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need to learn java!

 
Daddy Cactus
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I am a 40-year old IBM/COBOL programmer who has been in this field since the age of 19. As is happening with many companies these days, mine is going out of business. Soon, I will be unemployed with no IT skills besides COBOL/JCL, etc. etc. This is very depressing, as I have a family to care for.
You ask 3 different people, you get 3 different answers, but I personally think that since it is non-proprietary, that JAVA would be the thing for me to learn. I've dinked around on some websites, but I just don't get it... If I ordered the Java Developer's Kit from SUN, would I get what I needed to write and execute JAVA programs?? I'm guessing that a compiler is needed in JAVA, just as it is in COBOL.
There are virtually 0 COBOL jobs available in the Denver area - I've got to figure out what to do, fast. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you for your time...
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Here is where I started when I wanted to learn JAVA (which I am still learning every day)
http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/
Specifically
http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/getStarted/cupojava/index.html
Your First Cup of Java. This will tell you everything you need (Java Development Kit, OS, etc) in order to start writing and executing java applications and applets.
Good Luck with Java!! This site is awesome and it will probably become your primary resource site. It has for me. Hope to see more posts from you.
 
Allan Peak
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I'm in a similar situation. I still have my job, but we're converting from COBOL to Java.
 
Dirk Schreckmann
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Daddy Cactus,
Welcome to JavaRanch!
We ain't got many rules 'round these parts, but we do got one. Please change your display name to comply with The JavaRanch Naming Policy.
Thanks Pardner! Hope to see you 'round the Ranch!
 
Thomas Markl
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Hello,
there is a Java Tutorial for COBOL programmers:
Language Essentials
About This Short Course
By
February 2001
[Short Course| Exercises]
Appendix: Assistance for COBOL programmers
http://developer.java.sun.com/developer/onlineTraining/JavaIntro/appendix.html
 
Daniel Ng
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I learned my java via the cattle drive here. It is a great tutorial. Very funny too
http://www.javaranch.com/cattledrive.jsp
 
Shawn Kelly
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There are books about COBOL->Java programmers, also:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521658926/qid=1026760437/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/104-5740338-7154316
I can't comment on it's content though, as I haven't read it (and it's been a while since I've used COBOL, too). Good luck to you.
 
Chad McGowan
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Thinking In Java is an excellent book to start with. I made the COBOL/JCL to Java conversion a few years ago and I am soooo glad I did it!
Good Luck.
 
William Barnes
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Look for a Java user group in your area, so you have real humans to talk to. And take a class. I think trying to make the jump to Java by sitting in front of your computer by your self is difficult. It is always easyer to learn with real people - than come back here when you have specific Java questions.
Good luck!
 
William Barnes
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Also checkout the "Jobs Discussion" forum on this same site.
 
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