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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Richard Stuckey <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 4 Jun 1999 09:31:56 +0100
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Richard Stuckey <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (2531 bytes) , richard.vcf (641 bytes)
Hello, All,

This is my first posting to this list, although I have been lurking for
a while (unlike the Americans with Disabilities Act man :-) ).

Dean Esposito said:

>> We have a real problem with the MYTH that becoming an Ada developer
will limit your career choices in the future

Well, here in the UK it is sadly true that it DOES limit your career
choices.  By way of example, Jobserve (the largest IT jobs website in
the UK - today lists only 117 jobs for Ada
developers, compared to 1758 for Java and 3452 for C++.  Also, the pay
is far better: the most I ever see offered for an Ada job is 40K GBP
(most are a lot less!), whereas C++ jobs go up to 80K, and Java as high
as 100K.

I have used Ada for most of the last 15 years (writing Ada compilers &
debuggers, and various other tools, etc.), and would not use anything
else by preference.  However, I am now working for a company where I
have to use Microsoft's Visual C++ Developer Studio (and even COBOL!!!!
- to do systems programming, believe that if you can!!!!!) - and I am
appalled both by how crude and unsafe the language is, and by the
hideous over-complexity of all the baggage that surrounds it, compared
to the simple elegance of Ada.

I have also been learning Java, since I think that it is the only real
career choice for me now; and though it is considerably better than C++,
I find it extremely depressing that the language's designers have thrown
away virtually everything that has been so painfully learned over the
past decades of language design evolution about the value of strong
(rigorous in Ada!) typing, and the separation of specification from

What is even more depressing is the blank looks that I receive from my
new colleagues (all C++ / Microsoft people) when I extoll the virtues of
Ada - the bugs that I have to track down and fix now just couldn't occur
in Ada, but they simply can't see anything wrong with C++!  I recently
tried to explain to one of them how Ada's distinction between package
specification and body makes it an ideal choice for transparently
distributing the code of an application across client and server by
means of an RPC mechanism (something we need for our products), only to
be told "Oh, that's just the same as COM" - where you have to specify
your interface in IDL, then generate a special API which you then have
to call.

Unfortunately, I don't see any hope of the situation improving here -
apart from some defence-related work, Ada's market penetration is
minute, and seems to be dwindling all the time.

Hope this hasn't depressed you too much!

         Richard Stuckey