COBOL stands for Common Business Oriented Language and is more than 60 years old. This language is actually a senior citizen and most US states are still using it for the rare necessities.
COBOL emerged in the 1950s since computer language was not taught. The only way people ever learned was when they worked at government agencies as well as in banking, insurance, and flight reservations. For this very reason, most states relied on COBOL and are having a hard time modernizing them knowing that COBOL cant be broken into chunks as most of its core is weaved together by COBOL programmers. Which in hindsight means that if the program written in COBOL was meant to be broken than most of the old age system will fall in disarray. This form is also known as the spaghetti code is very hard to fix.
Many states such as New Jersey, Kansas, and Connecticut still use COBOL for their systems as reported by CNN. The local government of these states is struggling with the ever demand of claims Many states were in the process of updating their systems but due to the pandemic, they have put that on hold. Responding to the demand, IBM one of the prestigious IT companies of all time released a free COBOL training course that can be accessed through GitHub.
They also released resources such as a forum that lists which agencies and employers require assistance. Most people don’t know this but COBOL is very rarely taught to programmers who tend to focus more on Python a successor to this senior citizen programming language. In this DNA age, the language remains popular. However, COBOL has many issues such as Lack of structure, compatibility issues, design flaws and hard to syntax. Keep in mind COBOL gave birth to PASCAL that redefined computer programming and fixed all the flaws that COBOL had.
Reuters reported in 2017 that COBOL is still used by 43% of the banking sector with over 200 million lines of COBOL code in use. Things were much different however in 1997 as COBOL was used in more than 200 billion lines with 5 billion lines of codes written annually. This amounted to 80% of the world business as reported by Gartner Group in 1997.
Want to Learn?
You can access the free COBOL training course.