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AdaCore Launches “Make with Ada” Programming Competition, with €5000 Top Prize

Programming competition aimed at embedded systems programmers, to demonstrate Ada’s benefits for reliable, safe and secure software

NEW YORK and PARIS, MAY 15, 2017 – AdaCore today announced the launch of its 2nd annual “Make with Ada” programming competition, a contest that aims to help the embedded software community improve the quality of their code by encouraging the use of the Ada and SPARK programming languages. The competition runs from May 15 to September 15, 2017, and offers over €8000 in total prizes. Participants can register for the competition at www.makewithada.org.

Competition Rules

The competition is open to individuals and to teams with up to four members. The goal is to design and implement an embedded software project where Ada and/or SPARK are the principal language technologies. Entrants will need to demonstrate that their system meets its requirements and has been developed using sound software engineering practices. The submission deadline is September 15, 2017, and the award winners will be announced in October 2017.

Prizes and Judging Criteria

Cash prizes will be awarded to the projects that best meet the overall criteria of software dependability, openness, collaborativeness and inventiveness.

  • Top Prize:        €5000 ($5500)
  • Second Prize: €2000 ($2200)
  • Third Prize:      1000 ($1100)

A Student-only Prize will also be awarded to the best-ranking Student Finalist: one Printrbot Portable 3D Printer. Entrants must provide a student ID when registering to qualify for this prize, as defined in the competition terms and conditions at http://makewithada.org/terms. A project submitted by a student is eligible for both the Student-Only Prize and the cash prizes.

Judges

The panel of judges comprises embedded systems experts Jack Ganssle, Principal Consultant at The Ganssle Group; William Wong, Technical Editor at Penton Media; Richard Nass, Embedded and IoT Franchises Brand Director at OpenSystemsMedia; Cyrille Comar, AdaCore President; and Stephane Carrez, Software Engineer at Bouygues Telecom and Make with Ada 2016 competition winner.

“Judging last year’s Make with Ada competition showed me how developers new to Ada and SPARK could quickly come up to speed with these languages and produce some ingenious embedded applications,” said competition judge William Wong. “I look forward to seeing the range of projects that are submitted this year; I’m sure that the combination of software engineering talent, safe / secure languages and top-notch development tools will produce some impressive results.”

“This is an exciting opportunity for developers to try the Ada or SPARK technologies and demonstrate their imagination and programming skills,” said Fabien Chouteau, AdaCore software engineer and author of the Make with Ada blog post series. “Ada and SPARK are most known for their track record in large-scale long-lived systems, but you can use these languages and AdaCore’s tools for software that has to run in the most resource-limited embedded environments including bare metal targets.”

The “Make with Ada” competition is part of an overall AdaCore initiative to foster the growth of Ada and SPARK for developing embedded systems and more generally for developing “software that matters”. Other elements of this initiative are the free on-line training available at AdaCore U (u.adacore.com), and the various resources for free software developers and students/hobbyists at the GitHub repository (github.com/AdaCore) and the libre site (libre.adacore.com).

Further information about Ada and SPARK, along with links to free resource pages and instructions on how to get started by downloading the GNAT GPL edition for Bare Board ARM, are available at http://makewithada.org/getting-started.

About Ada and SPARK

Ada is a modern, internationally standardized programming language with a long and successful track record in the development of high-reliability embedded systems. Its strong typing and compile-time checking help catch errors early, when they are easiest and least expensive to correct. The most recent version of the Ada standard, Ada 2012, supports contract-based programming (pre- and postconditions for subprograms), which in effect embeds the software’s low-level requirements as checkable assertions in the source code. In critical systems where testing alone might not provide sufficient confidence, the SPARK subset of Ada supports mathematics-based assurance that relevant program properties are met (for example, the absence of run-time errors such as buffer overflow). SPARK can be introduced incrementally into a project, and contracts can be verified either statically (by the SPARK proof engine) or dynamically (with run-time checks).

About AdaCore

Founded in 1994, AdaCore supplies software development and verification tools for mission-critical, safety-critical, and security-critical systems. Four flagship products highlight the company’s offerings:

  • The GNAT Pro development environment for Ada, a complete toolset for designing, implementing, and managing applications that demand high reliability and maintainability,
  • The CodePeer advanced static analysis tool, an automatic Ada code reviewer and validator that can detect and eliminate errors both during development and retrospectively on existing software,
  • The SPARK Pro verification environment, a toolset based on formal methods and orientedtowards high-assurance systems, and
  • The QGen model-based development tool, a qualifiable and customizable code generator and verifier for Simulink® and Stateflow® models, intended for safety-critical control systems.

Over the years customers have used AdaCore products to field and maintain a wide range of critical applications in domains such as railway systems, space systems, commercial avionics, military systems, air traffic management/control, medical devices, and financial servicesAdaCore has an extensive and growing world-wide customer base; see www.adacore.com/customers/ for further information.

AdaCore products are open source and come with expert on-line support provided by the developers themselves. The company has North American headquarters in New York and European headquarters in Paris. www.adacore.com

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