Ada Lovelace

In college I had some brief exposure to the programming language, Ada. At the time I was learning C and it didn’t capture much interest for me. Then a whole bunch of life happened wherein I left computer science and ended up playing in the realm of front-end languages for most of my career. Now as I look into my toolbox of programming skills I see a deficit directly in the spot where Ada could go.

What is Ada? It’s a highly structured language built for large codebases with a focus on safety and reliability. There’s a ton of research behind its methodologies and history with the US government that’s worth a read. I’m equally fascinated with its background as I am with the woman whose name in bears, Ada Lovelace. She’s also worth reading up on.

Why Ada? Rust or Golang are incredibly popular these days as C replacements. Ada gets almost no mention or love in online communities. It’s the tool of avionics and of the military, right? Why would I need it?

In short, I don’t. I’m perfectly fine trucking along with JavaScript, PHP, Python, and shell scripts. Unfortunately for me, Ada has gotten stuck in my head and won’t let go.

So I’m learning it properly now. I’ve already started doing some exercises, and I’m reading through some impressive tutorials. The squatters in the #ada IRC room on freenode also recommended a book by John Barnes called Programming in Ada 2012 as the best resource. So with all that together and some patience I’m going to build some silly things and practice. If anything of note comes up I’ll share it here.

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