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Thread: Cobol?

  1. #1
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    Cobol?

    Where can i get some good information on cobol programming? or can someone tell me about it? thanks in advanced.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Cobol?

    But if you want to do something even smarter, steer clear altogether!

    If it is for your current job, or your next job, or a course, then thats cool - keep reading. If you are trying to learn cobol cause you heard that cobol programmers earn alot of money, beware! it's a competetive market, because there are alot of unemployed cobol programmers arond (at least, thats the case in melbourne). so while they command the dollars when they are employed, it can be hard to get a job. Next, 95% of cobol jobs also require you to have other mainframe skills such as CICS or JCL. I don't see many jobs around (and again, places other than melbourne may be different) for the other flavours of cobol like Microfocus or AcuCobol. Finally, many cobol jobs that I see are contract, and alot of them are to assist in migrations away from cobol. keep all this in mind, as I don't think it is a skill that will carry a career for the next 20 years. of course, I'd like to be wrong on this, because I still have Cobol written on my resume!

    My last job of 4 years was about 60% cobol (although it advertised as C++ and Jade. hey, it was my first job, I needed the money, so when the truth came out, I groaned but took it. It wasn't long before I convinced them to aleast let me to some VB as well!). It's a simple, simple language, not much to remember (i.e there is about 20 commands in the mainframe flavours), etc (I learnt it in less than a week), but 90% of the implementations out there are so terrible. I heard of one place from a contractor I worked with where just to add a line of text to a screen could take upwards of 2 days! and screen declarations in cobol are pretty simple. But it is common practise to wrap obscure standards around things for unknown reasons (well, I suspect it is to keep people in jobs).

    the best example is the use of gibberish variable names, like "WS-GL0001" and "WS-GL0002". To find what they are, you need to look in the data dictionary, etc. it makes working in it next to impossible. Thankfully, where I worked it was all very simple and practicle. The field was the general ledger account number, we called it GL-ACCT-NO.

    Anyway, you need to ask some specific questions, there are ppl (such as me) who can help, so just post.

  4. #4
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    Re: Cobol?

    You mean there are still jobs for Cobol programmers? Wow!

    I started in hardware design; moved to a s/w company, and got a position as a entry level programmer. Taught myself C++, and never looked back.

    I did take a couple classes in Java, but that was fairly easy to pick up, after learning C++.

    Viggy

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    Re: Cobol?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrViggy
    You mean there are still jobs for Cobol programmers? Wow!
    Yep - there's still jobs, although barely! Just in Oz I'm constantly hearing about layoffs at the big cobol shops, and not little ones either. off the top of my head I can think of 200 from a major telco and over 300 from a major bank who have been layed off in the last year. and as there aren't many new systems being developed in Cobol (if any), there's not many places for those people to go! (although I think those jobs went to india, so maybe there is still a good cobol job market there!)

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    Re: Cobol?

    The culprit was outsourcing Zeb. All banks and insurance companies have cobol running somewhere in the mainframes.
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    Re: Cobol?

    I know - read my post.

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    Re: Cobol?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeb
    I know - read my post.
    What, you mean read ALL of your post? I usually just skim the post and make something up in my mind as to what you said with some of the words I recognise.
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    Re: Cobol?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deniz
    What, you mean read ALL of your post? I usually just skim the post and make something up in my mind as to what you said with some of the words I recognise.
    a trait i think we are all guilty of. see, where you said "the culprit was outsourcing zeb", i read "the culprit was zeb". Now, I get up to alot of things that I don't remember the next day, but I never remembered being CIO of NAB, and surely that's something that would stick with me.

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    Re: Cobol?

    Yes. I like macaroni cheese too. But not when the cheese gets stuck in the pasta and burns your tongue. The trick is to keep stirring the pasta all the way till its cooked.

    //Deniz the a la carte chef
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