I spent over a decade of my life working with Ada. I've spent almost the same amount of time working with C# and VisualBasic. And I've spent almost six years now with F#. I consider all of these great languages for various reasons, each with their respective problems. As these are mostly mature languages some of the problems were only knowable in hindsight. But Ada was always sort of my baby. I don't really mind extra typing, as at least what I do, reading happens much more than writing, and tab completion has most things only being 3-4 key presses irl. But I'm no zealot, and have been fully aware of deficiencies in the language, just like any language would have. I've had similar feelings of all languages I've worked with, and the .NET/C#/VB/F# guys are excellent with taking suggestions and feedback.

This is not the case with Ada, and this will be my story, since I've no longer decided anonymity is necessary.

First few years learning the language I did what anyone does: you write shit that already exists just to learn. Kept refining it over time, sometimes needing to do entire rewrites. Eventually a few of these wound up being good. Not novel, just good stuff that already existed. Outperforming the leading Ada company in benchmarks kind of good. At the time I was really gung-ho about the language. Would have loved to make Ada development a career. Eventually build up enough of this, as well as a working, but very bad performing compiler, and decide to try to apply for a job at this company. I wasn't worried about the quality of the compiler, as anyone who's seriously worked with Ada knows, the language is remarkably complex with some bizarre rules in dark corners, so a compiler which passes the standards test indicates a very intimate knowledge of the language few can attest to.

I get told they didn't think I would be a good fit for the job, and that they didn't think I should be doing development.

A few months of rapid cycling between hatred and self loathing passes, and then a suicide attempt. I've got past problems which contributed more so than the actual job denial.

So I get better and start working even harder on my shit. Get the performance of my stuff up even better. Don't bother even trying to fix up the compiler, and start researching about text parsing. Do tons of small programs to test things, and wind up learning a lot. I'm starting to notice a lot of languages really surpassing Ada in _quality of life_, with things package managers and repositories for those, as well as social media presence and exhaustive tutorials from the community.

At the time I didn't really get programming language specific package managers (I do now), but I still brought this up to the community. Don't do that. They don't like new ideas. Odd for a language which at the time was so innovative. But social media presence did eventually happen with a Twitter account that is most definitely run by a specific Ada company masquerading as a general Ada advocate. It did occasionally draw interest to neat things from the community, so that's cool.

Since I've been using both VisualStudio and an IDE this Ada company provides, I saw a very jarring quality difference over the years. I'm not gonna say VS is perfect, it's not. But this piece of shit made VS look like a polished streamlined bug free race car designed by expert UX people. It. Was. Bad. Very little features, with little added over the years. Fast forwarding several years, I can find about ten bugs in five minutes each update, and I can't find bugs in the video games I play, so I'm no bug finder. It's just that bad. This from a company providing software for "highly reliable systems"...

So I decide to take a crack at writing an editor extension for VS Code, which I had never even used. It actually went well, and as of this writing it has over 24k downloads, and I've received some great comments from some people over on Twitter about how detailed the highlighting is. Plenty of bespoke advertising the entire time in development, of course.

Never a single word from the community about me.

Around this time I had also started a YouTube channel to provide educational content about the language, since there's very little, except large textbooks which aren't right for everyone. Now keep in mind I had written a compiler which at least was passing the language standards test, so I definitely know the language very well. This is a standard the programmers at these companies will admit very few people understand. YouTube channel met with hate from the community, and overwhelming thanks from newcomers. Never a shout out from the "community" Twitter account. The hate went as far as things like how nothing I say should be listened to because I'm a degenerate Irishman, to things like how the world would have been a better place if I was successful in killing myself (I don't talk much about my mental illness, but it shows up).

I'm strictly a .NET developer now. All code ported.

  • 3
    Haters gon hate. Fuck them.
  • 3
    Wow, this... Is touching, and heartbreaking at the same time.

    I'd suggest you stick it up to that 'community' and keep pursuing rhe path you were going with ada. That way you can surpass the hate, and excel in magnamousity.
  • 5
    I havent even heard of Ada before this. But one thing is for sure after reading your post: you seem like one hell of a dedicated person. Don't heed to what other assholes tell you.. Keep doing what you do best.
    All the very best
  • 2
    @inhamul It's a very common language in the military, aerospace, trains, etc. But outside of what I call "general heavy industry" you just don't see it
  • 2
    @pk76 wow, thanks for the info
    Learned something new today!
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