We don’t often think about it, but computer programming languages have been around for many years. The Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL) has been around since 1959 and might be one of the most in-demand skills of future generations of software engineers. The bulk of business applications that have been around for a long time (airline reservations, banking transactions, medical records, tax accounting, etc.) are written in COBOL, and the people who wrote the original code and support the code today are reaching retirement age soon. Most programmers entering the field today don’t know anything about COBOL, and probably haven’t been educated on the language because it isn’t seen as important or interesting by recent college graduates. There is some research that indicates there is already a shortage of qualified coders to replace the aging COBOL programmer workforce.
Micro Focus, which provides enterprise application modernization and maintenance solutions, announced that its Micro Focus Visual COBOL solution now supports Microsoft Visual Studio 2015. As with previous releases of Visual COBOL, this version includes full-fledged support for the language: IntelliSense, smart editing, auto-complete, code analysis and debugging tools are all here. Additionally, Visual COBOL allows developers to mix their applications with .NET and C# code, bringing more flexibility to their COBOL stacks.
Interested in learning more about the future of COBOL? You can read more here.