Chapter 3 Section 4
Technology Transfer Related Risks
To ensure that their staff and any contractor(s) are adequately trained
in Ada 95 and related technologies, PEOs and PMs should:
- Assess the need for training and budget the cost of training either
before or as a part of their first Ada 95 project.
- Ensure that the technology transfer is well integrated with prototypes and
pilot project efforts to allow trained personnel to practice what they have
- Seed participants of the first training efforts onto other projects to
help train and mentor others.
- Incorporate the results of prototype and pilot projects back into the
Technology transfer, which includes both education and training, is
a vital link in the Ada 95 adoption process. The early availability of Ada 95
training serves as a significant risk mitigator. Unless the PEO, PM, and the
contractor/developer become aware of management and technical concepts
associated with Ada 95, they jeopardize their ability to deal with increased
technical risks to the project.
Education and training can take many forms, including formal courses, computer
and video training, and books and articles. Acquiring and distributing
technology transfer materials will be a key part of a manager's risk
To provide training, managers must ensure
To deal with the latter, managers must budget early for Ada 95 training. The
former will not be a large issue, because courses are already available from
many sources (see the next subsection).
- Training is available from suppliers, and
- Training is made available within each PEO's and PM's organization.
Ada 95 training differs from Ada 83 training. Ada 83 training was focused on
learning the entire language, and courses were usually one to four weeks long.
Ada 95 training focuses on incremental approaches to the language. Typically,
so far, vendors are offering more specialized courses that are tailored to the
audience's specific needs. Ada 83 prerequisites are, of course, essential to
these shorter, specialized courses. Training for non-Ada programmers generally
stresses a direct move to Ada 95 - teaching an integrated set of features both
"old and new".
PEOs and PMs have several ways to ensure the availability of Ada
Ada 95 training has already begun to become available. Sources include:
- When acquiring software via a contractor, choose a contractor who has
already adopted Ada 95 (no need to train);
- Acquire training from an outside vendor for the development staff or
contractor just in time to support the project;
- Develop and present training using an in-house staff (only cost effective
for large PEOs or projects);
- Train staff using self-paced training (this is usually a higher risk
unless it is used to supplement classroom training only); and
- Provide mentors to work along with the project staff.
The AdaIC maintains detailed information on specific training dates,
course names and descriptions, and contact information. Also, Appendix A
provides additional information on training sources.
- DOD Ada Trainers and Defense Colleges - Many organizations
within the DOD provide Ada 83 training to their service's students and to
other DOD organizations and are upgrading their courses to Ada 95. These
include the Air Force's Ada training at Keesler AFB and the service academies,
such as the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, among others.
- Local Colleges and Universities - Nearly 300 colleges and
universities in the United States teach Ada at some point in their
undergraduate curricula. In addition to producing graduates who are already
proficient in Ada, many of these schools offer courses that can help train
current workers in Ada. For the past three years, the Ada 95 Project Office
has been working with these universities to produce Ada 95 curricula for
colleges, ensuring the early availability of Ada 95 training.
- Tutorials at Conferences - Often the best source for introductory
training. The first Ada 95 training was presented at the many Ada-specific
and general software-oriented conferences. The tutorial reprints are typically
available for a fee through conference organizers.
- Industry Training Organizations and Consultants - A number of
organizations provide commercial training courses in Ada 95 and other software
engineering topics. Among the most experienced are those that have been
providing Ada 83 instruction over the past decade.
- Basic Training Materials on the Internet - One new and very
positive aspect of the Ada 95 effort is the large amount of free, publicly
available material stored on the Internet. Already several kinds of Ada 95
training material have been created and made available. These materials can
form the nucleus for an in-house training group's efforts. Much of this same
material has been archived on CD-ROM by the AdaIC.
It is essential that PEOs and PMs assess technology insertion and
technology transfer as part their initial examination of Ada 95 adoption
risks. Although training is a risk to be assessed, it can also be a risk
mitigation tool to be employed. If at all possible, the PEO and PM need to
look for and make use of a contractor with previous Ada 95 experience.
However, at the beginning of the Ada 95 adoption effort this may be difficult.
Therefore, it should be expected that both the Government and the contractor
will need to acquire Ada 95 training as a part of the adoption process - and
should do so jointly if possible. The PEO and PM Offices should plan and
budget for Ada 95 training as part of their adoption process. PEOs and PMs
should remember that Ada 83 experience is available and may be almost all that
PEOs and PMs moving from other languages to Ada 95 will find that
the cost of Ada 95 technology transfer will be approximately the same as any
other language. Based on informal comparisons of commercially
available courses, the cost of Ada 95 training is similar to that of Ada 83
training and that of other programming languages. One very positive
note is the early availability of free training materials that organizations
can use to augment their in-house training curriculum - typically a very cost-
effective approach for training large numbers of developers. Two other factors
influence the total cost of training:
PEOs and PMs making the incremental upgrade from Ada 83 will find that
their cost is even lower. PEOs and PMs need only provide supplemental
training to make Ada 83 programmers proficient in Ada 95.
- The cost of each class - This cost seems to be well within the
typical range of prices charged for training in Ada 83 or languages such as
C++ or Smalltalk.
- The total number of classes needed - Based on the currently
available courses, Ada 95 training is more extensive than that needed for a
language such as assembly or FORTRAN, but composed of the same number or fewer
training days than a language such as C++ requires.
It is not necessary to get training in object-oriented technology or object-oriented programming to move to Ada 95. Not conducting OOT training may
lower the costs of the transition and the risks associated with a multiple
technology transition. The project may simply use Ada 95 as a slightly better
Ada 83. However, to unleash the full power of Ada 95, projects may want to
make use of the object-oriented programming technology available with the new
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