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Java after Cobol

 
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I gave in to the nagging feeling of not being in new technology, and quit Cobol mainframe - after 22 years at it. Just passed the Java programmer's certification by self-studying, but what now? My 40+ Cobol friends are all grinning, saying there's new jobs opening up in Cobol.. Is anybody willing to employ one with NO Java experience, but a lot in analysis, design, programming, maintenance? I dont know if I should do one of the Enterprise exams first to improve my job chances - but which one - Web or business? I'm hooked onto the Java and would like to make a career out of it - even at this 'late age'!
 
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I'd suggest you carry on learning about Java Enterprise.
Just the other day I came across a requirement for CICS Cobol and EJB, J2EE. But that may be unusual as data is now usually required to be migrated to new databases. And to get into large Java Enterprise development properly you do need to have domain models which are usually sourced from existing databases.
regards
 
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JCA (Java Connector Architecture) would also seem a natural fit for an ex-mainframer.
 
Lizette Donelly
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Thank you very much for your replies!
 
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Yep definitely. I hear Cobol programers have an easy transition to Java. So, best of luck there!!!
 
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by Alenka Shtykel:
Yep definitely. I hear Cobol programers have an easy transition to Java. So, best of luck there!!!


I wouldn't say that. If you are doing Java, then you shoul be doing / thinking OO and that's an art, an acquired skill that takes practice.
regards
 
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yeah I've practiced that skill using c++, can i get a java job, course not.
 
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It could be incedibily difficult to land your first job in the java arena. Getting Enterprise Architect will make you a stronger candidate, but there's a down side too. When you put that certificate on your resume they start asking much tougher questions. Many people have ( it's been discussed many times around the ranch ) a syndrome I will call certificate envy. Some - many peoples attitudes will be - So you think you are an architect, hotshot?
Take that cobol job and keep studying and looking for a java job.
You are in a bad career for age discrimination. They really like to hire people from 25 to 30. Is that not the pattern you have seen in the work place?
 
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Originally posted by Lizette Donelly:
I gave in to the nagging feeling of not being in new technology, and quit Cobol mainframe - after 22 years at it. Just passed the Java programmer's certification by self-studying, but what now? My 40+ Cobol friends are all grinning, saying there's new jobs opening up in Cobol.. Is anybody willing to employ one with NO Java experience, but a lot in analysis, design, programming, maintenance? I dont know if I should do one of the Enterprise exams first to improve my job chances - but which one - Web or business? I'm hooked onto the Java and would like to make a career out of it - even at this 'late age'!


Hi,
You are a brave woman. People who switched to Java because the company direction and some get paid to study others had to cough out money for it. You should hang around with us back then. We are sure spin you into the proper path.
Since you are already quit, it is useless to look back on. You seem still have contacts with Mainframe folks, then try to get back into Mainframe arena and looking for the companies that leaning toward Java.
Regarding Web or business -- EE, it is depended on what are you prefer. Web is gearing toward marketing dept operations. EE is gearing toward overall organization operations.
Regarding age, if you are coming from user side, it does not matter. Based on what you described here. I think it matter.
Regarding re-employment, could you teach, tutor, or mentor a team of youngster? What is level of your previous employment contact? If you have had the high-level decision-maker contact, then I think you should go ahead with your certs and become a consultant. The type of consultant you should emphasis into is a high level liason. You will translate the specs from the management to the architect or to the youngsters. You may have to help out with coding or testing, if the project is lag; otherwise, your coding will be very minimal.
The alternative route is be your own boss. Have your own business.
Regards,
MCao
[ November 19, 2003: Message edited by: Matt Cao ]
 
Lizette Donelly
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Concerning the age: I preferred consulting in a DOS environment, where a program is changed and implemented the same day...adrenalin flowing! There's not many youngsters with DOS experience - so my age is a plus there.(But then, these jobs are getting scarce). And concerning the OO: I have to agree - found this the most difficult concept to get used to, having to retrain my way of thinking.
 
Matt Cao
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Hi,
I should add, if you could handle EA job then super. More Kudos. Some the knowledge come very naturally like second language, others well...
Alfred advice is excellent fitting into Cobol organization ready to migrate to Java.
Regards,
MCao
[ November 19, 2003: Message edited by: Matt Cao ]
 
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
It could be incedibily difficult to land your first job in the java arena. Getting Enterprise Architect will make you a stronger candidate, but there's a down side too. When you put that certificate on your resume they start asking much tougher questions. Many people have ( it's been discussed many times around the ranch ) a syndrome I will call certificate envy. Some - many peoples attitudes will be - So you think you are an architect, hotshot?
Take that cobol job and keep studying and looking for a java job.
You are in a bad career for age discrimination. They really like to hire people from 25 to 30. Is that not the pattern you have seen in the work place?



It is expected of older candidates to lead rather than be managed.
And that would give other freedoms that help develop a career of your choice faster. So look busy and not tied to your desk would be my advice.
I would say DOS was a dying technology , though.
regards
 
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I worked in COBOL 2 years ago (not for long). The only thing I remember now is how stable it was, and the position # 7 to add a comment. that's it.
I agree with Thomas, you should carry on with your studies.
good luck
[ November 19, 2003: Message edited by: Andres Gonzalez ]
 
HS Thomas
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I think COBOL gets knocked very unfairly. Some technologies that were perfected under COBOL were brought into this new brave new world.
COBOL may be the first component language, even, if you think about it. I'm sure years from now you are going to get some other high-language that has Java running under neath it.
And wouldn't it be strange if that language was a procedural one !
How else would you get -heads to follow orders.
We think objects but act procedurally IMHO but with the new technology we can leave hooks that catch other objects. So we have more objects to deal with ? Nope we pass them to other procedures (methods)to deal with them.
regards
[ November 20, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Lizette Donelly
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Thank you all for your very knowledgeable advice! I love programming - be it in any language, but got frustrated with all the red tape, especially in some MVS environments where it can take up to a month and thirty signoffs to get a change implemented - so job satisfaction goes out the door - even though one can understand why they have the securities in place. Was hoping Java would bring back the excitement, and it's so refreshingly different. I'll look into the architecture option...and wish all of you GOOD LUCK, and GREAT jobs!
 
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Seems to me that you have a whole lot of valuable skills, and now you've added another. My advice is not to push too hard for a Java job: rather, emphasise your existing skills and try and get into an area where Java development is being done. Once you are in, opportunities can arise.
Let me tell you how I got into Java. I was looking around, but had to take a job as an analyst. Then the project became a sizeable Java development, and I sort of forced my way in. It was very hard going as I hadn't done programming for about 12 years. But once I'd got a bit of experience, I was able to land another Java project. I then felt confident enough to start studying for the SCJP.
Oh, as the previous programming had been COBOL, I certainly agree that OO was quite tough to get to grips with ...
 
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As a practical matter, you will probably get a job primarily based on your existing experience. I would recommend learning a number of different newer languages, software packages, etc., which will increase your long-term marketability. Hopefully, the job market will get better with the new calendar year, and experienced people will be able to find work.
 
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Must say I agree with Roger. Moving from the red tape of a mainframe environment into the brave new world of java developments provides you with a set of valuable skills which are often lacking in younger developers using newer technologies.
I have recently made the same move - 10 years CICS\COBOL\DB2 and am now developing in Java (last 3 years). I was fortunate in that a mainframe based project I was leading required a Java front-end which afforded me the opportunity to cross train. I think using you existing skills as leverage to getting a role with java opportunities rather then a pure java role is probably your best approach.
Interestingly, the one thing I have found is that (and excuse the generalization) the free spirited approach to change in development environments using younger technologies produce exactly the same problems all the red tape in the mainframe environment was put in place to avoid.
 
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Hi Lizette,
Thanks for starting this subject. This subject has been on my mind since I started my change from COBOL to JAVA. At least I am not alone out there making these changes.
I am with you about certifying into JAVA. I am working on the SCWCD to be able to have a shot at working in this environment. But, if you have a chance to impress employers from the Architect point, I would and I have been planning to go that far as well to be as qualified as possible as a consultant.
But, consider opportunities that are in combination of JAVA/COBOL migrations to the internet while utilizing the MAinframe as a server.
These jobs will give you and us the chance to bring in 20 plus year of experience while educationally proven to be skilled in a new technology.
This is my plan to bridging this gap of experience, initially.
However, one always work better while working, you should find a job that pays your bills while you are working with recuiters to find you an opportunity the first time.
Please, let me know how you resolve this issue of work.
As I continue my certification, I am looking to work in COBOL or JAVA while I achieve my CERT goals... THe Market is opening up a little at a time...

Regards...George
 
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