Croydon Tutorial College

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Career Switch to COBOL Programming

Embarking on a career programming in COBOL might seem like "embracing an ancient language". There is some truth in this - COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) has been in existence for a considerable period of time.  COBOL was designed in 1959 by CODASYL as part of a US Department of Defence effort to create a portable programming language for data processing which resulted in its widespread adoption. It was standardized in 1968 and has since been revised four times. By value a very large percentage of governmentand commercial applications are implemented in COBOL. Possible reasons for considering COBOL programming as a career include not only the size and value of the existing COBOL code base, but also the fact that COBOL is no longer widely taught and that the number of existing COBOL programmers is falling dramatically - it should be added that COVID-19 is not helping.

While COBOL may not receive the same fanfare as more modern languages, it is still used in industries such as retail, healthcare, finance, and government.COBOL, from the outset, was designed to be a readable programming language. This makes it a very good language to learn as a first programming language.

Based on COBOL programming courses developed and taught by FTT, CTC has been working on a "Mastering Programming and Software Engineering Using COBOL and Java" course. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to modern COBOL programming as well as the foundations of software engineering and computer science to about the level of that covered in the first year of a Computer Science degree course.