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For what it's worth:
I work in the power industry. We are upgrading to the very latest version of the application we need to operate our power plants.
It is COBOL throughout.
The vendor is taking away access to the source code soon, as the version that replaces this one will be Java. By Java, they mean all the COBOL code wrapped in Java.
So, a major application for use in the power industry will be COBOL until at least 2030.
Our COBOL devs make nearly six figures. And after our salary review is done, will get some serious raises.
They're all in their late 40s-50s. We have no COBOL people in the pipeline.
Nearly six figures, or nearly seven? I know a place in my current locale that pays about $300,000 to experienced COBOL guys, with a history in the financial market. And let me tell you, you can live like a king around here for even $100,000.
You're assuming he's talking in dollars, whereas in GBP or EUR that's a very decent salary.
I'm sure the NodeJs hipsters running the latest flavor of Linux with custom desktops will close out their sublime text and immediately wget that.
Linux? Too mainstream, man.
There is more to support than being stable. With SLES/SLED and RHES there is a level of engineering support you just can't get with the others. They actually pay people to help you get your app running right and they answer the phone when something breaks.
True, but you can now get "vendor" support on other distros as well. One that springs to mind is Ubuntu server edition (although as I say that I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would choose that over RHEL/SLES)