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7 programming languages that will stay

When I was sitting in the nineties at a GE Training course for IT I remember everyone joking about certain technologies and how they would soon be gone......but guess what.....most of the dinosaur's are still around and going strong.

Technology is changing so quickly yet existing projects and code are so hard to replace, systems can stay in maintenance mode for decades, slowly being significantly rewritten but never actually replaced.

These 7 technologies are ones that software developers will be using for a long time even if some are past their prime.


There are millions of lines of COBOL code out there powering banks and insurance companies and other mission-critical systems that handle massive amounts of data. Many of these systems have been in service for decades and most like still will be in decades to come.

2: VBA

A lot of systems that use VBA, VBScript, or VB6 (all related technologies) are outdated. But VBA is still the macro language for Microsoft Office, and plenty of people depend upon it to do their jobs, we see actuaries and other insurance folks still actively coding in VBA 

3: .NET WinForms

In the past decade many critical business applications have been delivered in .net and there is no solid business case to change so it will still be there in the next 5-10 years.

4: Flash

I am not a big fan of Flash and neither was Steve Jobs or anyone from Apple, but you cannot deny they gained a huge following and tons of websites use flash. It was everywhere. While Flash still is everywhere, HTML5 threatens to push it out of its spot for rich Web development. Even so, there will be existing Flash work out there for ages, and it will be maintained and extended. HTML5 still can’t replace Flash for some things, either.

5: C

Until fairly recently, C was almost dissappearing  and then the iPhone in 2007 and Ipad in 2009 were released, causing a massive surge in use of Objective-C, which is a superset of C. The popularity of iOS will ensure that C will be used for application development for some time to come.


If languages were people, FORTRAN would be regarded as COBOL’s strange little cousin. FORTRAN  was the language of choice for many industries like transportation and automotive, a pile of code got written in it, and replacing that code is very expensive. Where COBOL runs the banks, FORTRAN runs things like signalling equipment for transportation.....so a very risky business to try and replace it.

7: SQL

With all the various database abstraction systems out there, such as the ORMs (Hibernate, Entity Framework) and other systems (Active Records, LINQ), why in the world does anyone actually write SQL into their applications? Because it is still essential for developers to customise extractions and so they still do loads of SQL coding. 

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