The programming language that doesn’t want to die

published 27.06.2020 07:00

by Joel Khalili from
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If not for FORTRAN, which was invented five years earlier, COBOL would hold the title of world’s oldest active programming language.

Two firms play an outsized role in the upkeep of COBOL and are considered by many to be the custodians of the language: IBM and Micro Focus.

Indeed, according to , 43% of US banking systems are built on COBOL, while a whopping 80% of in-person transactions and 95% of ATM interactions rely on the language.

Modern programming languages are also tighter and more efficient than COBOL - a boon for developers working under time pressure “[COBOL] was and continues to be verbose,” Rotibi told TechRadar Pro, “meaning that many more lines of code are required to execute a command than other languages.”

The lack of available COBOL developers forced Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, to issue a public call for volunteers able to code in the decades-old language.