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Chapter 58. In Training

The topic of the panel discussion was the immediate future, the leading edge of software and applications development practice. The question from the audience was a somewhat poignant plaint from the past. “What advice do you have for a COBOL analyst/programmer building character-based apps using a networked mainframe database?” After a full seven or eight milliseconds of careful thought, I leaned into the microphone and, using my best conspiratorial but commanding tone, said, “Retrain.”

Unsatisfied, my questioner approached me during the tea break. What could he do? His company did not support further education, there was no training budget, books and courses were too expensive to buy with his modest earnings, and COBOL was all he knew.


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