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Implications for IT Departments

In-house software developers could be the greatest beneficiaries of software craftsmanship. Currently they're not very well served by the software engineering community, primarily because the applications they deliver are outside the realm of software engineering. Indeed, many of the applications are written in languages that the software engineering community would rather forget about: COBOL, PL/1, VAX Basic, and on the PC side Pascal and Visual Basic.

In-house developers have been creating long-lived applications for years. It's time for the software development community to think about how the various toolsets and software development processes need to be changed to meet the needs of these types of applications. One certainty is that the solution is not to rewrite these corporate applications in the current latest-and-greatest programming language. Instead we need to find a way to improve the maintainability of current applications, whatever their language.

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