Save $20 on Beginning COBOL for Programmers — today only!
Don’t forget that today, Thursday, April 16, 2020, is the last day that you can get Apress’ Beginning COBOL for Programmers at a discount! Use the coupon code SPRING20A when checking out to get $20 off orders $40 and above. That knocks down the price to $29.99 — but only for today.
Current COBOL news articles
Every time ancient banking and government software that’s still in use on “big iron” runs headlong into a problem it was never meant to handle, from Y2K to the COVID-19 stimulus check program, COBOL returns to the spotlight. Here are some recent news articles featuring the language. Most of these have been published in the last seven days:
- Ars Technica: IBM scrambles to find or train more COBOL programmers to help states
- The Cloudflare Blog: Cloudflare Workers Now Support COBOL
- The Dallas Morning News: If you’re an expert in COBOL, you’re suddenly in high demand
- Electronic Design: COBOL is 60 Years Old… But C is 48
- ExtremeTech: IBM Launches New COBOL Training Initiative, as Elderly Programmers Answer the Call for Help
- FCW: Legacy systems crumble under high demand
- Government Technology: IBM Offers COBOL Help for Government to Deal with Crisis
- Granite Geek: Calling all COBOL cowhands!
- Hackaday: HACKADAY LINKS: APRIL 12, 2020
- The Hill: NJ seeking help from COBOL programmers in coronavirus fight
- How-To Geek: What Is COBOL, and Why Do So Many Institutions Rely on It?
- InformationWeek: COBOL, COVID-19, and Coping with Legacy Tech Debt
- The Mary Sue: COBOL’s Last Gleaming: Our State and Federal Governments Are Run on an Ancient Programming Language and They’re About to Fail
- New York Magazine: NJ Governor Requests Expertise of 6 People Who Still Know COBOL
- OneZero: IBM Rallies COBOL Engineers to Save Overloaded Unemployment Systems
- The Register: COBOL-coding volunteers sought as slammed mainframes slow New Jersey’s coronavirus response
- Salon: An ancient programming language is suddenly in demand thanks to the pandemic
- Security Boulevard: COBOL, Emergent
- TechRadar: An old programming language is threatening global stability
- TechSpot: With US states desperate for COBOL programmers, IBM is offering free training
- U.S. Black Engineer Information Technology: Powerful Voices for COBOL among Youth Without Access: Connecting America with Skills
- The Verge: Unemployment checks are being help up by a coding language almost nobody knows
- ZDNet: IBM, Open Mainframe Project launch initiative to help train COBOL coders
Cloudflare now supports COBOL?!
There’s a fine line between genius and madness, and Cloudflare are riding that line by making it so that you can code Cloudflare workers in COBOL! They have a number of simple examples posted, including a Rock, Paper, Scissors web applet written in COBOL (pictured in the screenshot above).
It looks as though they’re using GnuCobol to compile COBOL code into C, and then compiling that C into WebAssembly. I like to refer to this sort of cobbling as “the Flintstones-Jetsons approach”.
Once again, how to start programming in COBOL on macOS
If you’re on a Mac and want to dive into COBOL coding, don’t forget that I have a quick and dirty to installing a COBOL compiler and IDE on macOS. If you’ve already got Homebrew and Python 3 installed, you can probably go through the process in about a minute.
Are you looking for someone with both strong development and “soft” skills? Someone who’s comfortable either being in a team of developers or leading one? Someone who can handle code, coders, and customers? Someone who can clearly communicate with both humans and technology? Someone who can pick up COBOL well enough to write useful articles about it on short notice? The first step in finding this person is to check out my LinkedIn profile.