Did you know COBOL autocorrects to ‘COOL’?

#DevDay #DC begins

Russ smiled at me. Just like me, Russ the videographer was a Micro Focus Developer Day novice, but unlike me he was evidently a COBOL grasshopper too. Everyone I know knew years ago that COBOL autocorrects to COOL! It’s surprising that the English language Microsoft Dictionary left it out, considering COBOL is an award winning 56-year-old technology that underpins much of our world. The legendary enterprise developers in the impressive J W Marriot room had evidently brought an abundance of experience with them, as it was obvious that COBOL’s been in their personal lexicons for ages.



They’d come in considerable numbers (more chairs and tables required) to hear about the latest and greatest updates to the COBOL and Mainframe centric part of our Product portfolio. Micro Focus had promised that the real wizards behind the curtain were going to be there, in the flesh – delivering hands on, no holds barred, technical demos – glimpses of magic. The COBOL playlist rocked, coffee flowed, delicious pastries were munched and the room fizzed with anticipation before Ed Airey took to the microphone to kick the day off and…

Ed kicks DevDay DC off

Ed kicks DevDay DC off

#DevDay #DC more than delivered

I felt like a complete technical lightweight being introduced to this crowd of developers as a social media expert. I reminded myself that I can more than hold my own on the technical side of modern marketing. I had a unique opportunity to prove beyond any doubt that the modern marketing concept of ‘Content is King’ is actually 100% correct.

Without giving the entire game away, the great content fine-tuned for a great audience led to a truly great experience within the room that spread beyond my wildest imagination digitally. The attendees responded as Michael Bleistein showed them how to speed up application development with Visual COBOL.

The agenda

The agenda

Derek Britton introduced the high level portfolio and Micro Focus strategy. ‘Agile Boy’ Renato Quédas from Brazil held court with a passionate demo, showing how COBOL and Enterprise teams can benefit from the latest development methodologies.

Steve Wellman showed off with IBM Mainframe-shop-must-have Enterprise Developer. University of Maryland Professor Cassavant provided a great academic program overview while recognising that not all youngsters raved about COBOL development the way some old-timers did. He drummed home the message that it’s imperative that his students understood the importance of so-called-legacy IT in today’s job market by honing a variety of skills.

The fantastic audience

The fantastic audience

I am done. Must be time for a beer and a take-away?

Ed brought the day to a close on time after a superb expert panel discussion. Everyone melted towards the bar for a well-deserved drink and snack at the post event reception. Friendships formed, business cards changed hands and IT projects were discussed. Birds of a COBOL-feather really do appear to stick together.

In wrapping up I feel truly honoured to have been part of this amazing community event if only for a day. I left the USA with the knowledge that the Micro Focus #DevDay format has a future as bright as COBOL – I only hope I can be part of another one soon!

Yum - Jelly-Beans await!

Yum – Jelly-Beans await!

Enterprise developers, don’t miss a DevDay!

We’ve published some pictures for you to like and tag on Facebook. Thanks for having me DC, I flew home exhausted dreaming about the very British voice-over from the Developer Dave video along with some of the classic songs from the playlist. #COBOLRocks  to this day and I’d strongly advise enterprise developers to attend an upcoming DevDay to see why for themselves, soon. Obviously the Detroit and DC events have passed for the 2015 series but you’ve still got time to catch the Boston and Atlanta shows. If I had my chance again, I’d go!

Find out where your next DevDay is and register now.




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1 Comment

  • Daniel Marquez Lisboa

    Great way to tell us how it was that great event. Thanks, Mark!

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