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Author's profile photo Michael Keller

past is present is future is now urgent

Dear community, my blog “past is present is future” from February 2020 is about the decision of companies to continue using their COBOL applications and not to replace them. At that time I wrote the following lines

[..]Speaking of future developers. Of course there should be new developers. Anyone who wants to bequeath something needs heirs. The business decision to continue using COBOL applications is OK. However, there must also be experts who can maintain and expand these applications. Otherwise the decision fails in practice. From this point of view, investing in training new developers and sharing your own knowledge and experience makes a lot more sense.[..]

I wouldn’t have thought that my lines would become relevant so quickly. But the corona pandemic has already surprised us in many ways … badly 🙁

Here’s an interesting news from CNBC (“New Jersey needs volunteers who know COBOL, a 60-year-old programming language“). Please pay attention to the picture titled “A man using a computer in the 1960s.” – a nice testimony of another time (I don’t think he’s working with Eclipse).

Fortunately, people are able to get creative in a very positive way, especially in times of crisis. Here is a first initiative to deal with the problem: Connect employers with experienced developers, promote knowledge exchange and train new developers. I find that very exciting and I am curious how it will go on. As I said earlier, COBOL is a great way to track the aging of a programming language and the applications written in it. I wish the future COBOL developers every success. Learning to sail in stormy times isn’t easy.

So there would be the bridge to ABAP again, because our programming language is also aging (we too, by the way ;-)). Future generations could also urgently need to work on our ABAP applications in times of crisis. From the initiative mentioned above, we can all already concentrate on two points every day (even without crisis): promoting knowledge exchange and training new developers. Of course, we should also try to develop applications that are as easy to maintain as possible. The possibilities are there. From social networks like SAP Community to documents like Clean ABAP, we just have to start. In this sense, it goes on! 🙂


Best regards, thanks for reading and please stay healthy



P.S.: Please support the virtual wishing well.

P.S.S.: Not tired of reading blogs? Check this blog by Jacques Nomssi Nzali.


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      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo

      If you have some time 😉 please sign up and volunteer to help NJ and other states.  I don't know how desperate they are.  I vaguely remember COBOL.  But I did volunteer.

      Author's profile photo Michael Keller
      Michael Keller
      Blog Post Author

      Great note!

      Author's profile photo Matthew Billingham
      Matthew Billingham

      I've developed in COBOL but it was a long time ago (late 80s). Not so different from old style ABAP.