State of New Jersey needs COBOL programmers

Jay Jaeger cube1 at
Sun Apr 5 18:39:41 CDT 2020

On 4/5/2020 12:47 AM, Chuck Guzis via cctalk wrote:
> On 4/4/20 10:15 PM, Fred Cisin via cctalk wrote:
> Stories like this abound.  Wasn't California DMV running RCA Spectrolas
> well into the 80s?
> --Chuck

I kind of doubt that, unless they had a version of IBM's IMS for it --
which I find unlikely, though I suppose maybe they had some of those
along side real (or compatible) IBM hardware.

I worked for Wisconsin DOT from 1975 until 2012.  Just before I got
there, they had completed their own quite competent DMBS, which was
written (in assembler) because IBM's IMS was too inefficient and ADABAS
was too expensive.  (That DBMS was still running some production when I
left, in parallel with DB2 but has since been retired.)

They learned IMS had issues when they talked with California, who told
them that at any one time a substantial part of their (either Drivers or
Motor Vehicle) database was offline at ANY time because it needed

I did write some COBOL on the IBM 1410 which I worked on while I was a
student (COBOL for which was surprisingly capable), DOS/VS, OS/360, MVS,
and so on.  I found it to be:

- Very cumbersome and visually inefficient
- Error prone
- Harder than heck to read

So, mildly better than Assembler, but I'll take C and its descendents
over COBOL any day for anything.  Indeed I was responsible for
introducing C into our organization in the 1980's -- I was exposed to
it, and UNIX just about the same time I went to work for WisDOT.


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