Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 24th May 2007 20:59 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes "Those in search of eternal life need look no further than the computer industry. Here, last gasps are rarely taken, as aging systems crank away in back rooms across the U.S., not unlike 1970s reruns on Nickelodeon's TV Land. So while it may not be exactly easy for Novell NetWare engineers and OS/2 administrators to find employers who require their services, it's very difficult to declare these skills -- or any computer skill, really -- dead." My Take: "C" dying should have been "x86 Assembly".
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My response
by Damien on Thu 24th May 2007 21:10 UTC
Damien
Member since:
2005-07-07

My comment to their article:

This is a perfect example of an article written by someone who appears to have more experience reading press releases and print magazines than actually working in the field.

COBOL is still one of the most important languages on the face of the planet - virtually every financial transaction touches a COBOL system of some sort. Y2K was the best opportunity the world had to get rid of COBOL but it has lived through it, and now with Micro Focus buying AcuCorp there will be more unification of the varying platforms which should help its longevity.

As for C being dead, when was the last time you saw an operating system or device driver written in PHP, or even Java?

ColdFusion did quieten down during the v5 and v6 days but it has seen a resurgence since v7 was released - Macromedia were actually surprised at how many sales they made and they are busy polishing off v8 for release fairly soon (probably this summer). With what has been announced for v8, it will be one of the most powerful and easiest to use web development platforms anywhere and should see continued growth. To say that ASP, .NET, Java, et al have superceded CF is just naive.

And what is up with the "PC administrator" details? What definition is being used? Every systems administator I've seen has had to build machines from scratch, including component installation, OS & software installation & configuration, etc, etc. Just because you have an MCSE doesn't mean you know how to install a device driver or copy a file from one drive to another, or know what FTP is.

So, please, if you are going to write an article lambasting technologies you don't read about in industry magazines anymore, at least do some of your own research so you don't come off looking like an ignorant beginner who just passed their MCSE.

Reply Score: 5

RE: My response
by polaris20 on Thu 24th May 2007 22:27 in reply to "My response"
polaris20 Member since:
2005-07-06

And what is up with the "PC administrator" details? What definition is being used? Every systems administator I've seen has had to build machines from scratch, including component installation, OS & software installation & configuration, etc, etc. Just because you have an MCSE doesn't mean you know how to install a device driver or copy a file from one drive to another, or know what FTP is.

While that is correct, and I generally agree with you, having gone through the MCSE cert (years after already being in the biz, just to get the "piece of paper") I assure you MCSE's know what FTP is if they passed the test, and would certainly be competent installing and configuring software, as well as copying files.

I understand your opinion, but don't heavily discount the MCSE cert. It does greatly assist in making sense of the Microshaft Madness!

So, please, if you are going to write an article lambasting technologies you don't read about in industry magazines anymore, at least do some of your own research so you don't come off looking like an ignorant beginner who just passed their MCSE.

Agreed; I don't see systems administrators the way I know them (and am one) going away anytime soon, especially given the state of both Windows server and client environments, and certainly not Linux, which is still feared in the 3 industries I've worked in so far (banking auxiliary services, legal, environmental).

When you've got Exchange patches breaking how Blackberry Server works, and a rogue Windows Update patch whacking svchost.exe all the way to 100% effectively taking down a workstation, who are you going to call? Joe User?

Windows (both client and server) work great, but are both volatile enough for the foreseeable future that nothing's going to be a plug and play networking environment. Surely the author meant something different, though he wasn't able to get that across in this poorly written article.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: My response
by tomcat on Thu 24th May 2007 23:47 in reply to "My response"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

COBOL is still one of the most important languages on the face of the planet - virtually every financial transaction touches a COBOL system of some sort.

Agree. In fact, COBOL programmers can actually get paid quite a bit of money for maintaining legacy systems.

As for C being dead, when was the last time you saw an operating system or device driver written in PHP, or even Java?

I believe that the article was referring to C application developers. Which is probably true. C is in declining demand as an application language. System programming? Sure. Still in wide use.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: My response
by RenatoRam on Fri 25th May 2007 06:54 in reply to "RE: My response"
RenatoRam Member since:
2005-11-14

Yup: the huge legacy COBOL applications are generally employed in banks.

And banks will NOT migrate them at gun point.

Good COBOL programmers are few and far in between, and are paid premium.

Besides, amongst the high level work announces on newspapers there always is some "COBOL and RPG programmers" wanted with X years of experience.

If COBOL was not that horrible it would be a fair career choice ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: My response
by AlexandreAM on Fri 25th May 2007 14:58 in reply to "RE: My response"
AlexandreAM Member since:
2006-02-06

I think those C Application developers will still have a lot of work from Novel and Red-hat for a few years... working on Gnome and related applications. This is just my guess anyways.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: My response
by Hae-Yu on Fri 25th May 2007 17:35 in reply to "My response"
Hae-Yu Member since:
2006-01-12

I'd have to agree completely with your statement. I don't code in COBOL, but I completed a study about a week ago on COBOL use in the DoD, which heavily tied into private business use as well. COBOL is still prevalent on the backend, a large percentage of business apps (58% according to a Computerworld survey) are still written in COBOL. I was surprised at this last, but it makes sense with the installed base and it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

I'm really surprised Computerworld released this considering they also have 2 other recent articles stating how deep COBOL use is in most organizations.

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleB...

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleB...

COBOL was MADE for business. It incorporates accumulated business rules and processes, something which a lot of programmers just don't get and why migrations to a more modern language usually fail. When it comes to transactional processing, there is still no match for COBOL. A very small percentage of organizations have successfully migrated mission-critical apps from COBOL to a more modern language. Most major upgrades have failed and organizations have resorted to modernizing the codebase using COBOL 2002 and web-based frontends.

As the first article says, "we will run out of COBOL programmers before we run out of COBOL programs." I have been seriously considering adding COBOL to my skillset - specifically specializing in training myself to migrate apps away from COBOL. A lot of orgs want to do it, but they lack the know-how.

Reply Parent Score: 1