This is the story of my life so far: 69 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France
When I was working for CR2A in France, I have been involved in the standardization of the second version of the Ada programming language. I participated in several meetings, both in Europe and in the United states. During these meetings, I have met Robert Dewar and Ed Schonberg who were members of the US delegation.
During the standardization process, Robert and Ed, that were both professors at New York University (NYU), were leading a group of engineers from NYU that were creating an open source Ada compiler for the new version of the language. They called it GNAT, which at the time stood for "GNU NYU Ada Translator". This was financed by the US Air Force.
In 1994, Robert and Ed, with another guy from NYU, created a small company, Ada Core Technologies (AdaCore), to continue to develop GNAT and to create a complete software development environment around the Ada language.
During the initial development of GNAT at NYU, I had made some small contributions. After moving to Canada in 1994, I had continued to go to Ada conferences, both in the US and in Europe, so I kept in touch with Robert and Ed.
In 1999, after Hughes Aircraft of Canada had been bought by Raytheon, I could see that Raytheon was not interested in continuing to develop the technology that made the CAATS Air Traffic System, so I predicted that within 3 to 5 years Raytheon will no longer have any establishment in British Columbia.
So, I decided to no longer be a full time employee of Raytheon.
My first idea was to leave the company and to be hired back as a full time consultant. That would have give me time to find another job. But I was told that this would never happen.
Following the suggestion of Chris Thomson, the company told me that I could work part time for Raytheon and part time for another company.
So, I contacted Robert at AdaCore to see if they would hire me. Many of heir employee were working at home in various part of the USA, so I knew it would not be a problem for them if I worked at home in Canada.
And in September 1994, I started working for 10 hours a week for AdaCore, while still working for 30 hours for Raytheon.
Working part time for AdaCore was a good way to see if it was easy for me to work at home. When you have no fixed work hours and nobody to check when you are effectively working, the temptation may be to get up late and work less than you are supposed to. I quickly realized that it was not my case. I had always be up early in the morning, so it was never a problem for me to work at home.
An this is how I started to work for AdaCore, as a consultant, first part time, then full time starting in September 2001.
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