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Meet J.J. Asghar and Elizabeth K. Joseph, two mainframe experts who are keeping COBOL modern.


With COBOL in the news, my fellow IBM developer advocate J.J. Asghar and I were recently invited to speak on the Stack Overflow Podcast 230: Mastering the Mainframe.

In this episode, J.J. talks about the code pattern he wrote, Run a COBOL program on Kubernetes, which demonstrates how GnuCOBOL can be run on Kubernetes. I provide some background on IBM COBOL and how it’s used in IBM Z environments today, including modernization efforts that have led to incredible speed improvements over the years for code compiled in the latest COBOL compilers, and integration with popular elements like JSON.

Our discussion also dispells myths around COBOL, allowing us to present today’s COBOL, based on the 2014 standard, as a valuable part of a modern technology stack. We also highlight the COBOL resources that were recently announced by the Open Mainframe Project and on the new IBM Developer COBOL hub.

We send a big thanks to the delightful team at Stack Overflow for inviting us to take part in what turned into a really fun episode. You can listen to the entire podcast here.