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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 22 Jul 1997 11:24:00 -0400
"Robert I. Eachus" <[log in to unmask]>
"Robert I. Eachus" <[log in to unmask]>
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At 08:04 PM 7/21/97 -0700, Matthew S. Whiting wrote:
>Sure.  I don't think one has to dig a ditch by hand to be a civil
>engineer nor drive a hot rivet with a hand sledge to qualify as a
>structural engineer.  Requiring one to have used early, primitive
>software implementation tools in order to be a software engineer would
>be just as ludicrous as the above examples, IMO.

   You really think so?  Watch a good civil engineer at work sometime.  He
gets his hands very dirty.  He not only runs his hand through the sand
being delivered to make concrete, but in the early stages of a project he
will be out there with a spade taking soil samples, etc.  He has to know
the characteristics of the material he has to work with.  The structural
engineer does the same thing but with core samples elasticity and
brittleness testers, etc.  But the relevant point is not that they do this,
but that they have worked with the materials enough to know what will
happen if they use this sand in that pour, or this steel at that point in
the skyscraper.  (And if you think that these people hesitate to reject
sand or steel that doesn't meet their requirements, hide and watch.)

    I'm reminded of a project now years gone by, where I was asked for a
software engineering opinion on which language to use.  The answer was that
the choice of language was not a major issue, but that there were very
serious issues which might require choosing a different operating system.
These issues were materialized in the RFP, which lead to a very successful
project (in Ada) since the winning proposal eliminated them and
significantly reduced the overall project cost.  (The time for an Ada
context switch was not an issue, but the OS latency in handling interrupts
would be.  The solution eliminated the need for fast interrupt servicing
entirely by buffering the data in hardware.)

                                        Robert I. Eachus

with Standard_Disclaimer;
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