In New Jersey, the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in something that few people outside that state’s tech department would have foreseen: a dire need for COBOL coders. From a report, shared by reader AmiMoJo: Standing for Common Business-Oriented Language, COBOL’s day came and went long ago. It initially made a splash by giving coders a programming language that could work across the proprietary computers of multiple manufacturers. That was in the early 1960s. After becoming a staple of mainframes, it eventually came to represent dusty legacy code, including during the Y2K crisis 20 years ago. In New Jersey, experts are now needed to fix COBOL-based unemployment insurance systems — more than four decades old — that are overwhelmed due to pandemic-related job losses. At a press conference yesterday, governor Phil Murphy asked for the help of volunteer coders who still knew how to work in COBOL. Of course, as cyber-security expert Joseph Steinberg noted on his blog, such volunteers are likely well over 60 years old, making them especially vulnerable to Covid-19.
of this story at Slashdot.