When to Use Old Code

COBOL is a programming language that was originally designed in 1959, an era that many people might think of as being “before computers”. That’s not true, of course; they just didn’t have computers at home. The language is still being used by some businesses on giant mainframe computers. It’s a bit like Linux: people interact with it every day, they just don’t know it.

The point here is simple: the world more or less runs on old code, and that’s not always a bad thing. We, as designers and front end developers, could learn a thing or two.

We generally think of older code as being slower and less secure. This actually varies greatly depending on the system in question. Hey, how many script kiddies do you know that could hack into anything running on COBOL, when they might not even know what it is? Sometimes old code is just more dependable.

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