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My impression from the article was that the barrier to entry for new hires was less the language and more the domain-specific knowledge of the industry and the institution.

Salient quote from the article: "the time before a new employee can stand on their own feet is 2–3 years"

Exactly. It is not like COBOL is that hard to learn, what is hard to learn is how these old systems work and what all the code is doing.

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