Coronavirus finally takes out Tesla; New Jersey unemployment system is built in 60-year-old programming language

Elon Musk tried his best to keep people working, but the government was having nothing of it. Tesla is cutting salaries and furloughing all of the company’s hourly workers until May 4th.

This is after investors got all excited about Tesla’s deliveries numbers.

I am beginning to think that tomorrow’s jobless claims print is going to be much worse than I had expected (and I was guessing 10 million in a single week). Of course, with unemployment claims overwhelming state systems, who even knows what the real number of unemployed is now.

On that note, as someone whose bread is buttered by tech, I found this story amusing (terrifying?): New Jersey needs volunteers who know COBOL, a 60-year-old programming language

If you know how to code COBOL, the state of New Jersey wants to hear from you.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says that the state is looking for volunteers with skills that can be used to help in the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, and one of those skills is knowing your way around a 61-year-old programming language used on big, old, mainframe computers. 

COBOL is an old computer programming language that was first developed in the 1950′s in conjunction with the Department of Defense. Today, most programmers prefer and use more modern languages, but there are pockets where old software written in COBOL remains in use, particularly financial applications and in large enterprises or government agencies.

New Jersey needs COBOL programmers because many of the state’s systems use older mainframes, and those systems are now seeing record demand for services as the coronavirus outbreak disrupts the economy.

For example, an unprecedented 362,000 people have applied for unemployment in New Jersey as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and the state’s IT department is working to have the 40-year-old mainframes that power that service up and running, New Jersey’s commissioner of labor Rob Asaro-Angelo said on Saturday. 

“Literally, we have systems that are 40 years-plus old, and there’ll be lots of postmortems. And one of them on our list will be how did we get here where we literally needed COBOL programmers?” Murphy asked on Saturday. 

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