Introduction to COBOL
When, in 1975, Edsger Dijkstra made his comment that “The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offence1,” he gave voice to, and solidified, the opposition to COBOL in academia. That opposition has resulted in fewer and fewer academic institutions teaching COBOL so that now it has become difficult to find young programmers to replace the aging COBOL workforce2-3. This scarcity is leading to an impending COBOL crisis. Despite Dijkstra’s comments and the claims regarding COBOL’s imminent death, COBOL remains a dominant force in the world of enterprise computing, and attempts to replace legacy COBOL systems have been shown to be difficult, dangerous, and expensive.