Ada Helps Students Achieve Programming Literacy

Kean University (USA)

Ada was already in use at the university, with the GNAT environment, and Prof. Wittenberg wanted to have the latest toolset available not only for the contest, but also for the Comparative Programming Languages Course in which Ada is currently taught.

When asked what he felt students gained from learning Ada, Prof. Wittenberg responded, “Ada is a well-designed, readable language, whose syntax corresponds directly to its semantics rather than obscuring them. Although this may appear a small point, students seem to have no difficulty whatsoever indenting their Ada programs properly but have major problems indenting C++ and Java code.

The larger issues are whether the language supports the software engineering principles we are trying to teach, and how easily students can achieve the necessary literacy. Here Ada excels. It avoids the traps and pitfalls of C and C++, and its methodology neutral design makes it much easier to learn than the strict object-oriented approach imposed by Java.”

Kean University’s computer science program