Hire Developers Skilled in COBOL Programming
COBOL, short for Common Business-Oriented Language, remains relevant today since its launch in 1959. This programming language is still used by various Fortune 500 companies due to its evolution and the set of tools it offers. COBOL is compatible with different operating systems and was preferred over Fortran, which was designed for research purposes, mainly because of its business-oriented focus.
COBOL played a significant role in the development of cross-platform programming. Although not commonly used by modern businesses, it remains a preferred choice for US government agencies because of its ease of use. As a COBOL programmer, one is responsible for planning, creating, configuring, testing and troubleshooting code to develop efficient programs that meet the required standards and specifications. Their main objective is to ensure that the code is highly performant.
It can be challenging to find a reliable pool of candidates skilled in COBOL programming, as the language is considered outdated and not popular among today’s younger programmers. This means that the most suitable candidates for COBOL related roles are likely to be those who have been working with the language for some time. Unfortunately, it is difficult to source young talent with the required COBOL experience.
Finding qualified employees who are skilled in older programming languages like COBOL can be a daunting task for businesses. However, partnering with Works eliminates such worries. We specialize in helping our clients to find the right candidates with the desired skillsets. Our aim is to make the process of building a team as seamless as possible and without the need for the creation of separate groups. At Works, we have the expertise and proficiency in personnel management and onboarding of talent. This enables us to effectively serve businesses of all sizes and industries and ensure a smooth experience for our clients.
Technology Advancements for Growth of COBOL Programmers
Programming Environment Based on Windows
Visual COBOL is a robust hybrid development environment that combines Microsoft Visual Studio with the COBOL language. This allows programmers to create both native COBOL programs and managed .NET applications. Visual COBOL offers a comprehensive Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that provides developers with all the essential tools needed to design, develop, build and debug COBOL-based programs.
COBOL templates can aid in the development of projects for operating systems like Windows. Developers can benefit from additional features such as colorization, background parsing, debugging, breakpoints and query support, among other options. All these features can be employed to enhance the development process and make it more efficient.
GnuCOBOL is an implementation tool that supports the COBOL programming language. It enables users to compile their code into executable forms that are compatible with a range of operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and macOS. This is possible through transcompilation, which involves the use of a local C compiler.
When hiring a COBOL developer, it is essential to assess their familiarity with GnuCOBOL. In 2020, the language introduced its latest stable version, which means that it is a relatively new tool. Its developers will need a dedicated period of time to become familiar with the newly added features and concepts as they continue to develop their skills.
To effectively query the contents of the relational database DB2, users must be proficient in SQL (Structured Query Language). Furthermore, SQL statements can be embedded into COBOL code to execute SQL queries using both SQL and COBOL.
The use of EXEC SQL and END-EXEC tags is a critical aspect of COBOL-DB2 code, as they are used to segregate SQL statements. These technical queries are significant to assess a candidate’s aptitude for the job, and it is essential for a non-technical recruiter to be aware of such details.
The Endevor project management suite is crafted to simplify and streamline the software development life cycle. It consists of an integrated set of tools that enable automation, regulation and monitoring of the software development process. Endevor not only facilitates tracking of software programs and their versions but also provides developers with a collaborative platform for maintaining the programs efficiently. Hence, Endevor is instrumental in ensuring an effective and efficient software development process.
In the software development life cycle, Endevor records user activity as “Elements”. Operations such as “Add,” “Update,” and “Move” are executed using batch processing in the background. Such activities are specified using Software Control Language (SCL) before processing them in batches.
The running speed of programs coded in the outdated COBOL programming language is widely known to be an issue. As a result, users encounter delays while attempting to deploy software associated with COBOL.
In recent years, the demand for experienced COBOL programmers has risen significantly as an increasing number of companies seek to hire them to optimise their programs and systems. However, due to a lack of relevant expertise in the business world, it remains challenging to source highly qualified COBOL developers.
Works makes it quick and straightforward for you to find and hire COBOL developers. Our focus is on helping you discover the perfect individual for the position, which starts with grasping your company’s vision, objectives and culture. Subsequently, we scour through our vast database of prospective candidates to identify those who fit your specific requirements. By doing so, we guarantee that you are able to engage the most appropriate candidate.
COBOL Developers: Opening Up New Markets
COBOL in Banking and Finance
For decades, American banks and financial institutions have been relying heavily on the COBOL programming language to develop comprehensive systems and software for conducting standard banking operations. Therefore, some of the world’s largest financial services firms including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Fiserv, among others, still use COBOL because of the significant investments, both in terms of infrastructure and human resources, required to shift to an alternative language.
COBOL in State Bureaucracies
Numerous government agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Justice, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security, still rely significantly on the COBOL programming language. As a result, its extensive use in the public sector has made it challenging for private companies to find COBOL programmers for their projects, as most people working for the government are hesitant to shift to a startup or private enterprise.
While on rare occasions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and businesses like Streamlabs have been known to use the COBOL programming language, the significance and usage of the language have become more apparent over the past year. This is because organisations that rely on COBOL have been searching for firmware updates as a result of the recent events, such as the global pandemic.
With an increase in ageing mainframes powered by COBOL-based systems a new demand for COBOL programmers has emerged. These organisations are seeking the assistance of the programming community to ensure that existing legacy systems continue to function as expected. As a result, the demand for professionals with expertise in COBOL has risen significantly.
At Works, we understand how challenging it can be for businesses that rely on a deprecated programming language to take a do-it-yourself approach. As a result, diligently sourcing and recruiting skilled COBOL programmers is of the utmost importance. Fortunately, Works is here to provide you with assistance. Our team of specialists has the expertise and experience to find the right candidates for your team, whether on-site or remotely. Moreover, we have the know-how to create appropriate contracts and agreements for the COBOL developers you hire. Allow us to help you assemble the perfect team to succeed in your programming projects.
Prerequisites for Hiring COBOL Programmers
- The ability to develop and enhance legacy code to meet current market requirements.
- Proficiency in using advanced tools in conjunction with existing mainframes to produce an improved operational system.
- Knowledge of Legacy Code Enforcement System and any associated applications in use.
- Proficiency in designing, developing, and maintaining software using the COBOL language.
- Conducts system analysis and testing of COBOL programs, concentrating on data to identify areas that require modification.
- Able to create fully functional COBOL applications that fulfil business requirements.
- Familiarity with mainframe languages beyond COBOL. Systems such as JCL, CICS, VSAM, DB2, MQ, etc. are some examples.
- Proficiency in working with COBOL Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) such as IDz, IBM Debug, Code Coverage, Changeman, OmegaMon, etc.
- Update the existing documents such as Functional Specification Packages and Program Requirements Packages.
- Utilize Visual Studio and Visual Basic to draft your code.
- Proficiency in retrofitting, unit testing, and deploying products to enhance application performance.
COBOL developers require essential soft skills.
- Ability to work on older, slower mainframes while exercising patience.
- Demonstrates exceptional management skills and has the authority to supervise junior COBOL programmers. Learn more about the traits of successful software testers in our blog post.
- Able to take on assigned tasks and take responsibility for their outcomes.
- Someone with strong values and commitment towards delivering quality work.
- Demonstrates robust analytical skills and can rationally analyze problems to devise innovative solutions.
- Can work effectively under pressure and adeptly manage time. Learn about techniques for dealing with workplace stress and anxiety in our blog post.
- Enhance your programming skills by staying up-to-date with industry trends and expanding your current skill set.
- Shows eagerness for learning and can quickly grasp new concepts.
- Collaborating with the team, clients, and stakeholders necessitates effective communication and interpersonal skills.