I was taught Ada as a first language and not only did it provide a great solid
foundation for good programming practices, but it made learning any other
language a piece of cake! (I graduated last Spring)

I took Ada for two semesters, later taking c/c++ as a combined one semester
course, and Visual C++ and Java later on, by taking Ada first (And having
professors that pointed out every reason why Ada was better than other
languages hehe) I find it easier to uses other languages in a safer way, I
know the pitfalls to watch out for, and just by taking Ada it has made me a
better programer all around.

Sadly, I wanted to move to California after graduation and live in the Los
Angeles area and I couldn't find a job using Ada that I wanted out here, so I
am currently using C++, I took a job with TRWs Systems and Information
Technology Group, no Ada here! (But there were lots of Ada jobs in Tucson, AZ,
Albuquerque, NM, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana! )

But I am programming so I am happy! And liking TRW and the location a lot!

Just my Two Cents! Have a good weekend!

:)

-Marie



>===== Original Message From Ben Brosgol <[log in to unmask]> =====
>> Here at Portsmouth we still teach Ada as the first language to a wide
>range
>> of students on our computer science, software engineering and information
>> technology courses. We believe it is the best language to support the
>> teaching of the foundations of programming, especially modularity,
>> readability and correctness. We use GNAT because it gives students better
>> help with error messages than any other compiler we've seen.
>>
>> We also believe Ada provides an excellent platform from which to go on to
>> teach Java, which we do in the second year for CS and SE students. That
>was
>> a change this year (we used to teach C++) and seems to have gone well.
>>
>> We've tried this year teaching Java as the first language for our MSc
>> conversion course students (again replacing C++). That hasn't been a great
>> success but , to be fair, perhaps for reasons nothing to do with choice of
>> language.
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Jim Briggs.
>
>I am not surprised that teaching Java as a 1st language has been less than
>successful, and I suspect that the reasons are language related.  A couple
>of years ago I wrote a paper comparing Ada and Java as a foundation language
>and pointed out why Ada is the better choice; it's available (updated in
>March 2000) at
>http://www.gnat.com/texts/papers/ada-java-teaching-comparison.pdf
>
>It is not only "Ada bigots" who have reached the conclusion that Java as a
>first language is a bad choice.  Check the April 1998 issue of SIGPLAN
>Notices for some papers giving other educators' negative experience at
>teaching Java at this level.  It's possible to use Java as a foundations
>language without inducing permanent harm on the students, but it takes a lot
>of care.
>
>Ben Brosgol
>Ada Core Technologies
>79 Tobey Road; Belmont, MA 02478; USA
>+1-617-489-4027 (voice);  +1-617-489-4009 (FAX)
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