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A high-level programming language developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s for the United States Defense Department. Ada was designed to be a general-purpose language for everything from business applications to rocket guidance systems. One of its principal features is that it supports real-time applications. In addition, Ada incorporates modular techniques that make it easier to build and maintain large systems. Since 1986, Ada has been the mandatory development language for most U.S. military applications. In addition, Ada is often the language of choice for large systems that require real-time processing, such as banking and air traffic control systems.

Ada is named after Augusta Ada Byron (1815-52), daughter of Lord Byron, and Countess of Lovelace. She helped Charles Babbage develop programs for the analytic engine, the first mechanical computer. She is considered by many to be the world's first programmer.

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