Call for COBOL developers, most of whom have retired
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.