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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
"Stephen D. B. Wolthusen" <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 31 Jul 2002 18:42:04 +0200
"Stephen D. B. Wolthusen" <[log in to unmask]>
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"S. Ron Oliver" <[log in to unmask]> writes:

> The key point is, Ada, and other sensible technologies (which eliminates
> all C-class languages, including Java), are going to be around as long as
> there are responsible, competent Software Engineers, committed to doing
> high quality work.  While it is true the percentage of people in the
> software industry who fit those criteria might appear to be shrinking, it
> is just a matter of time before public outrage, if nothing more, will force
> the issue for many domains.
> Meanwhile, we Ada advocates try to find evidence to rebut the
> old Catch-22: Ada is not being taught much anymore because
> the faculty and students don't see the jobs out there, and the
> employers walk away from Ada because they don't see the graduates
> who are educated to use it.

What I'm *really* afraid of is what will happen once the semantics of all
the convenience application development environments (e.g. MS Visual Basic,
Access, .NET, and also Java/J2EE) will shift sufficiently and companies
realize that they've built critical applications on a less than sound

Although I'm working at a research lab controlled by the German government
(a Fraunhofer Society institute), most of our funding comems from contract
research -- and there I can only advocate Ada [1]. Inexpensive, readily
available programmers (not to mention software engineers) just aren't
there, retraining is not too attractive since it eats into revenue.

So yes, getting students to do Ada is the issue. I've been toying on and
off with offering a graduate-level Ada / Formal Methods / Security
Engineering course at Darmstadt University since just bit**ing about the
problem doesn't help -- even though that would properly be a task for the
regular faculty, not a hobbyist like myself. Maybe I'll find the time to
prepare something in time for next fall.

[1] Championing ``lost causes'' for their technical superiority seems to be
    a pattern here. I'm also the last VMS user in the entire institute...


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