Why You Should Learn To Program In COBOL, Yes We Said COBOL

Every day, a whopping $3 trillion worth of transactions are processed by a programming language that’s older than your grandparents. This language is called COBOL, short for Common Business Oriented Language. Even though it’s been around for 64 years and isn’t taught in most schools anymore, it’s still super important in many industries like banking, car manufacturing, insurance, government, healthcare, and finance.

According to a research journal, almost half of all banking systems are still using COBOL. This old language is responsible for handling those $3 trillion daily transactions, which includes almost all ATM activity in the US, and 80 percent of all in-person credit card transactions.

But here’s the catch: not many people are interested in learning COBOL these days. Coding in COBOL can be a bit of a pain. It’s like typing an English essay (a lot of typing), the coding format is very strict and doesn’t allow for much flexibility, and it takes a lot longer to compile than other languages. And since not many people are learning it, it’s getting harder and harder to find programmers who can work with and maintain all that code. Many of these “COBOL cowboys” are retiring, and there aren’t enough new programmers to take their place. So, while it might not be the most exciting language to learn, it’s still a pretty important one!