I'm No Longer Interested In Ada

by Gene Michael Stover

created Wednesday, 2012-02-08 T 11:27:00Z
updated Wednesday, 2012-02-08 T 11:27:00Z

The Ada programming language was designed for large programming projects. The designers were aware that an increasing team size corresponds to a decreasing likelihood that the mean skill level of the members is exceptional, so the language was designed to allow an average programmer to do no harm. (I wish I remembered where I read that.

Imagine a programming language designed to allow mediocre programmers to do no harm. Fascinating!

For years, I wondered what it was like to work on an Ada project. Sure, there would be none of those wonderfully ingenious code snippets that cannot be thwarted in accomplishing their critical purpose, & of course there would be much more code, but maybe there would be other advantages. In spite of having not-so-hot programmers on the team, would progress be unstoppable & steady (if slow) towards completion? Or would Ada, like so many other languages & paradigms to reduce the cost of software development, serve as another confirmation of how good programming depends on good programmers?

Now that I'm forced to use Java in my day job, I no longer wonder these things.