I was part of the team that added COBOL to the Exercism stable. It was particularly satisfying to see that COBOL got to be the 60th language, given it had had its 60th birthday back in 2019.
I have a lot of respect for old people and old things. COBOL isn’t the sexiest language but it’s still being actively developed (the last major standard being COBOL 2014) and one can still make a living with it in the banking and insurance verticals particularly.
I’ve heard folk saying that all those billions of lines should be replaced with something “better.” Whatever they say, it’s never going to happen. Think of this way: what electrician in his/her right mind would rip absolutely all of the wiring out of an existing house and then rewire it from scratch while people were still living in it? It wouldn’t be worth the cost and the disruption. Similarly large corporations with existing legacy codebases. Whether we like it or not, we’re stuck with COBOL for the foreseeable future. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to use it. But if you can swallow your pride and learn it, you can make a decent living from it.
Sadly, one can’t say the same about another old language I like: SNOBOL4. But that’s another story.