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David S Croston Melling <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Fri, 4 Jun 1999 05:43:20 -0700
text/plain (148 lines)
-- regarding what Richard wrote

here here... I absolutely agree that were getting thin on the ground.

However, one must after 15 years of Ada be looking more for project
management and more senior project consulting roles, where you can
impart your vast experience to your clients (and be paid more to boot)
- and also  recommend the use of Ada 95 ;-)

I've seen many die hard blinkered Ada (programmer) contractors bite the
dust as they've either been unwilling to adopt new technologies or been
unwilling to move up the ladder to higher level consulting and remained

Working in Java based systems is not only is directly more financially
viable due to higher rates of pay, but often is tightly coupled with
the need to know more overlapping technologies like OOA/OOD Methods,
UML, CORBA EJB etc. and even a foreign language etc etc, and that's why
the pay is better - there are not too many people who have the whole
set of tools under their belt. Gone are the days of being payed heaps
for just knowing the ALRM.

I know in the UK most of the Ada work contractors are given is grundge
stuff that no-one else wants to do and its usually for high inertia
inefficient defense companies with many a disaster story to tell - and
an absolutely appalling 'british' attitude to freelancers (but thats
another discussion).

Fortunately on the continent (Europe) there are still many non-defence
companies willing to use Ada 95 the mood is more appealing - and there
are some very interesting projects about, combining with new methods
and techniques, in financial sectors and in the power and transport
industries, not to mention simulation, aviation, space and comms - all
non defence sectors.

It is my opinion that the defence industry has done Ada more harm than
good, ironically as it actually nurtured Ada in the first place so to

I agree Ada95 is undoubtably a superior language than Java & C++ by the
way, but we cant just sit around knocking Java and C++ and singing
Ada's praises while each month the Java & C++ world just gets on with
it and does it.

I've seen this all before when Algol68 - it had its time.

I await the flak.

Dave Croston-Melling

--- Richard Stuckey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 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
> implementation.
> 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
> > begin:vcard
> n:Stuckey;Richard
> tel;home:+44  0118   9456076
> tel;work:+44  01635  565466
> x-mozilla-html:TRUE
> url:
> adr:;;;Reading;Berkshire;RG30 6NF;England
> version:2.1
> email;internet:[log in to unmask]
> note;quoted-printable:Richard Stuckey is a compiler-writer with many
> years experience in=0D=0Acompilers, debuggers, runtime systems,
> etc.=0D=0A=0D=0AHe has worked on Ada compiler projects for Systems
> Designers=0D=0A(now EDS),  Alsys (now Aonix) and ICL (now a load of
> crap).=0D=0A=0D=0AHe is currently working for MERANT (formerly Micro
> Focus) in their=0D=0ACompiler Tools Group.
> fn:Richard Stuckey
> end:vcard

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