Paul L. Snyder on 9 Jan 2017 12:56:38 -0800

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[PLUG] [plug-announce] Tue, Jan 10, 2017: PLUG North - "Secrets of the Dead: What Modern Programmers Can Learn from COBOL" by Walt Mankowski (6:30 pm at CoreDial in Blue Bell)

PLUG North will be meeting on Tuesday, January 10 at CoreDial's offices in
Blue Bell, beginning at 6:30 pm. Directions to the meeting location can
be found at the end of this email.  

This month, PLUG North welcomes back Dr. Walt Mankowski, who will be
giving a talk entitled "Secrets of the Dead: What Modern Programmers
Can Learn from COBOL". Walt has previously given versions of this talk
at PLUG West and FOSSCON 2016.
  COBOL is the Rodney Dangerfield of the programming world ââ?¬â?? it
  doesn't get any respect. COBOL is routinely denigrated for its
  verbosity and dismissed as archaic, and for good reason: COBOL
  bears little to no resemblance to modern programming languages.
  Yet COBOL is far from a dead language. COBOL processes an
  estimated 85% of all business transactions, and 5 billion new
  lines of COBOL are written every year.

  I spent 10 years as a COBOL developer and saw first-hand the
  good and the bad of the language. Many of its criticisms are
  valid, and most PLUG attendees would probably be appalled at
  COBOL's syntax. But as COBOL approaches its 7th decade of
  active use, it's worth remembering that there are a few things
  that COBOL got spectacularly right, particularly in its primary
  niche in mainframe business programming. These include:

    * Separation of code, presentation, and operating environment
    * Datatypes to handle decimal currency amounts
    * Reading and writing fixed-length records

  And that appalling syntax is simple enough that even
  non-programmers can learn the basics in a few hours.

  Attendees will come away with old techniques they can apply to
  their new systems, and a new-found respect for their elders.

At 6:30, prior to the main meeting, we'll assemble in CoreDial's game room
for shuffleboard, pool, and conversation

The meeting will take place from 6:30-9pm (6:30-7 games and conversation,
7-8 General Q&A, 8-9 Presentation) at CoreDial's new office space in Blue
Bell, PA.

CoreDial (

  751 Arbor Way
  Blue Bell, PA 19422

Directions and other information are on our website:
plug-announce mailing list
Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --
Announcements -
General Discussion  --