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We’ve come a long way since an IT contributor predicted COBOL will outlive us. He also said college students who learn COBOL make more money. Over the next few years, we learned how programmers were going to be in demand.  Now, we know the ‘COBOL programming skillset resides in baby boomers that have been programming in COBOL.’

Over a 30-year career, Stephanie C. Hill. the 2014 Black Engineer of the Year, has worked on some big technology challenges. For instance, in 2008, she wrote code for a launcher that shot down a rogue satellite hurtling down to Earth.  More recently, she was involved in technologies like the F-35 helmet, which gives pilots 360-degree vision.

“When I started college, I majored in economics to get my accounting degree and took classes in COBOL programming,” she told Black Engineer magazine in 2014. “If I hadn’t taken that course in COBOL and hadn’t been blessed to get a job as a software engineer at Lockheed Martin, I would never have had the privilege of shepherding the creation of technologies that save lives, and are used on land, sea, air, and space,” she said recently.

In the midst of COVID-19, IBM announced initiatives to address the continuous need for COBOL skills.

Meredith Stowell, vice president, IBM Z Ecosystem, wrote that IBM is working with clients and an institute of higher education to develop an in-depth COBOL Programming with VSCode course that will be available next week on the public domain at no charge to anyone.

According to IBM, COBOL has been widely reported to have an estimated 220 billion lines of code still being actively used today.

Interested in COBOL? Check out IBM’s:

Calling all COBOL Programmers Forum – a new talent portal where employers can connect with available and experienced COBOL programmers. This new initiative is open to skilled veterans and students who have successfully completed COBOL courses, or professionals wanting to volunteer.

COBOL Technical Forum – a temporary resource that will allow all levels of programmers to manage issues, learn new techniques and expedite solutions needed as programmers alter this critical code.

Open Source COBOL Training – a new open-source course designed to teach COBOL to beginners and refresh experienced professionals.

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