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'Old Fossil' COBOL programmer passes SCJP 5

Dan Hill

Joined: Apr 06, 2007
Posts: 4

So I guess you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! Enough, anyway, to (barely) pass (65%) the toughest test I've ever faced.

After a time away from the industry, I wanted to get back in--only on the Java side of things. I did have 1 1/2 years with Java and Struts before I left, but when employers saw my history with pre-object-oriented (a.k.a. ancient) languages and methods, no one was interested. I figured getting certified would get me in the door somewhere, so that's what I did.

My study tools included mostly the K & B book and the Sun mock exams ($75, and well worth it for me).

So...anyone from Denver (south--DTC) know of any good places to work?
Christophe Verré

Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Posts: 14688

Congratulations Dan

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Bert Bates

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8898
Congrats Dan,

Glad to hear I'm not the only COBOL programmer still breathing


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Dan Hill

Joined: Apr 06, 2007
Posts: 4

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Congrats Dan,

Glad to hear I'm not the only COBOL programmer still breathing


Ha ha, thanks Bert! I'm just surprised someone else is brave enough to admit they used that common business-oriented language!
Nik Arora
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 26, 2007
Posts: 652
anil kumar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 23, 2007
Posts: 447
Vassili Vladimir
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Joined: Mar 08, 2007
Posts: 1585

Vassili ...
SCJP 5.0, SCWCD 1.4, SCJA 1.0
Joe Wolfe
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 25, 2007
Posts: 87
Well done.

I wrote my first computer program in 1972. You old fossil you.

Yes they look at age and background and say you are not qualififed for new software technologies. bha.

At one interview the girl kept repeating the same phrase, we have no entry level jobs for programming. BHA! over 25 years is not entry level. I started talking to her and she was right out of college, first job, and interviewing for employees. I would not let someone with no experience select people for my company. Now thats crazy. She kept repeating, we have no entry level jobs for programming.

They cannot say we don't hire old faxts.

You may be right they see the older technologies and immediately reject you as a potential employee. Somehow the more experience you have the worse it is.

As you I am persuing the JAVA path. I was a DBA at NIH for 6 years but decided to go with JAVA rather than Oracle. Well that was a mistake but here I am. I think I could test out today but I want a good score and to also be sure I know the material before starting a programing job. Just imagine what it would be like if I got fired from my first JAVA job. NO ONE would ever hire me again.

Maybe I will test in July.

good luck.


If not now then never.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 63866

They cannot say we don't hire old farts.

The closest I've gotten is "We don't think you'd be a good cultural fit."

Translation: "You're an old fart."

And this for a job I was more than qualified for!

Congrats Dan!!!

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Jan Cumps

Joined: Dec 20, 2006
Posts: 2565



OCUP UML fundamental and ITIL foundation
Joe Harry
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Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 10032


SCJP 1.4, SCWCD 1.4 - Hints for you, Certified Scrum Master
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Rogerio Kioshi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2005
Posts: 690

I work in a consulting group which develops many systems using Java + Cobol. So, connecting Java to Cobol gave more opportunities to Cobol programmers. But the areas are different: people who work with Cobol just only know Cobol, and Java developers only do what is concerned to them.

Knowing both technologies certainly will give you a plus in your career.

I agree. Here's the link:
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