“I applied to the Illinois State Police (ISP) because they had a job posting. I went and interviewed, and they initially said they were going to hire me, but then they called back and said I wasn’t going to get in because I had voted in the Democratic primary. They told me to contact my county Republican chairman and join their Young Republican’s group, which I did. After that, ISP offered me a job. I started on December 3,1984”.

“Why did you leave ISP?

Well, that was the asbestos... One person had a four-inch-high conical pile of white powder on their desk every day for about two weeks.”

@hugh Re "Do you have any thoughts based on your experience about why they’re struggling?"

It's purely because government hasn't spent the money to upgrade the hardware. I wrote about it here:
lpar.ath0.com/2020/04/cobol/

@mathew yeah it was a series of interviews with different mainframe programmers triggered by that NJ story. Mar Hicks wrote a great piece about exactly what you're talking about. It had nothing to do with COBOL (which is specifically designed for this sort of work) and everything to do with money, staffing, and the fact that because of the rules, a human has to eyeball every application before it even gets to the computer.

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