A large share of the bank’s core functions, such accounts, payments, insurance and securities handling, are built upon a COBOL-based mainframe computer system, which is a secure and effective technical solution. COBOL is a computer programming language that is run on IBM mainframe computers.
At present, demand for programming competence in the banking and insurance sectors is high, and competition among employers is fierce, which means that the job market easily becomes overheated.
SEB currently employs around 320 mainframe developers in 25 teams throughout the organisation. But a large share of today’s system developers are nearing retirement, and there are few external training courses.
“To meet the competency need, we need a plan for continuous training and to broaden our competence in this area,” says Peter Dybeck, Solution Coordinator in the Accounts and Core Ledgers department, Cash Management in Technology.
Toward this end, for several years SEB has conducted various types of internal and external training initiatives in COBOL, Assembler and IBM mainframes to both attract new system developers and meet its long-term needs.
“We need to take responsibility for training more mainframe developers in the industry,” Peter says. “This involves complex systems that often take a long time to learn”.
“On top of training, we offer attractive jobs and career development opportunities to get system developers to stay with us. Our developers get to work with talented colleagues on interesting and meaningful projects”.
The application period is now opening for the SEB COBOL Academy and SEB Assembler Academy courses, which will start in January and continue through the spring.
The goal of the courses is to give the participants skills in COBOL or Assembler, various forms of database management, some of SEB’s systems, and our programming environments and tools. A typical day in the course consists of instructor-led instruction, self-learning and own work with exercises.
Those who successfully complete the course are then offered six-month probationary employment as a junior developer with the goal to secure a full-time position as a system developer. During the training period they gain a good understanding of both the mainframe and technical platforms as well as of SEB’s technical environment.
“With these trainings we hope to attract new employees with an interest in technology and who have long-term goals and an ambition to become a top-notch system developer,” says Peter. “If I was 20 years younger, I would eagerly apply myself – it’s such a great opportunity!”
You can read more about the programmes here: