"We can’t use Ada on our project because recruiting Software Engineers who know how to use it or can learn it is very difficult”. How true is this and what can we learn from Rapita’s experience of recruiting programmers to use Ada?
Over the past two years we have taken on three developers who were new to Ada or had limited experience of it. Here is what they had to say about learning Ada and the comparisons between it and other languages.
Part 1: Dave George
Dave previously worked in the Real Time Systems Group at the University of York. He joined Rapita Systems in 2012. “I was aware of Ada when I applied for the job and remembered it from a real-time systems module taught at the University of York”. Now Ada is all that Dave writes. He’s glad other people’s experiences of Ada didn’t put him off. “I’d heard good things about it but some people said it was horrible”. Dave quickly realised that it is also much more difficult to write bugs in Ada than C and much more difficult to accidentally make a mess of code. “I suppose you could say Ada offers a safety net in the way other languages don’t”. Obviously there were some challenges. Thankfully help is at hand, says Dave. “Having a colleague who knows Ada inside out has proved invaluable”. By promoting good practice, Dave says Ada is making him a better software engineer. Given his limited experience of using Ada before joining Rapita, this is a definite recommendation.