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  • #2143037

    Call for COBOL developers, most of whom have retired

    by rpgprogrammers ·


    Consider how the Social Security Department has systems that include 60 million lines of COBOL code. That department, the IRS, and states’ unemployment offices can’t keep up with the tasks of recording and sending relief to millions of US citizens. For the most part, COBOL is still secure and reliable, but it needs to be scaled, if not migrated. Many states and companies have started COBOL migration but much of the work halted with the shelter in place orders, that is until state and federal departments realized they are handicapped by 40 or 50-year-old systems. Then they put out an “All Hands on Deck” call for COBOL developers, most of whom have retired.

    COBOL was treated as on its way to obsolescence. It was a language to maintain, its developers no longer earned top salaries, and colleges pushed COBOL courses to second tiers. The population of COBOL experts aged; the average age is 60+. “Younger” COBOL developers are often in their 40’s and 50’s. Hiring COBOL programmers out of college was like finding the needle in the haystack.

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    • #2418598

      So the problem is that Governments have kept working systems working?

      by oh smeg ·

      In reply to Call for COBOL developers, most of whom have retired

      I have news for you it’s not only Governments it’s everyone since the desktop was invented and mostly standardised on a DOS OS very little of the base code has changed. Hell if you look at things there is even the basics of the Old Mainframe code which was different for not only every brand of Computer but every model. They would make the old code work on the new Model and so on down the line.

      A lot like what was shown in Logan’s Run where they had millions of “EXPERTS” in subroutines of the system but by that stage no one now understood how the entire system worked and what was a perfectly acceptable “IMPROVEMENT” in a remote minor area caused the main code to fail and no longer work as it was intended.

      We knew that story many years ago told the Powers That be what would happen and were ignored as Fools and wanting to feather our own nests not to mention retain our Massive unsupportable salaries.

      So today even if you found enough Programers who were Expert in that code they wouldn’t understand what was being done at the core if they were stuck on the edges of the code and make things even worse than they currently are.

      All I can say is THANK THE ACCOUNTANTS for saving so much money and not even they are around now to pay for the mess that they made they have to long ago retired.

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