[OT] Banks, Governments looking for COBOL programmers
mkoob at rogers.com
Thu Apr 9 11:51:21 EDT 2020
Just an OT comment with a tangential link to LiveCode.
At the end of the community zoom session there was a comment about old programming languages and I had made a comment that Canadian banks are still looking for FORTRAN programmers. I was wrong it is COBOL programmers. I found an article from last year around the time when I must have read about this.
That search was sparked by an article I just saw today saying that the shortage of COBOL programmers it is an issue for US government agencies in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I don’t know COBOL but it was interesting as to the reason many programmers did not like it.
From the Star article "Detractors say Cobol isn’t versatile and results in reams of code, because it is partly written in actual English words.”
And it is not just in North America that having a lot of legacy code in COBOL is an issue. I found this article on the website.
The article quotes a retired COBOL programmer who takes issue with the negative view of COBOL above.
"People who are conversant in terse languages, like C, do not like COBOL because it's very wordy. You say things out in plain English sentences and before you even get down to doing anything you have to describe all of your data in a very elaborate structure," says retired COBOL programmer, Jay Moseley.
That can have its advantages. "I like COBOL in that it's self-documenting. You can pick up something that somebody wrote 40 years ago and figure out pretty much what they were doing and why they were doing it," says Moseley.
I found interesting that some of the strengths of LiveCode, being in written with English words in more or less English sentences, and the ability to be self documenting, were something that existed in one of the first programming languages.
Any way sorry for the distraction, now back to work.
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