TRENTON, NJ (BDPA-NJ) — “New Jersey needs COBOL Programmers.” At a press conference today, governor Phil Murphy asked for the help of volunteer coders who still know how to program in COBOL.
In New Jersey and perhaps other states with “legacy systems”, experts are urgently needed to fix COBOL-based unemployment insurance systems—some at least four decades old—that are overwhelmed due to COVID-19 related job losses.
The state recently experienced a 1,600% increase in claims volume in a single week, said labor commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo during today’s briefing, stating that “over the prior two weeks we saw more than 362,000 people apply for unemployment as a result of this public health emergency.”
Tech industry and cybersecurity experts feel such “volunteers”, similar to demographics of National BDPA’s founding members, are likely well over 60 years old making them especially vulnerable to COVID-19. Whether they would risk venturing back out to work or volunteer to update legacy systems that should have been updated decades ago remains an open challenge, especially if they cannot remotely perform emergency upgrades from home or a secured facility. bt
— Sources: New Jersey Department of Labor, Quartz, and BDPA-NJ
Top courtesy photo: Newark, NJ
Visit page 4 (COBOL | Mainframes: Admiral Grace Hopper) of your March 2020 special Womens History Month edition of bdpatoday.