Let’s get the conversation going.
No need to go into the statistics. I am sure everybody is tired of hearing this!
__ % of business and transactions systems around the world run on……
__ % of global financial transactions are processed in ……
__ billion transactions per day are supported by …..
Billions of lines of ____ code is in use today.
You can fill in those lines.
Are COBOL programmers really in demand today. You would think so…right? How do you replace the long-time COBOL coders?
Why do we not see that need? Of course, you can read articles about that specific need as you surf the net but really can you open up today’s newspaper and find one or more businesses looking to fill a COBOL programming position? Probably not.
Is it that businesses are afraid to advertise the fact that their main systems are built around COBOL? Hmm, that’s an interesting thought.
Maybe organizations are trying to lure their former COBOL developers out of retirement and when they are unable to, they are looking to get their COBOL developers to do some internal training. Why not teach your Java, VB or C# developer to actually become a productive COBOL programmer. It really only takes 40 hours of training to begin programming in COBOL. The actuality in IT today is to know many programming languages.
It is very common today to have a software developer that is maintaining COBOL code to also know SQL, VB.NET, Oracle, DB2, Unix scripting, C++, and/or Java.
COBOL can be called from other languages to help leverage the business rules necessary to maintain a fully functioning business system. This is called wrapping. COBOL programs can be wrapped within, integrated into, called from, or call most other commonly-used modern technologies, including C, C++, C#, .NET, Java, PHP, AJAX, and Oracle, to name a few.
As a COBOL programmer for 30 years and one with many of tools and skills listed above in my tool belt, I think it is time for the COBOL community to stand up on the “WAGON” and promote our skills to the business world. It is time to show the “World” how we can provide the necessary skills to train and to continue developing in a IT market that is constantly evolving with new technologies and programming languages.
Not only are existing COBOL developers knowledgeable in a variety of programming technologies, but we also bring to the table many years of business intelligence. Yes that’s right, Business Intelligence. Think about it, many of the COBOL applications developed were the first applications developed in an organization. We had to understand the needs of the business, what was driving the business, the type of data needed to drive the business, the type of reports necessary to give management the information they need for decisions to be made. This was the true foundation of the business. Today’s applications and so called “Modern” technologies would not exist if it weren’t for that foundation that was built years ago.
Enough said, lets open up the conversations, let’s get the COBOL WAGON moving down the road!
For those who have never seen a COBOL program and are interested, here is an example of the classic “Hello World” program in COBOL in which I have modified it slightly to HELLO WORLD wake up!.
DISPLAY “world wake up, COBOL is here to stay!”.