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What is COBOL in Unisys Mainframe?

  1. Mar 3, 2009 #1

    I am applying for this job and they're looking for someone that has experience with COBOL, which I do, but they're also looking for someone with "experience with COBOL in Unisys mainframe". Now I know what a Unisys mainframe is but is programming COBOL through a regular compiler any different? Will I be able to sell myself as a good candidate for the position or is my experience with COBOL irrelevant? I obviously don't have experience working with Unisys since that is only found in places like the military and other government organization...any insight? I might have an interview soon...

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2009 #2
    Hi Moneer81

    I take it that your experience with COBOL is from the PC or other not mainframe environment.
    No, COBOL is a very standard application, it behaves and "feels" the same regardless of platform.
    No. Your experience if very relevant. In fact any experience using COBOL will make you a candidate. It is getting increasently hard to find experienced COBOL programmers.
    There are some key activites that must be mastered on the mainframe that you dont offer much attension on smaller platforms. Here's my approch in a new shop.

    Get acustumed to the application used to enter COBOL statements.
    Make yourself a "Hello world" program with a stupid syntax error.
    Find the correct compiler and compile the program.
    Get acustumed to the application used to check compiler output listnings and check the "Hello World" output listning.
    Remove the syntax error and compile the program producing a load module (careful, there are useally strict standards for load module names.)
    Execute the load module. This may be tricky, the module is most likely put in the test environment.
    Check the program output.

    You are on your way.

    There is a big difference in the administrative tasks performed by programmers. Moving loadmodules, version handeling, implementing and the like.
    All mainframe setups have relativey strict roules for these things. Hence, there are standard applications used for these tasks. These applications, most noteably the moving of loadmodules, are tightly controlled by the mainframe security system.
    Don't worry about it but be aware that you will have to learn how this is done in the shop. It differs vildly from one shop to another.

    And fineally.
    Don't waste dayes and hours trying to figure "how to open an index sequenceal file using multible key arguments".
    Be a mercyless pirate, steal any source code you can find that helps you on your way. This is NOT considred a bad conduct but be open about it. (You may by accident copy some code that no longer apply to the shops coding standard)
    Find the application can search through the entire COBOL source code of the shop. Use it to find the tricky code you need.

    Good luck Moneer81, let us know about the job.
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