When you ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, common answers are astronauts, actors, athletes, teachers, presidents and race car drivers. But when Ahmed Alamer was a kid, he knew exactly what he wanted to be: an enterprise software developer.

As a boy, he always thought deeper about the video games he was playing and the software he was seeing.

“I was always into computer games, but I started to think [about] people [who] made these games,” he said. “Whenever I went to the bank, I was always curious to look at the screen that the employees were using just to see what kind of software they are [using].”

(Related: Why COBOL is still relevant)

At the age of 13, Alamer began reading programming books and learning programming languages. He started with C and Pascal, moved onto Java, and then started to use COBOL.

Ahmed Alamer“I got into COBOL because I was always tempted to find a programming language that solves all the problems of enterprise software development,” Alamer said. “I had been using Java and studying it deeply, but I found a lot of problems with the design and the nature of the language.”

Today, Alamer is a 24-year-old student at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, studying for a master’s degree in computer science. And he has just been named the second-place winner in Micro Focus’ global COBOL coding contest.

The contest, which was created to promote Visual COBOL, ran from Oct. 7 to Dec. 17 of last year. Contestants were asked to create a video game composed of at least 50% Visual COBOL code.