It's really weird how people who know NOTHING about technology assume they can make decisions about technology.
Why does the language matter?
I have to learn all kinds of new, esoteric and niche languages all the time as part of my job.
Surely what you want is to hire a business or banking programmer and make sure they are then made competent in COBOL (gosh, maybe you could utilise your ageing COBOL workforce to teach him?), no different to bringing in a guy trained on a competitor's system and training him on YOUR system.
It worries me that a bank would be hiring a programmer who *can't* do several languages, especially languages that have been around for decades rather than languages utilising entirely different paradigms, or that can't pick up new ones as they appear.
If you hire some - I don't know, whatever the language of the moment is, say Java or something - programmer to replace all this system, you'll have a system tied into Java. Which will, as Java is starting to show, start to get replaced itself by the time that guy has gone and you've only got rookies running the place on the old-guy's code.
Massive expense, to be back to square one, after decades of dodgy code that was trying to stabilise.
Advertise for programmers, teach them COBOL as the "in-house" language. Then, so long as your business systems have the tools for them to create and execute those programs, you're sorted for a long time yet. You don't even need to care that every other bank in the world has moved to Java or whatever if you do it right and have standardised interfaces or conversion tools.
I think this is not related to "we can't find people who could program in COBOL" as much as "we already have a bunch of cheap outsourced programmers who only know Java and they can't learn anything else".
The time taken to familiarise yourself with such a critical codebase to the point of confidence in pushing your production code should VASTLY outweigh the time required to actually learn something like COBOL from scratch, in this kind of industry.
Here's a thought: Elect some actual civic leaders in Seattle instead of the loony crop of social activists and grandstanders currently in leadership positions.
At this moment, Mayor Murray's next big thing is implementing a new soda tax. Oh, but he's now considering taxing diet sodas too, because someone told him that black and poor people drink more regular soda than white and affluent people, and we wouldn't want a racist, regressive tax. And Councilwoman Sawant is actively encouraging protesters to illegally shut down freeways and airports this May Day. Should make for a fun commute. But hey, love those rainbow crosswalks!
the CEOs of the outsourcing firms have been caught a few times complaining about lazy Americans.
Gosh, it's not like they have any incentive to portray American workers as lazy, right? So surely it MUST be true.
They are sending data to me. I paid comcast to get it. COmcast can't say what data I should be able to get. They are a common carrier not a gate keeper.
And the snow was up to HERE in the server room.
You had a battery?
So... if we hang them and cash in their money we could essentially eliminate the foreign debt.
Why? Because I think that paying taxes ain't just a poor man's hobby?
The proportional amount of work requires increases as you increase your income relative to your starting assets
Now that's comedy gold, do you have more jokes like this? Since when is the amount of money you make in any relation to your workload? How much more work do you think Allen did compared to, say, a single mother working 3 jobs to make ends meet?
The moral of the story is clear: don't hire Americans, don't hire anybody in the West. They actually believe they are owed a job by a business, that's very interesting but also not something a business wants to deal with.
By the way, discrimination is a human right. You don't lose your right to discriminate just because you run a business, but the way the Western laws are structured: you DO lose your right to discriminate and then you can be a target for various lawsuits based on this oppression of the individual rights by the collectivist system.
So make sure not to hire in the countries that have these types of oppressive regimes and laws in place.
That depends on what you mean by "reasonably".
I have worked for an entity where some e-mail communication used one-time-pads, exchanged in person. The e-mails were padded with a large but random amount of null data so the length wouldn't give anything away either, and read/written on airgapped machines, with only encrypted data leaving or entering the secure room.
That's not too much work, given that e-mail is relatively low volume, and even huge pads can easily be held on tiny pieces of media these days. Getting a microSD card from A to B is within reason, and the encryption/decryption is simplicity itself (XOR).
Indeed. If there is a market for COBOL programmers (and it's clear there is), then the obvious solution is for unis and colleges to spit out more COBOL-literate CS graduates. Honestly, if I was ten years younger, I'd probably delve into it myself. It is, after all, just a programming language, and hardly on the same level of trying to learn Sanskrit.
As long as you have a real fall-back so your career doesn't dead end. What can easily happen is that you do X then more of X because it's the only place you get a salary/career development until you've done X so long nobody will really hire you for anything else. I see this with for example some SAP consultants, essentially SAP customers want to hire you for your SAP experience and the rest of the world doesn't care that you have a general IT degree 5 or 10 years ago because your experience is all SAP-specific and they don't run SAP.
Now they're probably safe since that ERP is burrowed so deep into many companies they'll never get out, but for something like COBOL you could end up doing it for some years and then the legacy system is shut down and nobody wants to give you anything but a junior non-COBOL position. That is if they'll even hire you or if they'd rather have a recent college graduate. Or you might have to relocate to find one of those increasingly rare positions that actually value your COBOL experience, which of course only makes it harder at the next crossroads.
If you write cell phone apps as a hobby and can show them a portfolio or something, maybe you'll get away with it. No, you're not a dinosaur who only knows an outdated language and best practices from 50 years ago. Or some other way to be able to transition away from that COBOL career more smoothly. Some of my older colleagues noted that the parking inspector at work used to be COBOL programmer some 20 years ago, they updated their skillset and apparently he didn't.
Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.