On the 50th anniversary of COBOL in Aug 2009, a blogger Jeff Atwood shared some interesting statistics regarding COBOL (one of many legacy languages) and explained why COBOL is found “Everywhere & Nowhere”. You may call the statistics outdated now but mere 3.5 years will hardly make any difference to the 50 years of setup of 250 Billion active lines of code (of COBOL). Here is the excerpts from the writing.
“Today COBOL is everywhere, yet is largely unheard of among the millions of people who interact with it on a daily basis. Its reach is so pervasive that it is almost unthinkable that the average person could go a day without it. Whether using an ATM, stopping at traffic lights or purchasing a product online, the vast majority of us will use COBOL in one form or another as part of our daily existence.
The statistics that surround COBOL attest to its huge influence upon the business world. There are over 220 billion lines of COBOL in existence, a figure which equates to around 80% of the world’s actively used code. There are estimated to be over a million COBOL programmers in the world today. Most impressive perhaps, is that 200 times as many COBOL transactions take place each day than Google searches – a figure which puts the influence of Web 2.0 into stark perspective.
Every year, COBOL systems are responsible for transporting up to 72,000 shipping containers, caring for 60 million patients, processing 80% of point-of-sales transactions and connecting 500 million mobile phone users. COBOL manages our train timetables, air traffic control systems, holiday bookings and supermarket stock controls. And the list could go on.”.
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