On Friday, November 26, 2010 05:51:38 am Phillip Gawlowski wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 1:42 AM, David Masover <ninja / slaphack.com> wrote:
> > I'm really curious why anyone would go with an IBM mainframe for a
> > greenfield system, let alone pick EBCDIC when ASCII is fully supported.
> 
> Because that's how the other applications written on the mainframe the
> company bought 20, 30, 40 years ago expect their data, and the same
> code *still runs*.

In other words, not _quite_ greenfield, or at least, a somewhat different 
sense of greenfield.

But I guess that explains why you're on a mainframe at all. Someone put their 
data there 20, 30, 40 years ago, and you need to get at that data, right?

> Legacy systems like that have so much money invested in them, with
> code poorly understood (not necessarily because it's *bad* code, but
> because the original author has retired 20 years ago),

Which implies bad code, bad documentation, or both. Yes, having the original 
author available tends to make things easier, but I'm not sure I'd know what 
to do with the code I wrote 1 year ago, let alone 20, unless I document the 
hell out of it.

> Want perpetual job security? Learn COBOL.

I considered that...

It'd have to be job security plus a large enough paycheck I could either work 
very part-time, or retire in under a decade. Neither of these seems likely, so 
I'd rather work with something that gives me job satisfaction, which is why 
I'm doing Ruby.