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45 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

They still use COBOL? What's next, people still use FORTRAN? 

You'd be shocked at the number of companies that still use it. It's the old "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" mentality. And it's different companies in all different industries. Not really software companies.

My first job was a company that handled magazine subscriptions. Second job was a large factory that bought and sold metal. I know I've seen job openings for credit card companies, candy companies, the company that makes Rubbermaid products.

I also know a guy that told me about a friend of his that made a damn good living traveling around the country converting old programs to newer languages.

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13 hours ago, Jack Parkman said:

I was thinking data science, but I'm thinking into going into software development instead. I just want to get away from the UX/QA side and more into the code writing side. 

Cool. I’ve studied data science off and on over a few years and have worked on data projects at work. If I stay with my current employer I will graduate with my master’s degree next May. But I’m really trying to get into health care on the data analyst side to now so I may leave and continue my education if the new employer pays for the last two courses. 

Writing code is where it is at. JavaScript and Python seem to be the most useful to me, along with SQL. It can’t hurt to have languages on your resume and see if an employer will take a chance on you even if you have a basic understanding.

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On 11/7/2019 at 8:57 AM, Iwritecode said:

When I first got into coding the first language I learned was COBOL. It's an older language but fairly easy to learn and gave me a good base to learn other languages. Then when I graduated I spent the first 15 years of my career writing it. All the way up to 2015.

You'd be shocked at the number of companies that still use it. My last company was desperate to find coders that knew it because the average age of their IT department was 55+. A lot of companies have literally 100s or 1000s of programs written in COBOL but very few places even teach it anymore. The companies don't want to spend the time/effort it would take to re-write them all either.

So a suggestion... learn COBOL.

My first language was Basic (Commodore 64), and later Pascal, C, C++, and last but not least, COBOL. ;)

Of course, prior to graduation I had fallen into an IT Tech Support/Jr. Infrastructure/Network job and never actually programmed a damn thing after I graduated ... but my original degree was in programming.

From memory, the only way I can describe COBOL to people is like literally telling the computer, "PRETTY PLEASE MULTIPLY THIS DATA FIELD BY THIS DATA FIELD AND GIVE ME THE ANSWERS TO EACH INDIVIDUAL ROW IN A VERY NEAT METHOD." Obviously I'm exaggerating, but it was like trying to speak write programs based in pure English to a computer.

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