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Interface and The Case for COBOL

In the 1950’s a computer scientist  named, Grace Hopper developed COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language), a high-level programming language that is still used widely today.

While old and––to some––dated, COBOL has entrenched the business and banking industry worldwide.  And transitioning to newer programs, like Java, could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and years of work, per company.

According the the online source “The New Stack”, 92 of the top 100 banks are still using mainframe computers (in other words, COBOL), as well as 71% of Fortune 500 companies. Approximately 95% of ATM swipes use COBOL code.

Despite the need for COBOL programmers to run some of the wealthiest companies in the world, most experienced programmers are nearing retirement. New developers tend to learn the more modern languages, seeking out hip, innovative companies that are utilizing them.

That gap in COBOL education has led to a gap in new developers entering the job market. The Department of Justice, and Homeland Security have even needed to re-hire retirees to maintain their COBOL systems.

Companies are clinging to these long-standing COBOL developers, and offering healthy salaries to younger programmers to join their teams and seeking ways to make themselves more competitive employers. But Computerworld reports that there are just 75 schools nationally – mostly technical schools and community colleges – teaching COBOL.

The need for training isn’t just going unmet nationally, but also here in the local community, which affects Omaha-based companies.

That’s why Interface is thrilled to join the list of competitive schools giving new programmers an edge in the job market, filling the tech talent pipeline right here in Omaha.

Our current COBOL course is now underway with 13 students expected to graduate and be ready to enter the workforce this December.  If your firm has a need for COBOL programmers, contact Ellen Myer for information on hiring our talent.