In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy has put out a call for volunteers who know how to code the decades-old computer programming language called COBOL because many of the state’s systems still run on older mainframes.
“Literally, we have systems that are 40-plus-years-old,” New Jersey Gov. Murphy said over the weekend. “There’ll be lots of postmortems and one of them on our list will be how did we get here where we literally needed COBOL programmers?”
Coders have moved away from the aging language
But over time, coders have moved away from the aging language.
“The general population of COBOL programmers is generally much older than the average age of a coder,” Steinberg said. “Many American universities have not taught COBOL in their computer science programs since the 1980s.”
Yet, the program persists in systems
“Governors should not have to think about computer systems during a pandemic,” he said, “and we should have systems that if there are emergency situations, should not make the emergencies worse.”