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"Hart, Hal" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Hart, Hal
Wed, 31 Jul 2002 13:04:13 -0700
text/plain (80 lines)
I too was surprised at William's reply.  My world here at TRW is much more like John's (immediately below), with "software engineer" (including many of the old Ada hands) usually connoting broader capabilities and experience than "programmers."  I think what I've done the last decade must be a lot like what John has done.

By the way, the future for Ada here at TRW looks mixed at best.  We have built many many millions of lines in dozens of Ada systems that we expect to evolve and sometimes directly follow-on in Ada, but pure new starts in Ada are almost unheard of here in our two largest software-intensive divisions, both in the Los Angeles area.  On the other hand, we have a sister division in Huntsville and avionics business elsewhere (in a somewhat organizationally remote group called Space & Electronics) from which I have heard reports in the last year of proposals being done in (maybe even "requiring"?) Ada.   -hh

-----Original Message-----
From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 11:13 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: What's Ada's life expectancy?

Couldn't disagree more. Programmers write code (they cost less than SWEs),
Software engineers do the things that you claim are done by smart people
with no software knowledge. Many of the SW engineers I have worked with
don't have CS degrees but they are exceptional architects and designers.
That's been true everyplace I've been. Many have been strong Ada supporters
until the bottom fell out of the Ada job market.

And yes, I'm a SW Engineer who hasn't written code in years, but I've done
countless specs, process and policys; brought in SW Tools, and come up with
a few really sweet architectures. I also prefer hiring EEs or hard science
gradutes to CS because there is more awareness of "the system." There is a
difference between engineering and science.

I can't hire Ada people, tools are hard to find, and no customers want Ada
starts. As much as I love working in Ada, I fear that its not a long term
career strategy.

I'm glad I'm not living in your real world, I'd go nuts. In my world, SWEs
set SW tools, policies, and architectures.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Jr, William [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 11:38 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: What's Ada's life expectancy?

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen D. B. Wolthusen [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 9:42 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: What's Ada's life expectancy?
> [...]
> > 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.

The approach here is to have more S/W Engineering classes and make better
S/W Engineers?  I think this is not effective.

In all organizations I have worked most software is written, spec'ed, and
architected by non-software engineers.  They have rarely had more than one
into. class in programming as an undergraduate and carry on with masters and
PhDs in other engineering areas.  C, C++, FORTRAN, Java, and Matlab are
spoken here.  Ada is being dumped.

Any effort to improving software has got to be taught to ALL engineers - not
just the few S/W Engineers.  It is the Aerospace PhD who gets to chose
hardware and software policies, tools, and even procedures and
architectures.  S/W engineers do not get hired to do these things - they get
hired to write code.

That is the real world.


William Dale
Just my opinion, not that of Lockheed Martin
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