[thelist] Teach Old Programmer New Tricks

Bob Meetin bobm at dottedi.biz
Fri Jan 28 11:22:28 CST 2011

Fred Jones wrote:
>> It's a really delicate subject, because, really, who is one to tell another
>> to do it or not? And as a friend, it's a catch 22: Yea: False hopes and
>> potential failure, Nay: not supportive as a friend.
> Yes, those are both exactly my concerns!
>> It may surprise some people, but there is still a lot of COBOL code
>> still in use. Just a week ago, this story came out:
>> http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2011/01/cobols-not-dead-in-the-enterprise.php
> Now this is a very interesting idea.
> Thanks everyone for all the replies. For the elderly repliers, I hope
> it wasn't too much work to type so much, just for me.
> LOL.
> OK, sorry. :)
> I will send him some of the responses verbatim--there really are good
> ideas here.
> Thanks,
> Fred
The problem with starting work like this late in life ( I'm also close 
to 60 ) is that there is an overwhelming amount of knowledge and skills 
you need to pick up just to catch up at a slower rate.  Unless you're 
mind is needle sharp and you grasp the stuff instantaneously, I think 
it's a tough road.  You also have to be a salesperson and the CEO of 
marketing, not skills that all techs/engineers cherish.  Myself, it took 
quite some time to accept the fact that I'm not a designer, more of an 
implemention specialist.

I could easily see it taking several years to learn the technology and 
the ropes.  My sense is that you need to pick / choose your battles.  It 
might be less challenging to focus on something like SEO which, although 
technology-driven, is less about technology than process and general 
smarts.  Aside from the obvious skills (HTML, CSS, DB) these days you 
need to know Social Media.  That in itself is another massive tough shoe 
to chew on.  Toss in smart phones, mobile devices.

In the meantime, get a job at Wal-Mart and at least he'll have health 
insurance.  You'll also run into some 'curious' clients. See:


Chime out... Sorry Hassan, couldn't resist...


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