COBOL is the Rodney Dangerfield of programming languages — it doesn’t get any respect. COBOL is routinely denigrated for its verbosity and dismissed as archaic, and for good reason: COBOL bears little to no resemblance to modern programming languages. Yet COBOL is far from a dead language. It processes an estimated 85% of all business transactions, and 5 billion lines of new COBOL code are written every year!
In the past I’ve argued that COBOL isn’t such a bad language, but I’m not going to do that here! Instead, we’ll journey deep into the past to recreate a retro bug that could only happen in COBOL! Our travels will include:
syntactic white space!
dueling compiler options!
virtual punch cards!
No punch cards were harmed in the creation of this talk.