It took me years to understand the OOP concept. I have about 20 years experience using COBOL/OS JCL/VSAM and consider myself a pretty good programmer. Of those 20 years, I might have 8 years or less experience using DB2 & CICS. I still struggle with CICS and sometimes DB2, but I can pretty much cover it up on the job by Googleing it or asking questions. OOP is another story though. I took classes in C, C++ and MS/Access starting in the late 1990's and still I cannot get a good grip on this stuff.
After those classes, I took a Java Class in back 2007 at a community college. The class consisted of about 15 seasoned COBOL programmers and about 5 regular day students in their teens or early 20's. After about 2 months only 3 COBOL programmers were left in that class and I happened to be one of them.
It took an enormous amount of effort on my part(sleepless nights), but I managed to get an 'A' in that class. Still, if somebody were to ask me to write a Java program off the top of my head, I just could not do it. The thing is, there are not that many COBOL jobs left, so Java or ASP.NET are the way to go these days unless you want to be Unemployed or under employed. One thing I noticed though, is that people who never coded in COBOL, or any other procedural type language have a much easier time with OOP, because that is all they know.
In any case, I think the prestige in being a programmer has gone down severely in the last decade or so. Now a programmer is just a "Coder
". Q/A Testers and Business Analyst make as much, or even more than a programmer these days at some companies.[COLOR="Silver"]