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California’s Search for a Legacy System Archaeologist

Posted by rjbiii on August 7, 2008

Pay cuts for some California state workers has been met with resistance. Not a wholly unpredictable problem, at least with respect to the political maneuvering that’s currently going on. However, there is another facet to the situation making it difficult to implement the pay cuts: the system used by the state is a legacy system that will require the assistance of a COBOL programmer:

COBOL programmers are increasingly hard to come by — find me a college that teaches it — and InfoWorld recently ranked “legacy systems archaeologist” as the seventh dirtiest job in IT. Maybe it’s time for California to ditch the existing system altogether and start over afresh?

As it turns out, there is such a plan in place. Aptly named the 21st Century Project, the modernization effort is scheduled to kick off next year. Unfortunately, the estimated cost of the project has ballooned to $177 million — not an easy pill to swallow for a state without a budget.

But hold on. Is this trip really necessary? If we read between the lines of a recent IDC study, sometimes “duct tape” can have advantages.

Click on the link above to read the entire article.

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