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When we talk about programming languages, COBOL, invented in 1959, still holds its ground to date. But some opine that it is dead.

But if you think about it, why would people still be using COBOL if it was dead? This fact alone negates the idea of COBOL being a thing of the past.

In life, a few things, like wine, get better as they age. But can we say the same for technology? We are constantly on the lookout for the latest gadget that Sitting at the heart of enterprise computing, COBOL teaches all the new technologies. It is easy to use and works well.

But there is another challenge lurking in the background—the challenge of finding COBOL programmers. Yet, IBM is working to modernize COBOL and may mitigate this challenge for good. Let us find out how.

What is COBOL?

Before dissecting the opportunities, challenges, and much more about COBOL programmers, let us first understand what COBOL is.

Over 62 years old, COBOL is short for Common Business-Oriented Language. It’s an enterprise-level programming language. Despite being old, it is still used in various business and financial applications.

Unlike most other programming languages, COBOL is considered easy to understand because it uses familiar words.

Before COBOL came into existence, organizations used their own programming language. This was a hefty task that involved working with various computer brands. And, since COBOL has launched, it is greatly used because of its portability and ease of use.

The primary linkage of COBOL is with mainframes. If you talk to COBOL developers, they will tell you that learning the language is not as difficult as understanding the ecosystem in which the language is used.

To understand COBOL better, you need to know the features of the language:

  • COBOL is very easy to learn. It is a standard language that can be compiled on a wide range of computers. It also supports a vast vocabulary.
  • COBOL is still used in more than 70% of transactions globally. It is used in both simple and complex transactions because it has advanced file handling capabilities.
  • Since COBOL has been around for far too long, it has adapted to years of business transformations. It comprises debugging and testing tools for most computer platforms.
  • COBOL is one of the most reliable, easily scalable, and portable languages out there.

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