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Sender: "Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
X-To: John McCormick <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 09:28:01 -0700
Reply-To: "S. Ron Oliver" <[log in to unmask]>
From: "S. Ron Oliver" <[log in to unmask]>
In-Reply-To: <[log in to unmask]>
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At 01:28 PM 12/5/02 -0600, John McCormick wrote:
>I'll add a data point to counter Ron Oliver's claims that the general CS
>grad is a hacker rather than an engineer.  In a recent this Fall between my
>University President and a CEO of a major avionics company, the CEO stated
>that the CS grads coming out of our program did better at developing
>software than that those they hired from engineering programs.

Interesting.  There may well be a good reason for that.  However, I really
cannot take the time to go into this at the present (explanation below).

. . .

>I will agree with Ron that the vast majority of CS profs teach hacking.  In
>fact we have just revamped our freshman courses and replaced the software
>engineering with Ada emphasis to software hacking with OO and Java.
>Interesting is that the retention rate with the hacking approach has been
>only half of that with the SE approach.

Yes, and when I observed a similar change at Cal Poly, I observed (but
could not collect objective data to back it up) that at least many of the
students leaving the program were the better students, and they almost all
went to hard engineering or science programs.  One of my very best students
decided to become a Music major.  I think there is a message there, but,
again, will have to defer elaboration for a time.

Folks, I realize I've injected a "hot topic" into this discussion (Future
of Ada . . .) and by the looks of my email queue, I'm sure there is much to
which I will need to respond.

BUT . . . . in just a few hours I will be leaving home en route to SIGAda
2002, and there is no pragmatic way for me to take the email queue with me
and use it, now that I have downloaded it.  I will probably be able to
continue accessing email via the web while I am gone.  But I simply will
not be able to process all the messages I've already downloaded.

SOooo . . .  I am not ignoring or leaving the discussion.  I just have to
take a "SIGAda Break".  :)


S. Ron Oliver, the U.S. representative for Top Graph'X, developers of high
quality software components, using Ada, including OrbRiver the
multi-language ORB.  A single distributed programming environment for all
developers.  Supports Ada95, Java, and C++.

For more information, check out

Semi-retired professor of Computer Science and Computer