COBOL skills in decline?
timhahn 100000F0AC Visits (1995)
Here's my reasoning.
Stepping back from all of this, what strikes me as most interesting is that the number of computer languages that people are becoming at least conversant in is rising, not falling. And on top of this, if a computer programmer is good at anything by the time they have obtained their degree, it should be the ability to pick up, read, learn, and create new programs in languages that they, at first, are not familiar with. This is just the way the software industry is headed. Softwarwe engineers will need, as a prerequisite of getting a job, the ability to learn and use languages that are "new to them".
And so, that being the case, the world is full of potential COBOL programmers! There's not a shortage of them any more than there is a shortage of C/C++ programmers.
Now, what is difficult is learning new run-time environments and new application development environments. Figuring out all the details of how to access source code, how to edit it, how to compile, debug, and test it - those are tough things to pick up. We get used to using the tools we're familiar with, and our muscle memory takes over and helps us be even more productive in the environments where we're used to working. This is where having development tools that ease the access to and usage of unfamiliar environments come to the rescue. And that is where Rational Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) such as Rational Developer for Power Systems and Rational Developer for zEnterprise come in.
So the next time someone laments to you the lack of COBOL skills, think again. I think there are millions of them available ... they just don't know it yet.