a reflection of the system's past, where time-sharing provided computing resources to multiple companies over a network. The similarity underscores the value of IT basics the 3000 pro can call upon. Veterans of this community are making a living blending their still-valued 3000 skills and new tools. One supplier of consulting and resales, who wants to comment anonymously, wrote to share his success working with 3000s and other tools.

This 3000 expert had a one-year contract to move a company off the HP 3000 to Eloquence and AcuCOBOL, but he's retained the client while working to maintain its network, UPS, and telephone switch as well as removing PC viruses.

I finished that migration project on time and under budget four years ago, but the company still won't let me go. I moved seven years ago and put 5 percent down on my house. I started my business six-plus years ago, and I paid off my house over a year ago. I would say 50 percent of my customers are still on the HP 3000 with no plans of moving off. The other income is from SANs and HP-UX.

The HP 3000 has been very, very good to me.