SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Dana Gardner, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman, Ava Smith

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Micro Focus Announces Winner of Global COBOL Coding Contest

Students and Community Developers Use COBOL to Design and Develop Video Games

NEWBURY, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 03/25/14 -- Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO), a leading provider of enterprise application modernization, testing and management solutions, today announced Marco Cavanna, a community developer from Italy, as the winner of its Global COBOL Coding Contest. Student and community developers across the world were challenged to design and develop a video game program using Micro Focus' Visual COBOL Personal Edition, in a bid to win a cash prize of $1,000, an iPad Mini and other great prizes.

The contest, which ran from October 7th to December 17th, 2013, asked contestants to create a video game, using at least 50% Visual COBOL. Cavanna created a modernized Visual COBOL version of the arcade classic computer game, Snake. Using COBOL at the heart of the game, he has produced one of the world's first 3D graphics gaming engines in COBOL.

Competition entries were judged by Micro Focus on a number of criteria including creativity, functionality, capability, experience and core technology requirements. Winners of the COBOL Code Contest include:


  • First Prize: A modernized Visual COBOL version of Snake, by Marco Cavanna, from Italy

  • Second Prize: A modernized Visual COBOL version of Black Jack, by Ahmed Alamar, from USA
    • Ahmed recreated the look and feel of the card table, with an overlay of playing cards and an endless supply of money

  • Joint Third Prize: Modernized Visual COBOL versions of the classic games, Minefield, by Antonio Joao and Towers of Hanoi, by Braulio Fidellis, both from Brazil
    • Antonio localized and created icons and graphics by hand to give his game a Brazilian twist
    • Braulio wrote his game application to demonstrate the versatility and accuracy of COBOL

"We wanted our Global Code Contest to highlight the flexibility and simplicity of today's COBOL technology," said Ed Airey, product marketing director for COBOL Solutions at Micro Focus. "Although COBOL is far from synonymous with video games, the entrants have demonstrated the innovative and versatile nature of the language. Interestingly, all contestants chose to use 100% COBOL, highlighting its unrivalled ease of use, and Cavanna's game stood out as it showcases what is possible through modern COBOL capability."

Commenting on the value of COBOL, Kevin Brearley, director of product management at Micro Focus, added: "COBOL currently supports 90% of Fortune 500 business systems and many organizations will continue to use it for decades to come. It's therefore vital to encourage, train and support the next generation of COBOL developers. Our contest demonstrates how simply and efficiently people can learn COBOL and how proficient Visual COBOL can be in delivering innovation by enhancing existing applications."

Notes to Editors

For further information on the winning entries, please visit:www.microfocus.com/bridgethegap

The winning entries can be viewed on the entrant's personal websites:

Italy: http://www.goodworks.it/?q=snake3d

USA: http://ahmetoncobol.tumblr.com/

Brazil: http://ajsauro.blogspot.com.br/

About Micro Focus

Micro Focus, a member of the FTSE 250, provides innovative software that allows companies to dramatically improve the business value of their enterprise applications. Micro Focus Enterprise Application Modernization, Testing and Management software enables customers' business applications to respond rapidly to market changes and embrace modern architectures with reduced cost and risk. For additional information please visit www.microfocus.com

About the Micro Focus Academic Program
The Academic Program supports new and existing university IT programs to meet the demands of today's business organizations, facilitates greater collaboration between businesses and academic communities and provides an interface through which existing students can connect with prospective employers seeking COBOL based development skills. For further information on Micro Focus' Academic Program, please visit: http://www.microfocus.com/education-services/academic/

  • A poll of academic leaders from 119 universities across the world in February 2013 saw more than half (58%) say they believed COBOL programming should be on their curriculum, with 54% estimating the demand for COBOL programming skills would increase or stay the same over the next 10 years. That's a far cry from today's reality. Of the 27% confirming COBOL programming was part of their curriculum; only 18% had it as a core part of the course, while the remaining 9% made it an elective component.

  • Bridging the COBOL skills gap infographic

Media Contacts:

Lillian Dunlap
LEWIS PR
617.226.8840
Email Contact

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