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Michael Stark <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 18 Jul 1997 09:23:03 -0400
text/plain (53 lines)
At 2:50 AM -0400 7/18/97, Hal Hart wrote:
>>Although I don't have an answer, I think that TRW is asking the wrong
>>question.  The issue is not the number of XYZ Programmers (where
>>XYZ is Ada 95, C++, etc) but rather the number of people who
>>understand the principles of software engineering and who also
>>know XYZ.  I would suggest that although the sheer number of
>>C++ programmers is undoubtedly much higher than that of
>>Ada 95 programmers, if you filter the population so as to
>>focus on those who truly understand software construction,
>>then the numbers become closer.  It is far more likely
>>that an Ada 95 programmer will also have a good understanding
>>of software engineering, than a C++ programmer.  So although
>>it may be harder to find Ada 95 programmers, those whom
>>you do find will be more likely to succeed.
>>
>>I would hope that TRW is also looking at language issues such as
>>standardization status, ability to interface with foreign code, etc.
>
>
>BEN: I appreciate and respect (and even "theoretically" agree with)
>your position, but in general Gov't procurement procedures make it
>much more black-and-white than that.  If an RFP says "program in Ada
>95," we say "how high should jump?", not try to convince the customer
>he asked the wrong question.  If a procurement suggests that we choose
>a language and demonstrate our capability in it, we need to not fudge
>on the response -- and # of trained programmers is what the average
>customer understands.  Rule #1 of proposals is directly address what
>the RFP asks (i.e., "comply"); acting too smart and in any way
>implying that we should be answering different questions is a sure way
>to lose most procurements, so this would only be done so as to appear
>to extend the basic compliant answer.  I think that's the game Ed
>needs to play here.
>
>        -- Hal

Folks -- I don't have all the answers either, but IMO counting Ada 83
programmers is a valid approach.  I've been able to learn Ada 95 OO
concepts in my spare time and with minimal help from experts.  From that
experience I think it is an easy jump to Ada 95 OOP features with minimal
training/mentoring.  I would use this to show that there are sufficient Ada
programmers, and to refocus on what language is best for the application at
hand.

-------------------------------------------------------
Michael Stark                                                   NASA/GSFC

Phone: (301) 286-5048                                   Code 552
Fax:    (301) 286-0245                                   Greenbelt, MD 20771
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"A civilization is not destroyed by wicked people; it is not necessary that
 people be wicked but only that they be spineless"  -- James Baldwin
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