Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) is a computer language that was developed in 1959–63 years ago this year. COBOL is “primarily used in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments”; by applications that are run on Mainframe computers. If anyone is questioning the continued relevance of such an old language, it can be validated by the fact that it still shows up in a Google search several times a week.
To follow any subject on Google and have search results delivered to your inbox daily, you can create a Google Alert. Several years ago, I created a daily Google Alert for COBOL and have received many emails with COBOL related items to review. There are articles, books, courses, job offerings, etc. In addition, this is a good way to find help forums for technical questions — as well as potential blog topics. I thought it would be interesting to share some of the alerts I received in just one email earlier in September.
A screenshot of how to create a Google Alert
COBOL Related Articles
The most recent articles are a good way to see what current COBOL items are being discussed. How AI can help document legacy COBOL code, before it’s too late is a take on how new technology, specifically Artificial Intelligence (AI), can help maintain legacy COBOL code. Another article on the list is Why even hipster developers should consider learning COBOL, which discusses why COBOL legacy applications should be moved to the Cloud.
International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation
IBM produces and sells computer hardware and software, including COBOL products, so it’s not a surprise that they have new COBOL information in a search. This month, IBM issued a documentation refresh for Enterprise COBOL for z/OS versions 6.4 and 6.2. They indicated enhancements and fixes for both versions. There were also references in the search to IBM’s Expert Forum, where programming questions may be posted.
Micro Focus Community Documents
As an Enterprise software provider, Micro Focus, like IBM, produces COBOL Development Products. This month they have a new article in their online community on Redefining pointer values in COBOL.
COBOL Developer Jobs
WowJobs career website found 35 Cobol Developer jobs across Canada early this month, some of them remote. Similarly, Robert Half employment agency posted several US COBOL Jobs. There were even job postings for COBOL Programmers in South Africa and Sweden. Job postings are common alert topics, and there is definitely no shortage of jobs for COBOL developers.
In addition, an audio book, Beginning COBOL for Programmers, by Michael Coughlan came up in my search list illustrating that experts are still creating documentation on the topic for new learners.
A screenshot of an example of some Google Alert results for a search on COBOL
In conclusion, although I haven’t elaborated much on the information in each subject, you can see from this small sample that there’s a wide variety of COBOL related information available on the Internet in terms of articles, books, technical resources, and job postings.
Google Alerts have effectively automated the Google Search making it easy to research any niche or favorite subject that you’re interested in. Can you think of a topic that you would like to receive Google Search results for?