Fifty Year Old Cobol Still Going Strong
COBOL is still going strong, and growing, according to Micro Focus, in a recent interview with CyberMedia India Online. These days we could be forgiven for thinking mobility is where it’s all at and in the race for precious press time for the growing mobile industry the legacy back-end that includes mainframe, and mini, platforms running applications based on the likes of Cobol can be easily overlooked. For example the Bank of New York Mellon maintains around 112,500 Cobol applications consisting of 343 million lines of code (Source: Computerworld) whilst systems integrator Accenture clients are “adding more Cobol code than they are retiring.” (Source: iT Wire).
A quick search of job search site Indeed.co.uk shows over 250 currently open positions requiring expertise in Cobol for platforms including IBM MVS COBOL, Acu-Cobol, Microfocus, and RM/Cobol. Interestingly, these open positions are not all London City jobs, as we might expect, but are distributed across the UK in locations as diverse as Birmingham, Bristol, Chelmsford, York, and Glasgow.
It’s not all about legacy though – there is scope for Cobol skilled developers to be involved in modernisation programmes, including .NET and J2EE (for example: the Great American Insurance Group migration from Cobol to J2EE, Source: PropertyCasualty360), however many organisations who rely on their backend infrastructure are happy to keep their platforms in legacy and this makes a lot of sense as Cobol has a heritage going back more than fifty years.