Joel Elliott

Computer Programmer


To solve real problems, mostly by writing excellent software.

Lead Programmer Analyst @ American National from 2004 - Present

  • Primarily developed and maintained components of a policy administration system for personal insurance, working with COBOL and .NET.

  • Promoted five times since initially being hired.

  • In 2020, as a co-team lead, helped maintain numerous legacy systems, with constantly changing priorities as we transitioned to a new admin system.

  • Helped lead a project to implement eSignature integrations with a vendor system.

  • Wrote, revised, and maintained a simple application logging infrastructure.

  • Wrote a generic implementation of HTTP 1.0 in COBOL, using IBM modules that implement TCP/IP and DNS.

Web/Open Technologies

  • HTML - in ASP.NET applications, as simple proof-of-concept demonstrations, and even generation of raw HTML pages out of COBOL. Also a few side-project websites (like

  • CSS - as needed for basic functionality, and to add clarity to presentation; nothing very fancy.

  • ECMAScript (javascript) - only raw text. That is, I have written plain javascript for hundreds of lines in modules, but I have not (yet) used TypeScript, or any large frameworks past borrowing them to solve a single problem.

  • XML - as the primary format for webservices and documents.

  • Utilities - Chrome (developer tools), Notepad++, WinMerge, Paint .NET, Postman, Google Docs/Sheets/Forms/etc, Audacity (occasionally recorded and edited as a hobby).

Microsoft Platforms

  • C# and VB.NET - significant development and maintenance over many years, including version upgrades, migration from VSS to TFS, and redesigning API's to be more clear and useful.

  • Microsoft SQL Server - as a component of some complex applications, I helped design and maintain multiple databases for years.

  • Active Directory - as needed to maintain application permissions, and some trivial research and development.

  • Utilities - Visual Studio, SQL Server Management Studio, Word, Excel, Outlook, Active Directory Users and Computers, OneNote.

Mainframe Technologies

  • COBOL - years of application development.

  • CICS - terminal screens (using SDF II), called modules, webservices exposed over CWBA, and also using third party software (InnerAccess > DataDirect > Rocket, and z/OS Connect).

  • DB2 - countless one-off queries and reports, and frequent use in application development embedded in COBOL programs.

  • JCL - batch job applications, and regular use for utility purposes (search, compare, ftp, etc).

  • Utilities : TSO, SDSF, ASG-SmartEdit, AbendAid, ZEKE, BMC Catalog Manager, XPEDITER, SYNCSORT, IDCAMS, SDF II.

Soft Skills

  • Documentation - I advocate for an open system of documentation internal to any company. I prefer MediaWiki (Wikipedia's software), but any system is great if it is both searchable and easy to edit. While I strive for self-contained technical clarity, I see major limitations of this within most systems, where I find this need is only met with a collaborative documentation system.

  • Research - I am very comfortable both independently researching questions online, and also asking for help whenever needed. I love to learn all of the details of the systems I use, often going to reference documentation, and usually becoming one of the most knowledgeable about all systems within my domain.

  • Mentor - As I became the expert on various systems, I have found more and more people coming to me with questions. I am happy to share knowledge, although sometimes I "go too fast". Loving to share knowledge is why I advocate for a wiki system, where we can grow the collective understanding together.