Builtin: Old Languages Like COBOL Stick Around for Good Reasons

By May 11, 2020News

Published by Builtin on May 8, 2020

Organizations are reluctant to replace software that works. But finding devs to maintain it is getting harder and harder.

On April 4, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey made an unusual call for volunteers during a COVID-19 press conference.

“Not only do we need healthcare workers,” he said, “but given the legacy systems we should add a page for COBOL computer skills.”

He was referring to government sites that connect constituents to services such as unemployment benefits, which had trouble handling the sudden increase in applicants.

“We have systems that are 40-plus-years old,” Murphy said. “There’ll be lots of post-mortems, and one of them on our list will be how the heck did we get here where we literally needed COBOL programmers.”

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