The Open Mainframe Project has launched a new open COBOL programming course. It offers entry-level COBOL training using state-of-the-art tools.
The Open Mainframe Project was founded in 2015 to provide coordination for the deployment and use of Linux and open source on mainframes. The goal is to make mainframes more developer-friendly by providing a “transparent experience of taking advantage of mainframes”.
The COBOL curriculum was developed jointly by COBOL experts from American River College, IBM, and their clients.
It operates within the Open Mainframe Project as an open source project “to encourage further interaction and further use”. The authors describe the need to understand COBOL as follows:
“Most financial institutions, banks, insurance companies, retailers and governments need systems that must flawlessly process huge volumes of transactions every day. Mainframes have been quietly driving this process for decades because their reliability, availability, security, scalability and performance are unmatched.”
While these core systems run in Java, Python, and other languages, part of those core systems is COBOL, a robust, proven programming language that has helped run some of the most important service applications in the world’s largest companies. An estimated 220 billion lines of COBOL are in use today, and recent events have demonstrated the ongoing need for developers who are proficient in the language.
The course is intended for developers or students who would like to learn the COBOL language using the Microsoft Visual Studio Code Editor and Zowe, IBM Z Open Editor, Code4z Extension Pack, and other extensions. The course materials provide an overview of the language and real-life Enterprise COBOL demos that you can work with. It also offers more advanced topics such as dynamic length elements, multithreading, and advanced language elements, as well as hands-on activities to help you learn.
Course materials are available on GitHub.
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