|Re: What is the better programming language to learn, COBOL or Java? [message #906119 is a reply to message #860382]
||Fri, 31 August 2012 12:52
| Bill Killen
Registered: August 2012
I will take a different tack from the other poster. you will want to learn Java, as it is very pervasive and the most popular development language "today". However, if you just choose Java, you will be just like everyone else and there are plenty of java developers in the market today already.|
COBOL, on the other hand, is interesting. It is 50 years old, well defined and over 1 million lines of code are written DAILY in COBOL. Also the majority of COBOL has never been deployed on a mainframe (80% or some such number). This is all on Unix-type hardware, and working its way into the cloud as we speak.
Who cares? Well, COBOL has been historically managed and developed by "Baby Boomers", right? When you go to a meeting and talk about COBOL, everyone in the room is grey and prepared for retirement. Who is going to manage all this stuff that they wrote the last several decades? YOU are!
COBOL is in a place of change right now. Companies are making it easier for us younger folks to develop COBOL with IDE frameworks that we already use, such as Eclipse. COBOL is running in Java VM's now; Check out Micro Focus "Visual COBOL" which takes this to Eclipse and Visual Studio. Companies are building composite applications and leveraging existing frameworks and objects to do new things.
Companies are taking it off the mainframe in some places, they are enabling it to be accessed by newer technologies and running COBOL on Android and other small footprint devices.
I am not in the COBOL business, but my employer is.
There will always be work managing "legacy" systems and making them relevant or available to newer technologies. One of my military customers said it best "Legacy means that it works." If you can help companies leverage what they built without full replacement (whenever feasible) , there is significant value and cost savings to be had in doing so.
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