Photo: Erik Pitti
That’s a question I’ve been asking myself recently as I’ve thrashed around looking to settle on a stack for my next project.
COBOL is that unsexy old thing that pays $350/hour to those brave and experienced enough to still have familiarity with it. It is legacy code wrangled these days by "maintenance" programmers. (I actually saw this used as a derogatory term by some fool who probably makes less than $350/hour.)
Most of the time I’ve spent programming to date was with tools I took pleasure in using. Sure, there was some Java, some C, but the majority of it was with sweet sweet Ruby and Rails. ♦️🛤️
The times have changed though, and I don’t feel too confident in that duo anymore.
I’ve always liked the backend more, and particularly ran away from JS like the devil. But, though I hate to admit it… JS, you’re my COBOL.
A weird type of COBOL, that’s for sure. One that has a baggage of legacy, quirks, and facepalms aplenty, while also being so cutting edge that people’s brains stall and hurt from pure paradox of choice.
But it is the language of my time. The number one most popular programming language on the planet. The undisputed queen of the open web 👑. And the one most likely to put a roof over my head for decades to come with the most flexibility.
To some it’s Java, others PHP. I’m going to park my horse right here under this JS tree 🌵. (You can start a song with that.) I’ll weather the framework tides, accumulating scars and wisdom, and have you – my handy sledgehammer of sparse finesse and begrudging appeal – always by my side.
That doesn’t mean stagnation, though. Quite the opposite. Knowing my footing firm, I’ll be free to risk further into learning and making: programming- and business- wise. 🏌️
I won’t pretend I love you, JS, but I will honor your place as the breadwinner. 🍞
And after a hard day’s work, I’ll rest you carefully in my toolbox, and let my fancy fly for anything but you ;) 🆓
That is my COBOL. What’s yours?