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Any COBOL programmers out there?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by alexssandro, Mar 25, 2003.

  1. I was wondering how common COBOL is out in the real world. I interviewed for a company that codes in COBOL, but it's a suped up version of it that allows you to do Windows programming. The company does all the training because many of the new employees have never coded in COBOL before.

    Anyways, is it really in wide use out there, or is it a dying language? Is it a wise thing to get your career started in? I can't really assess how the interviews went at this point. It definitely sounds intersting, but I don't know if I should be sold on the idea or not. Thanks.
  2. There are two ways of looking at it: yes, it's a dying language now because people coming into programming at college or university are going into C++ and Java because they're a bit more general purpose, BUT (big but) this means that good COBOL programmers are often in demand (for companies such as the one you mentioned and existing code which needs to be maintained) as they're a dying breed so it could certainly be something useful to have on a CV.
  3. My dad's a Cobol programmer and I think there still are quite a lot of banking systems and such that are written in Cobol. It seems that it's too expensive and/or complicated to change them...

    EDIT: I don't think it's something to start a career on. Leave Cobol to the experienced dinosaurs instead. ;)
  4. My major (Information Sciences and Technology) is broken into three areas. I am in the integration area, and we spend a *lot* of time and case study research looking at legacy systems such as the ones you mention. Almost all enterprises have legacy mainframes that are going to be around for a long time, simply because they have so much information and business logic locked up in them that it'd be way too expensive to switch over. Plus, the systems are proven to do what they want, so they're going to remain.

    Talking to researchers at school/Enterprise application integration architects, I've gathered that for a lot of companies, integrating current systems is currently more important than application development. I went to a lecture given by the VP of Africa/Europe for FedEx and he said that something like 70% of their IT resources are spent on integration, with the rest going towards app development.

    In other words...I don't think learning the language is critical, but understanding how it fits in the IT world today is.

  5. SAP and Oracle would love you :)
  6. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    Charleroi, Belgium
    I used to, in fact COBOL ( and RPG) is still tought at high school here, but just one year, the C and C++ is tought 3 years .

  7. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Many of our data mover scripts are written in (Microfocus) COBOL. So it is still in use, although not to the same extent that it was 5 years ago.

    Still a good skill to have, especially if you work in a large Corp. that still uses mainframes.
  8. I work for one of the larger electric utilities on the east coast in IT and I don't think that COBOL is a dead language at all. I cannot speak for Microfocus COBOL applications (my background is mostly mainframe stuff along with some Oracle development) but as long as large corporations run mainframes there will be a need for COBOL programmers. I have seen a trend towards getting databases away from the mainframe and DB2 so that's why I got a Oracle developer certification last year. It doesn't hurt to cover your bases.
  9. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    Take this however you wish, but I am a CS minor and I had never heard of COBOL before this thread.

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