This article isn't about why you want to learn COBOL. If you're reading this you already know why. You're looking to find the tools and materials to help you learn. I'm going to cover the resources my company, Micro Focus, has available for you to use - free!
First of all, you'll need a COBOL compiler.
Get one here: Visual COBOL Personal Edition
VC PE is our latest generation COBOL compiler and is based on our commercially available toolset. More than just a compiler, it is integrated within Visual Studio or Eclipse which makes getting up to speed a breeze if you already use these IDEs. Versions of Visual Studio and Eclipse are both available freely.
VC PE comes with a free license for non-commercial use.
Learning the COBOL language
VC PE includes COBOL study material - even a quiz to test how well you're doing. Just unzip the materials once you've downloaded PE.
We've also got some free web-based COBOL training you can use with any ANSI-compatible toolset
Learning the tools If you need to learn how to use Visual Studio and Eclipse for COBOL development, this free on-demand training will get you up to speed.
Cross-training from Java or .NET? Try our book which includes a chapter on getting up to speed with COBOL if you have a Java or .NET background.
Get started even quicker in the cloud you can now also try Visual COBOL in the Cloud through the Azure Marketplace
Need to learn IBM mainframe developer skills? The Micro Focus Enterprise Developer toolset which provides emulations of key mainframe subsystem technologies such as CICS, JCL, PL/I, IMS and more is also available in Azure. Again, this can all be done through the comfort of a modern IDE experience. More info on how to get started here
Are you an educator? We offer free access to the full toolset as well as training materials. Find out more at our Academic Program.
Want to know more about modern COBOL? If you don’t have time to try out the tools but want to know more about what you can do in Azure with a modern COBOL compiler toolset, this video will bring you right up to date with DevOps and Serverless computing.
Free Resources Summary
- Visual COBOL Personal Edition
- Mainframe development skills - Enterprise Developer
- COBOL On Demand training courses
- Learn about Mainframe technologies with On Demand training courses
- Visual COBOL book for .NET and Java developers
- Academic Program
- Get started with COBOL in Azure
- A 20-minute video on what modern COBOL is all about
Hope you enjoy using the tools and I hope that modern COBOL tools take you a little bit by surprise.
Best of luck! The original article is available on LinkedIN here and we'd really appreciate you SHARING this article to help today's COBOL skills conundrum.