Years ago I used to earn my living as a Cobol programmer. At one stage I even met Grace Hopper. Things have moved on a long way since then, but the lessons that I learned in the early days have sometimes kept me grounded in an industry that (shall we say) has a bias towards optimism.
Rob Bryden has said that "with any moral dilemma I always ask myself, what would Rod Stewart do?". Well, when I'm trying to understand some new piece of software I can't help wondering "how would we have done that in Cobol?". In the past it wasn't such a bad place to start, but there are things going on now that go well beyond the point where my simple test breaks down. I'm not sure that knowledge of Cobol would help a lot with understanding how they do this stuff, and I doubt if Rod Stewart is going to be much help either. But on the other hand, how well would this clever stuff handle a general ledger?
(thanks to Mapperz, and others for the link)