Tag: Code

Cobol Programmers Needed

“We have systems that are 40-plus years old,” the governor said at a press conference. “There’ll be lots of postmortems, and one of them will be how the heck did we get here?, when we literally needed COBOL programmers.” As an unintentional testament to the language’s highly niche status, Murphy pronounced it as “cobalt” (it’s unclear if this was an error or a speech quirk).

Feldman, Brian. 2020. “NJ Governor Requests Expertise Of 6 People Who Still Know COBOL”. nymag

New Jersey Needs COBOL Programmers, Says Governor Murphy from programming

Like people said in other thread about this. It’s not cobol the problem really. It’s the huge undocumented decades old legacy systems that goes with it that takes make it a challenge.

I prefer to roll my own undocumented, barely functional systems in modern programming languages.

So it’s really no different from any ERP system, then? Tons of undocumented / mis-documented sub flows and reports, no one really understands “why” things work, and you are expected to simply update this without breaking anything else. Somehow.

That is exactly what the problem is. Not that cobol as a language helps matters much. There are some ugly things you can do in cobol, and back in the bad old days, they did them all. Ever hear of a goto statement that you can dynamically change the label where it goes to? Cobol has that, for example. Still, any language lets you build these monstrosities.

if you think about it, is this much worse than a function pointer?

Yes, because there’s no type, and there’s no return.

You could call it: the point of no return. I’ll see myself out.

This is the world I live in and it is slowly killing me. The amount of time I reverse engineer shit and step line by line and send probing data just so I can figure out why theis black box works.