COBOL prepares to resist 25 more years

COBOL is not only one of the oldest programming languages, but if we pay attention to the data of a study published this week by MicroFocus, everything seems to indicate that this “obsolete language” still has several decades ahead of it.

As stated by the researchers who have participated in the preparation of this document, there are currently more than 800,000 million lines of COBOL that are being actively used by companies and organizations around the world. This huge amount of code triples the estimates made in the previous study and suggests that this language, with more than 60 years behind it, is still robust enough to inspire confidence.

To estimate “how much COBOL” there is in the world, the researchers asked 1,104 experts from 49 countries, reaching the “surprising conclusion” that for 90% of the organizations surveyed, COBOL remains a strategic priority in its technological development. 83% of them also consider that their applications based on this language expect to have a useful life of at least ten more years.

More surprising still, nearly half of the respondents say they expected the amount of COBOL in use in their organizations increase over the next 12 months.

Rather than replace old legacy systems, 64% of respondents said they intended to modernize their COBOL applications, creating a demonstrable need for continued investment and modernization in COBOL by new developers, so the expert in this language will continue to be among the most demanded profiles in the industry.

COBOL – or Common Business Oriented Language – has been around since 1959 and is largely credited with helping to build the computer software industry as we know it today.

It dominated business and government computing systems for decades to come, and is still relied on by large organizations to run their mainframes and core business systems, such as payroll and accounting.

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