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  1. #1
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    thoughts about Cobol? :P

    Hi, I have just got my Comp. Science honours degree in the UK, and moved to chile (where my family lives) I have found that a lot of jobs here are asking to have experience in COBOL, but i didnt see any of that at university so I was wondering any1 here can suggest some good sites with tutorials, and also if it would be much better to do a course in COBOL at some college, or with a lot of reading and practice, that would be enough?
    Is it very hard to learn cobol? i wanna get working soon and all the good jobs seem to require knowledge in that..
    ok, well any thoughts and help much appreciated!
    thank

    mike

  2. #2
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    Cobol? You gonna study latin as a second language while you are at it?
    No WAY I would waste my time learning cobol. Learn .Net.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    concur
    COBOL is old technology, no doubt there are sites still using COBOL, but they are de facto a dying breed.

    .NET is one of the current / coming environments. Ther are other environments that may be more usefull. It may be that finding COBOLlers is diffictult hence why there are vacancies.

  4. #4
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    The key is to have the tools and skills that will get you the job that you want. If your target job needs COBOL, then you need COBOL too.

    COBOL has been around since the early 1960s. It was actually available before that, but it became a popular programming language in the 1960s. COBOL is a venerable language, but it is still used for new development in some environments (large parts of PeopleSoft and SAP are still written in COBOL, as are many propriatary packages).

    .NET is very popular on microcomputers today. It enjoys a position much like Java held in the 1990s and C and Pascal shared in the 1980s, and COBOL held from the 1960s through the 1970s.

    Learn what the jobs that you want really require. Many of them specify COBOL, but they really want expertise in a particular dialect in a particular environment. Santiago usually means AS-400, whereas Iquique still has many of the 370 architechture machines, and Concepción still has many VAXes. COBOL is COBOL at least for the most part, but the way you do things changes based on the environment you run in... Things are much different under OS-360 than they are under RSTS or OS400, and when you get into Web/GUI environments, COBOL takes many interesting turns!

    I'd more carefully determine exactly what you want in terms of both the job you want to get, and what the interviewer means by "COBOL", then I'd suggest a short course of study at a local college or trade school. If your goal is to get a job in Chile, the benefits of having a letter of recommendation from a local teacher would FAR outweigh the cost in both time and money in my opinon.

    -PatP

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by healdem
    concur
    COBOL is old technology, no doubt there are sites still using COBOL, but they are de facto a dying breed.

    .NET is one of the current / coming environments. Ther are other environments that may be more usefull. It may be that finding COBOLlers is diffictult hence why there are vacancies.
    Ding! I have a friend who codes in Delphi and Cobol. They are not popular languages. He gets paid extravagent fees because he can maintain legacy systems that nobody else can. A lot of his contract work comes from major organizations with huge infrastructures such as government centers. These clients can't simply rip out the heart of their infrastructure and entirely rebuild. They have to make those old AS400's/etc work. At best, they have to figure out a way to get everything out of the AS400's and through some bizarre slight-of-hand massage it into a modern architecture.

    It's not that it's a particularly difficult job, it's just an obscure job. If you decide to learn COBOL, definitely learn it as you would learn latin. That is, learn it as a second language. Understand that it is a more-or-less "dead" language, and the applications for it are few. However, those few applications tend to be quite lucrative...
    Last edited by Teddy; 11-16-05 at 11:02.
    oh yeah... documentation... I have heard of that.

    *** What Do You Want In The MS Access Forum? ***

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the comments people. All I can say is that looking at the job ad´s, many of them ask for COBOL. I guess all that says is CHile is behind in technology, but there is no point me learning something more advanced if its no use to the company (yet!). But i do understand what you guys are on about and I guess I will have to learn cobol as you would latin, and then progress along with the tecnology!

    any good websites to get familiar with cobol? or a good cobol forum?

    Pat..sorry if this is a silly question, but I take it you are not in Chile...how did you know....

    "Santiago usually means AS-400, whereas Iquique still has many of the 370 architechture machines, and Concepción still has many VAXes"

    ?????? LOL I didnt know that!

    THANKS!

    any other thoughts much appreciated, will start with cobol i think and lightly on .net

  7. #7
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    I agree with Teddy, I am sure that there are some practioners making good wedge out of old skills. But I reckin that any comapny wnating thiose skils to do the arcane tasks wants a skilled prqactioner, not someone who, however good, as jsut come out from a training course. I would reckon that Teddy's mate has probably a good few years of design, devlopment and transaltion skills behind him.

    Of course there is a very very cynical play that you could do, try to find which companies are planning to change their systems in the next few years, sign up with them and get them to foot the training for a newer environment.

    As reagrds learning COBOL - its not that difficult, I used to use a varaiation on that theme Datapoint's DataBUS lang. As Cobol predates the industryies obsession with windowing systems its probably doesn't have thnat many verbs and constructs to use.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrindley
    Pat..sorry if this is a silly question, but I take it you are not in Chile...how did you know....

    "Santiago usually means AS-400, whereas Iquique still has many of the 370 architechture machines, and Concepción still has many VAXes"
    The only silly questions are the ones that no one will ask, even though they are just dying to know.

    I have many friends around the world, most of which are heavily involved in technology. One of those friends works six months of the year in Santiago. An old girl-friend lives in Quito, and vacations every Christmas in Iquique.

    I love to talk, and have a good memory. Between my friends, I think I can reach every person on the planet with only a few hops, even though the number of people that actually know me isn't that huge. Combine these things, and I like to think that I know at least a little bit about almost everywhere, especially as far as technology is concerned.

    -PatP

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