Written by: Sudharsana Srinivasan, Chair of the COBOL Programming Course
Over the past year, so much has been said about COBOL! All said and done the fact is COBOL is the language that drives the global economy. It has and will continue to quietly and ever so efficiently continue to deliver the results we have become accustomed to – reliability, availability and security in all of our transactions.
Well before COBOL made big news – or rather the need for COBOL skills made big news – IBM, a few of it’s clients and American River College were well underway in creating a new COBOL Programming Course, which was launched as an Open Mainframe Project hosted project in April 2020.
Why, a new COBOL Programming course you ask?
Well, the mission of the course is to:
- Attract next generation of learners to add COBOL to their tech toolkit
- Improve the learning experience with the modern tool interface
- Create and engage with an enthusiastic community of learners
And, that is exactly what we have achieved in the first year since it’s launch – the course is the most starred project with over 2,500 members on the slack channel who are actively engaged learners.
The road ahead is clear – we continue to engage with the learner community with
- Updates to the Getting Started Course content to reflect updates from sister projects (Zowe)
- Implementation of some key strategic issues that have been brought forward by the community
- Additional content to the Advanced Topics chapter of the course.
We are also eager to participate in the Open Mainframe Project Mentorship Summer program. There were so many great mentee candidates to choose from – we’re excited to get started in June.
Just as we thought it could not be more exciting – the COBOL Programming course project graduated to an “Active Stage” project. A project in the “Active Stage” is fully mature and operating as an open, transparent and sustainable project. This also means the project receives benefits such as:
- Greater ecosystem development and project awareness, including first listing / top billing in public messaging, highest priority booth demo space at events, top priority for project overview webinars, monthly blogs
- Strategic support from the Open Mainframe Project and Linux Foundation staff
- Project swag available in the OMP Store (look for new items coming soon!)
- A voting seat on the Open Mainframe Project Technical Advisory Council (TAC)
To get here, the COBOL Programming Course Technical Steering Committee had to satisfy the following requirements:
- Formation of an open and transparent project governance
- Have committers from at least two organizations to ensure sustainability and diversity.
- Achieved and maintained a Core Infrastructure Initiative Best Practices Passing Badge, which showcases project maturity and open source best practices.
- Project growth during the Incubation stage, including demonstrable roadmap progress and sustained flow of commits / merged contributions.
- Public adopters of the project that are identified within the project repo or materials.
- Approval by the Open Mainframe Project Technical Advisory Council (TAC)
Not only are we excited to graduate but also to be the first Open Mainframe Project to progress through the entire project lifecycle, which is an incredible feat in only one year!