Andrew Turley on The Relationship Between COBOL and Computer Science

New York - April 12, 2017


In 1960, two different computers compiled and ran the same COBOL program. Twenty-five years later COBOL was considered a grand success in industry and was barely mentioned, except critically, in academia. Shneiderman looks at COBOL's relationship to industry and academia, discusses COBOL's strengths and weaknesses, and describes the contributions that it made to the fields of computer science and computer engineering.

This paper draws heavily from Jean Sammet's "An Early History of COBOL". Reading Sammet's paper is not required to understand what Shneiderman is talking about, but it does provide a great deal of additional background information.


Andrew Turley (@casio_juarez) is a software engineer with an interest in programming languages, especially the ones that people hate. He currently works for Sendence Engineering where he uses Pony, a language that nobody hates yet.



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