[Marxism] Cobol Is My Hero -- A Reverse Luddism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Aug 1 15:20:57 MDT 2010

michael perelman wrote:
> The state comptroller, John Chiang, refused to comply with the 
> governor's demands, explaining that revamping the state computer system 
> to change the wage structure in a short period of time would be 
> impossible.  To do so would be especially difficult because the system 
> is programmed in an obsolete language, Cobol.
> Cobol was last in the news in the run-up to the Y2K panic.  Companies 
> need to upgrade their computer systems, but lacked people trained in 
> obsolete computer languages.  In desperation, they turned to Indian 
> companies, which was instrumental in accelerating the growth of 
> outsourcing computer work to India.

Well, I know Cobol although I haven't used it since 1990.

They say that mainframe programmers who know Cobol can line up contracts 
with no problem based on the shortage of experienced people. If I was in 
it just for the money, I'd be checking out the market.

My bread and butter for the past 15 years or so has been Perl, a really 
beautiful language that is as intuitive as Cobol.

Interesting development, to say the least.

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