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There is common question being asked by many in the programming world That question is Is COBOL deadIn spite of the years of criticism and all the predictions that some new language will soon replace COBOL COBOL continues as a language of business data processing Although C and Java have become significant languages over the past seven years there is no question that COBOL is still a language of business data processing COBOL has been an integral part of the market for nearly thirty years There are an estimated 20 billion lines of COBOL code currently in use and a vast range of experienced COBOL programmers There is no question that COBOL should remain as the central language in curriculum designed to prepare students for entry-level jobs in data processing This assertion contradicts an unfortunate trend Recent surveys have shown that the number of schools teaching COBOL is declining Colleges educators and others with an interest in data processing education must take advantage of every opportunity available to make the case for continued COBOL education Certainly the newer software development tools will grow in their importance but they will not cause COBOL to vanish in the foreseeable future There is another side of the question that you also must look at there is no growth in COBOL careers Companies are no longer undertaking any kind of new development using COBOL but still have a need for maintenance programmers Insurance companies banks and large firms that have legal reporting requirements that change every time the Governments mind changes about what data it wants still need their COBOL people to keep their legacy systems humming And having invested hundreds of millions of dollars into that legacy code they have a hard time cost justifying throwing it all away nowCOBOL is still used in many companies that reside here in Buffalo The company that I work for uses COBOL in order to keep track of shipping jobs that
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