The COBOL Working Group aims to promote the language by changing its perception and making materials more accessible to help more developers and students learn it on their mainframe journey.

If you made purchases in the last few days or deposited something in your bank account, you interacted with a mainframe. More than that, you depended on COBOL to make those transactions. COBOL is a language with a 60+ year track record.  It is self-describing, very easy to learn, and used by every large organization in one way or another. It is estimated that there are more than 200 billion lines of COBOL code in production today and recent events have showcased a serious talent shortage with not as many developers skilled in this language. 

Open Mainframe Project launched a COBOL volunteer resource, Q&A forum and a Training Course, which offers introductory-level materials with Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code editor (VS Code) and hands-on labs earlier this year. To enhance these efforts, Open Mainframe Project created a COBOL Working Group that aims to address misunderstanding about the technology and promote its continued usage, learning and discourse. 

The COBOL Working Group aims to:

Raise awareness for COBOL’s importance and change the perception of it

Increase COBOL’s visibility and course work in the college curriculum 

Close the technology skills gap and the path to a lucrative career in mainframes

For more about COBOL, check out these Open Mainframe Project resources: 


The COBOL Training Course:  A training program that educates those developers or students who would like to learn COBOL skills with Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code editor (VS Code) and extensions. These materials provide an overview of the language and real-life Enterprise COBOL demos to work on.

COBOL Training Course GitHub:

Calling all COBOL Programmers Forum: an Open Mainframe Project forum where developers and programmers who would like to volunteer or are available for hire can post their profiles.  Whether they are actively looking for employment, retired skilled veterans, students who have successfully completed COBOL courses, or professionals wanting to volunteer, they can specify their level of expertise and availability to assist.  Employers can then connect with these resources as needed.

COBOL Technical Forum: a new forum specific to COBOL technical questions which will be monitored by experienced COBOL programmers. This will allow all levels of programmers to quickly learn new techniques and draw from a broad range of experience and expertise to address common questions and challenges arising during this unprecedented time.

Training Course