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Why do some companies use outdated programming languages?

There’s a company in my city, and they are almost always looking for fresh out of college software engineers. When I look at the requirements they always say that they use programming languages like Fortran, Ada, Ruby on Rails, etc. Why don’t companies switch to high-end technologies? Why are they stuck on ancient languages?

4/15/2021 12:40:43 AM

Hira A

7 Answers

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They have massive applications that need support. It’s not easy to rewrite millions of lines of code. They want to hire maintenance programmed to take care of those ancient apps. Odds are they have modern languages as well.


You do realise that C,C++, html, java, JavaScript and Python are all over 30 years old? Ada is younger than C and was last updated in 2016. Ada is used in high reliability systems in the aerospace and defense sectors. These sectors have long lead in times for certification purposes and don't just throw software out there then patch what the end user complains about. Ada was originally MIL-STD-1815, a Military Standard. While Fortran is over 60 years old the specification was last updated by ISO/IEC 1539-1:2018, 28 November 2018; 2 years ago. Fortran is used in the Scientific and Engineering domains. No Python isn't better in this domain, that's just what the script kiddies say because they know no better. Ruby on Rails is a relatively modern language (released 2004) and last updated 26 March 2021; 19 days ago! What do you mean by high end technology? Ada and Fortran were designed for very specific requirements that cannot be fulfilled by other languages. Do you think everything built or designed in the last millennium should be scrapped because it is not new or kewl? Why do people still build with concrete when it was invented in 1200BC? Things are naturally replaced when something better comes along. We engineers, including software engineers, have a saying "If it isn't broken, don't try to fix it".


P.M. You are correct Ruby on Rails is a server side web application framework written in Ruby (which is a programming language). I was simply responding to the original post.


Love2Code there are many specialist languages that have specific markets and many that you have probably never heard of. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_programming_languages FORTRAN (1957) Lisp (1958) COBOL (1959) BASIC (1964) Forth (1970) Pascal (1970) Unix sh shell script (1971) C (1972) I know you have heard of this it's here to provide a timeline reference point. All of the above are still in use today.


Jerry Hobby Got it, thanks


Martin Taylor I know that they’re over 30 years old, but they are still being maintained... I didn’t know that these languages too were being maintained because I never heard anyone (besides my CS teacher) saying that they used them.


Martin Taylor sir i thought ruby on rails is a framework rather than a language🤔