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From COBOL to Java...Filling the Java Gap

Patrick Krook
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 27, 2000
Posts: 54
This is an article forwarded to me by a friend who works in IBM Learning Services:
The following observations are from GartnerGroup:
Many enterprises find that they depend more on the internet as a delivery channel for their businesses. which means that they will turn increasingly to Java development.
Through 2004 demand for Java skills will outstrip the number of true Java developers.
Java's difficulty, combined with the shortage of qualified developers, will force many enterprises to fund a continuous Java training program that will help programmers learn Java and keep them abreast of the latest developments.
Less than 50% of the market demand for efficient Java developers will be satisfied through 2001.
A reduction in developer competence due to an insufficient IT education will prevent an increase in the overall quality of applications through 2002.
More than 40% of COBOL developers will fail in the switch to Java from mainframe environments due to an insufficient prerequisite foundation of knowledge.
Increasing knowledge and training in object-oriented paradigms will increase the rate of Java AD adoption for traditionally skilled programmers by more than 20% per year through 2001.
Colleges and universities offering courses in Java account for at least 50% of introductory Java courses taught and they will become the primary suppliers of Java programmers by 2001.
By 2001, 'specialists' unable to perform their duties adequately because they received more specialized-subject training than general IT education will occupy nearly 40% of positions in the IT industry.
By 2002, 80% of professional Java service providers will use a Java certification program as testament to their qualifications and abilities.
Closely allied with the previous observation is a phenomenon that
GartnerGroup calls the "Rapid Education Curriculum." The industry's skill shortage, combined with considerable project backlogs, has compelled many enterprises to hire numerous workers, who generally enter the workplace after short-term rapid education curricula. Rapid education curricula often
produce programmers -- specialists in coding -- while enterprises need developers capable of attending to the entire application life cycle.
Graduates of rapid education can write code but all not equipped to design and architect systems.
Here's my question:
As a site geared toward Java training, What shortfalls do you see in a "Rapid Education Model" when re-educating COBOL developers? Without a solid foundation of OO Architecture, won't this create a race of non-intuitive code monkeys, watering down the power and beauty of Java? How can this be overcome? Has anyone made the Jump straight from MainFrame Development to Java?
-Patrick Krook

[This message has been edited by Patrick Krook (edited July 20, 2000).]


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cata lin
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 11, 2000
Posts: 44
Hi,
Excellent post. If you have more, please, do not hesitate and share with us .
Comment on the post: How does the idea of a Company-University sound ? Imagine that, say, IBM has an internal departament working only on education, and any employer would go there every day, for an hour, about briefings and training. For a promotion, one would need a good 'degree ' at that university. The firm has workers with up-to-date skills, and the workers are ready anytime for a better paid job. Sounds interesting ?
Tony Alicea
Desperado
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
The Industry will take whatever it can get. The US Congress is being asked by it to augment the number of immigrants that should be allowed to work in IT.
About Java being difficult, it isn't. Any experienced (structured) programmer (like me) that has studied the Java language seriously and full time for many months (like I did) does not find it difficult.
COBOL is difficult. Or should I say CLUMSY? And obsolete too, BTW. But then again I was an Assembly Language and FORTRAN programmer for many years. And then C. And now Java. Never C++ ("Thank God!").


Tony Alicea
Senior Java Web Application Developer, SCPJ2, SCWCD
Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Originally posted by Tony Alicea:
The Industry will take whatever it can get. The US Congress is being asked by it to augment the number of immigrants that should be allowed to work in IT.
About Java being difficult, it isn't. Any experienced (structured) programmer (like me) that has studied the Java language seriously and full time for many months (like I did) does not find it difficult.
COBOL is difficult. Or should I say [b]CLUMSY
? And obsolete too, BTW. But then again I was an Assembly Language and FORTRAN programmer for many years. And then C. And now Java. Never C++ ("Thank God!").[/B]


My first year was on Client Server(converting stuff from Foxplus etc to Oracle and some C++ on Unix). The next 2 years on Mainframes(REXX, COBOL etc) and the last 2 1/2 years on AS400(RPG ILE, COBOL, DB@ etc). I finished my SCJP 3 weeks back and am doing my SCJD. I am wondering if there is any meaning to life in this field??? Aint that a ride?
Finished my last project last month and am hunting for a job now. Just wondering where it is all leading to?
Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Along for the ride...
I have been developing software for over 15+ years.
Mostly mainframe business applications with IMS, IDMS, or DB2.
I have been consulting on my own for the past 10 years.
I have developed application software on MVS UNIX & NT.
To make the transition into the eCommerce world. I have chossen
JAVA/JDBC as the skill to obtain to switch from a mainframe
developer to a web developer.
7 years ago i pick db2 as the database of choice for businesses.
3 years ago i pick java as the development lang. of choice for businesses. After review this form. I guess i was write.
To make the transistion you have to have the desire....
remeber this is fun... write!
Over the past 18 months i have tought myself html,css,perl,& java. In addition to... unix and oracle.
It has been a long slow fun ride. I have thrown may a book accros the room. I have to say this now THANK YOU JAVA RANCH for without you i would not have passed the SCJP2 a few weeks back.
My present assignment developing a new application in C & Oracle on a Unix platform will be over in a few week... I'm looking forwrd to my 1st java assignment.
Try to remeber as you make the transistion...
I have been a mainframe cobol programmer for over 15+ years.
Every language has it's place in IT. For the Web java appears
to be the best language for the job.
So sit back ... relax ... have fun ...
Happiness is a journey not a decission ...
Looking forward to makeng some good $$$ in a few weeks.
monty6
Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
After reading above posts.
I am really surprised though that U.S. Colleges are not staying
anywhere near current with the computer/information technology
marketplace.
I finished a Master Degree - Comp. Sci. at an Ivy League school
here in Pennsylvania - and it seems that the Univerity was still
teaching at the 1960's-1970's level.
I ended up taking 11 classes for the degree @ $800/credit. For
a total of (33 credits) = $26K+ And yet, none of the classes
were up to date at all. Took 2 Artificial Intelligence (required) classes - where we programmed in PROLOG of all things.
Absolutely no Java, XML, or any modern hands-on database work.
Some database theory - but no hands on work. Seems that the
purpose of the Master's degree was to lead to getting a Ph.D.
degree. SOme of the classes included compiler design, and
others involved programming semenatics. Seems the coursework
was too much theory oriented. It certainly was not preparation
for the real world. I also found this to be true of my undergrad
work (B.S. - Comp Sci - Univ of Pgh).
This goes back to the original poster's IBM note, of not having
qualified programmers/developers in the marketplace.
I am surprised that corporate America puts up with having to
spend major $$ on training - that colleges were supposed to do.
Seems that these 18 month tech schools are doing a better job
of preparing their students for the job market than a 4 year
college.
As for myself, I have been offerred numerous dead-end mainframe
production support positions, and customer-support type positions, but no real programming offers. So I have been
speding the last 6 months getting up to speed on Java - and
am hoping to take the SCJP exam in the next few weeks.
Just my thoughts. Any comments?
Johnny
 
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