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Frequently Asked Questions


Why do I need one of your Consultants?

Three reasons:

  1. You temporarily need extra resources:
    • Projects - work that your existing staff don't have the time or resources to perform.
    • Speed - you need something done fast.
    • Locum - filling in for Systems Programmers on leave.
  2. You don't have the expertise:
    • You need a Mainframe technical expert to help manage or plan a project.
    • You need someone who understands Mainframes and the Mainframe market.
    • You need something developed or fixed (from an assembler exit to a full CICS COBOL application), but don't have the skills.
    • You have a problem you can't figure out. This could be anything from figuring out a dump to resolving a routine where the source code has been lost.
  3. You just need a Mainframe expert.
    • You need an independent opinion on a project or vendor proposition.
    • You need Mainframe technical expertise that you don't have.
    • You need help with your Mainframe. This could be anything from reviewing software licensing costs to future or capacity planning.
    • You need an independent checkup of your Mainframe setup, operations or disaster recovery.

We can also help auditors and architects. Find out more how a Mainframe technical consultant can help your organisation from our white paper When Should You Hire a Mainframe Systems Consultant

Do I really need introductory Mainframe training?

Mainframes are different to any other computing platform. Most people starting out with Mainframes find it very difficult to come to terms with the new platform. Our Introductory Courses can quickly 'connect the dots', dramatically reducing the time needed for them to become productive. And our courses are very short (four hours each), making it easy to fit into busy schedules

Do I really need Systems Programming mentoring?

There's no single course for Systems Programmers. They learn by attending some technical courses, and on the job training. They need a senior Systems Programmer to be their mentor, to give them technical knowledge, but more importantly to teach them the attitudes and disciplines that make superior Systems Programmers. If your organisation doesn't have such a Systems Programmer, Longpela Expertise can help.

But aren't consultants expensive?

Our hourly rate is around twice what you'd pay an equivalent full time contractor, making us far less expensive than other consulting firms. We can also save your company money:

  • You only pay for the time you use.
  • No infrastructure costs like computers and desks.
  • We're amongst the best Systems Programmers in the world, so we do things faster.
  • Often projects involve a lot of waiting. You don't pay us while we wait.
  • Using our services to speed up a project can remove obstacles to completing projects on time.
  • We're committed to reducing your costs, and will often recommend ways you can save money.
  • Our mainframe training is far cheaper than our competitors, and our Systems Programming mentoring is very cost effective.

How good are your skills and knowledge?

We believe we're the best Systems Programmers available. But we don't expect you to take our word for it. Find out for yourself:

But you're in a different city!

Our head office is in Perth, Australia, but we have Mainframe resources throughout Australia. We can also save your company money by performing most of our work remotely. We're also happy to travel to where you need us.

Can I use you for just one hour?


Can I get your help if I'm not in Australia?

Yes, we love working in other countries. We have experience working in countries from China to Papua New Guinea.

What's a Systems Programmer?

A System z Mainframe Systems Administrator. But Mainframe Systems Programmers often do more, like:

  • Performance Measurement
  • Capacity Planning.
  • Write exits to change how z/OS and other systems software operates.
  • Write applications to help in the operation and support of your mainframe.
  • Perform advanced problem determination, including reading dumps and traces.
  • Advise other groups (like applications programming and operations) on Mainframe technical issues.

Your Systems Programmer knows your Mainframe better than anyone else.

Where did you get the name Longpela?

Our Lead Systems Programmer, David Stephens, worked as a volunteer for two years in Papua New Guinea (PNG). He's 6'8" (203cm) tall, and in the language of PNG, the word for tall is 'longpela.' He heard that a lot.

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