Happy Birthday COBOL!

The world’s most demonized legacy software development language (See the world didn’t end because of the Y2K crisis) turns fifty-years-old today.  I think the talk of it’s certain demise in the 1990s was a little exaggerated.  And, although I haven’t used it in years, I still have my college COBOL textbook, and I fondly remember that my COBOL class was where I learned about control breaks in software development.

According to an editors note from Dr. Dobbs, (11-Jul-2008) citing a letter from David Black:

…200 billion lines of COBOL are in use today (65 percent of the total software).  This represents a $2 trillion dollar total investment (Gartner Group).  Five billion new lines of COBOL are being added each year (IBM).  85 percent of all computer programs are written in COBOL.  Your life is influenced around the clock by COBOL applications.  They vary from banks, stock markets, grocery store businesses, hospital administration, steel manufacturing, automotive production, insurance companies, …