So, you’ve made it to the IT team of a Fortune 500 company.

You enjoy great compensation and benefits.

You feel like you’ve won the lottery and you feel like you’re poised towards an exciting career path.

How hard can it be? Hours spent sitting inside a cold office for 8-12 hours a day, staring at a computer for 90% of the time…what toll and stress can it take on your body?

But the hazards are real.

Programmers, system administrators, and data center workers often work odd, rotating shifts; the nature of their strange shifting schedules wracks natural sleep patterns and open up a host of potential health-related minefields.

Furthermore, all that sitting and staring at monitors do take an invisible toll with far-ranging circumstances.

Just because you are working in a less stressful situation compared to people working in sales doesn’t mean you can get away with not looking after yourself.

Fortunately, we have you covered. This guide serves not just a reminder to those already working in the IT industry for years, but also to young aspirants and career changers who are just about to make their inroads towards the industry, because it isn’t as easy a road as you think it is.

Pack Your Lunches

Working odd shifts, night shifts, takes a lot of food choices away from us; most of the time, only 24-hour fast food joints are available. It is no surprise that many IT people indulge in this cheap, tasty, but unhealthy food choice despite of the hazards of its excessive consumption. Pack your lunches; not only does it save you a lot of money over the long run, you will find yourself with much better eating habits than having to go to McDonald’s every night. Furthermore, always stay hydrated with water, instead of sugary drinks. This will pay you many times over when you’re not dealing with obesity and heart-related diseases.

Take Rest Breaks

How many times have you felt confused and disoriented due to hours spent on the monitor? Staring too long leads to eye strain, headaches, and fatigue. Make sure to look away from your monitor at intervals. Take a walk around the office every now and then to relax, regardless of whether you’re just about to finish that JCL you need to complete.

Exercise, Exercise, and Exercise

Just because you are working in IT doesn’t mean you should stop working out; in fact, you should double your efforts in getting exercise. Likewise, the human body wasn’t designed to be sitting and staring at a monitor, furiously trying to patch bugs; it was designed to hunt animals, to ride horses, and to maximize movement. You already know why exercise is good for you, so why stop now?

Make Your Workspace Ergonomic

Desk Chair ReviewsThe importance of having your workspace set up as comfortable as possible cannot be understated; make sure your office chair has good lumbar support and promotes good posture; the same is true for your mouse and your keyboard. Most offices have ergonomic assessment forms to be filled out once every year; but if your office doesn’t, talk to your administrator and let him read the best reviews on office chairs with lumbar support. The ideal chair set-up is probably the most important aspect of your workspace to be made ergonomic.

Rest Well

Never ignore consistent and nagging pains that may be caused by something more serious, such as structural damage. Too many IT professionals have debilitating back pain caused by improper posture, poor diet, and poor sleep; you should triple your efforts because your livelihood depends on being able to use a computer. More importantly, move heaven and earth to make sure you’re getting proper sleep; rest is the most important factor to make sure your body is firing on all cylinders. Don’t make the mistake of sacrificing your sleep to be able to work on your next test plan; the effects of the lack of sleep have far-ranging and deadly circumstances, and very well documented.

Working in IT is a rewarding, mentally-challenging field; but don’t sacrifice your health just for those benefits. Look after yourself before it’s too late.

Ah, the old, reliable, and ever-present mainframe computer. A mainstay in banking, utility, and insurance conglomerates.

Despite many attempts to unseat it from its kingly position in these industries, the mainframe is still standing even after over 50 years.

But it takes a special breed of programmer or IT professional to work, to thrive, and to be successful in the field of mainframe computing.

Men AviatorThat said, if you’ve been a mainframe lifer, you deserve to get some remodeling on your house done or plan your dream vacation; hope you’ve gotten that Jamaica trip sorted out in your Tommy Bahamas and your best shades – take a look at this selection of sunglasses from all brands to complete the look and finally get that tan that’s eluded you ever since working in IT. You deserve it.

On a more serious level however, let’s take a look at the mainframe computing career choice rationally.

Mainframe Computing as a Career Choice

Mainframe programmers and operators have relatively stable jobs. Just ask your uncle who has worked with a Fortune 500 banking company for the past 30-odd years; he’s probably being paid very well and he’s probably given great benefits. As interest in mainframe as a career choice is slowly dwindling down, and as those who developed its programs are starting to retire, mainframe computing can be considered to be a niche field in IT that will always have a demand in the market, despite there being a limited number of jobs in it.

If you’re already in the field, chances are you’re being paid somewhere around USD92,000 a month in the United States, with great benefits; with plenty of time for vacation and a relatively stable career path, if not as exciting.

Not bad at all, isn’t it? By the time large-scale job cuts have happened, you will hopefully have had long tenure, and great severance (if you must expect the worst).

The Question of Obsolescence

The rise of new technologies have always threatened the existence of mainframe since time immemorial. Though cloud computing and large-scale migration to other technologies such as Hadoop or Java have been the norm for more and more companies, the slide into obsolescence that’s been foreseen for so long by many experts in computing won’t happen overnight, until at least these new technologies can be as effective as mainframe is in processing large amounts of information. Mainframe does extremely well for the limited scope that it can do, but IBM has continued and will continue to do its research and development in the technology, and will look to incorporate newer technologies into the system itself.

Mainframe Will Continue On

There is a reason why mainframe computing has existed and will continue to thrive in the future, despite continuing research and devel