I'm 26 and I have NO experience in the field but i'd love to get some and learn, all the "cultural issues aside" just add up to a reason TO get involved. Why? because these kids are misinformed cocky baffoons who think they're smart but MOST of the mainframe code HASN'T been tested, the jump to servers HAS NOT happened. While you WILL be in a cloudy, musky backroom you'll be in a situation where your job is of such vital necessity you'll be able to blackmail whatever executive figured out you knew what you were doing every single time there is a crisis into paying you a bonus or you'll spontaneously quit-especially if like me you have a recongized disabiltiy and easy access to social security to fall back on. The corporations that use them while few ARE NOT Adapting, they are dinosaurs and will continue to be so for a very long time. It won't be addressed until the horrors of Y2k are actually realized. A crisis is the only thing that will trigger the "Server revolution" you arrogant fools want.
my father is a systems implementor on mainframes and I'm blown away at the level of cocky arrogance. Yes. I too grew up on windows and have tinkered around with visual studio and am blown away by The new programming langauges and their fancy smanciness
but if you think "oh. it will just be rewritten in C# or whatever bumfuck new language I want" you're an arrogant fool who like icarus is flying too close to the sun. There's over 200 billion lines of code of this shit and almost none of it is tested
it's 2013 and the banks are ALREADY experiencing glitches
and trust me, it doesn't get any more dinosaur like than the banks and insurance companies who are the ones still using them
There's one big bank in our country that has a total of 50 different mortgage systems as a result of history and mergers and acquisitions.
"That's insanity. It should have maybe one for retail and one for wholesale. But 50 is ludicrous... it hugely raises the danger.
If you get into this, admittedly bonesuckingly boring culture you're going to be making your arrogant cocky friends look like a bunch of fools and being paid SHITLOADS of money to be the ONLY person that can save the corporation from their own hubris.
Wake the hell up. None of your arguments are any sounder then "well the new languages are trendy" doesn't matter. The companies aren't adapting ot the trends.
Think twice. the laws of basic economics are breaking down because the banks are too damn big. institutions that god damn monolithic change glacially.
It's true that less and less people will be on them-but they're going to have to pay people for those transitions.
WAKE UP. the big banks are NOT efficient. That's a myth.
the 10% of investors who routinely beat the market are those who are CONTRARIAN to everyone else. You are the 90%.
the consensus in economics is often wrong.
while the current generation of programmers doing it keep asking "Why you'd want to do it" if you were NEW here's why: THE PEOPLE WHO ALREADY HAVE YOUR JOB ARE DYING OFF AND RETIRING.
When they're GONE, it's going to be a VACUUM where the few babyboomers left and the young kids who DId learn are basically competing over what's left if they're smart
COBOL is the one that making sure your money is safe at the bank. I know it's an ugly language, but no other language does better job. And that's a fact, Mam.
More than 50 years after Cobol came on the scene, the language is alive and well in the world's largest corporations, where it excels at executing large-scale batch and transaction processing operations on mainframes. The language is known for its scalability, performance and mathematical accuracy. But as the boomer generation prepares to check out of the workforce, IT executives are taking a fresh look at their options.
In a recent Computerworld survey of 357 IT professionals, 46% of the respondents said they are already noticing a Cobol programmer shortage, while 50% said the average age of their Cobol staff is 45 or older and 22% said the age is 55 or older.
Closing the talent gap
Where do you find Cobol programmers these days? College graduates with Cobol training are in short supply. In Michigan, for example, state schools that offer Cobol programming education have cancelled classes because of a lack of interest. "They can't get anyone to enroll," says Jonathan Miller, director of information systems and services for the government of Michigan's Saginaw County. But some colleges are still providing Cobol training -- with help from IBM. The mainframe vendor has developed curricula in association with more than 80 colleges and universities ranging from Brigham Young to Texas A&M.
"We donate hardware and software, help with the curriculum, and they graduate hundreds of people every year," says Kevin Stoodley, an IBM fellow and CTO.
Guardian Life Insurance has recruited Cobol programmers from Workforce Opportunity Services, a nonprofit that collaborates with business clients and local colleges to train economically disadvantaged students to work in less popular technology disciplines such as Cobol programming. "They take kids from disadvantaged neighborhoods and provide them as consultants," says former Guardian CIO Frank Wander, who now has his own consultancy, IT Excellence Institute.
"It's sort of a work-study program. We have over 200 consultants today in five states, and we're expanding," says Workforce founder Art Langer.
BNY Mellon and many other organizations also increasingly rely on outsourcers to pick up maintenance and support duties. But for many users, an offshore locale is not the place to keep the institutional knowledge of the business rules behind the code. David Brown, managing director of BNY Mellon's IT transformation group, says the bank wants those skills in-house. Fortunately, it's not all that difficult to cross-train programmers in Cobol. "Right now, it's pretty easy to hire programmers. And if they understand Java, I can bring them back to procedural languages like Cobol," Brown says. The trick is to develop a curriculum that teaches not just Cobol, but the business rules behind the code that runs the company, he says, adding, "We need to make sure we can roll that forward."