Heck, I'm a computer science major and I don't even want to do COBOL. Kidding, I hear there are some really good jobs that come from knowing it. I am a day to day programmer, I'm an application developer right now I write code probably 99% of the day, we're building a new system so probably 80% is new code or refactoring old stuff. The other 20% is maintenance on the old system. That would be one of the first questions I would ask whether your doing all maintenance or some new development (maintainence is boring if your doing it all the time, but not sure how much new cobol is being written). Oh and I do almost all .NET programming. Mainly VB.NET/ ASP.NET (web applications) with a little SQL (DB2 backend) and even less C# (wish I got to do more but my boss is convince VB is better)
I program in COBOL but also use other languages. You'd be surprised at how many companies still use COBOL. I even worked at a place where I programmed in DEC Basic on a VMS system.
On a daily basis, "I'd say I do about 15 minutes of actual work..." jk... had to throw in an Office Space quote.
For me it depends but I mostly do Financial Aid programming. So a lot of it is COBOL but some of what I do is XML and I also update our transaction screens that are written in MANTIS. For the most part I work on projects that span multiple weeks so my day is what I make it in that I do analysis, programming and testing with a few meetings mixed in. I did work in a bigger company in DSM that was kind of a programming factory and we basically programed 90% of the day unless you were working on a trouble ticket.
COBOL is fine if you have a good working environment... :-)
Ultimately it comes down to what exactly you will be doing.
I work as a mainframe developer on the team that supports our largest retirement plan sponsors so I spend quite a bit of time doing analysis and pulling info from the client (or payroll provider that our client uses).
I would say I spend 60% or less of my time writing code. I spent the rest of the time writing SQL queries, pulling info from clients, working with administration to get the specs for my projects and other miscellanous CYA type stuff.
When I worked on an operational team that supported our incoming file processing, I probably spent 75% or more of my time coding.
The biggest issues I have with being a mainframe COBOL developer is that your development will be impacted greatly if the company wont buy more CPU if the system is short. Developers always come last...
(maintainence is boring if your doing it all the time, but not sure how much new cobol is being written). Oh and I do almost all .NET programming. Mainly VB.NET/ ASP.NET (web applications) with a little SQL (DB2 backend) and even less C# (wish I got to do more but my boss is convince VB is better)
Originally Posted by The_Architect
LOL @ COBOL. Actually tbh, there are a lot of insurance companies in Des Moines using cobol still. I'd never want to do it, .NET FTW!
I can program in FORTRAN 99. Are there any jobs out there for that? Okay I can't reallly do that anymore, although I did once. I sat in the computer room of a power plant for an entire summer control systems programing. I just about died. If I close my eyes in the night I hear the hum of the air conditioners.
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