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With U.S. States Desperate for Help, IBM Will Offer Free COBOL Training

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old IBM mainframe system

IBM is releasing a free training course to teach the 60-year-old programming language COBOL to coders. It is also launching a forum where those with knowledge of the language can be matched with companies in need of help maintaining their critical systems.

The moves come in response to desperate pleas by U.S. state governors for anyone with knowledge of COBOL to volunteer their time to help keep unemployment systems functioning, a critical need as the coronavirus has resulted in a surge to claim unemployment benefits.

IBM says next month it will expand its COBOL training material to include a series of videos on online learning platforms like Coursera. Its Talent Match portal is also being used to match programmers with companies or governmental organizations who need their help.

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