[erlang-questions] US DOD Certification of Erlang?

Ulf Wiger (TN/EAB) <>
Wed Jun 11 07:49:29 CEST 2008

Adam Wagner skrev:
> I currently work for a US defense contractor, but am relatively new to
> government work.  From what I've learned so far about Erlang I can see
> programs on the horizon where it would be a great fit.  Whenever I've
> mentioned the idea to those higher up, I'm told that it would never
> happen because the DOD would never "certify" it.  Has anybody else
> gone down this road with Erlang that could offer advice?

The DOD uses lots of tools that aren't necessarily certified, as long
as they are specific solutions to some important problem.

You'll find it difficult to view the DOD as one entity. There will
be people who don't think you can do anything without first
certifying all the steps, and there will be others who focus on
solving the really interesting problems - the ones where, if things
don't work right, people die.

Pretty much like any big organization, really, but the DOD does
have a core mission that's a bit more serious than most. Both
extremes (the bureaucrats and the doers) will use that to
justify their own position, of course. ;)

In my personal dealings with the DOD, I've come across systems
written in PowerHouse, Pascal, C, DECMessageQ, and even HyperCard
(a full-blown command and control system, no less). Even back then,
the official programming language was Ada. The official desktop
computer was an ugly 386 PC, but of course the general had a nice
Mac IIx on his desk (I'm sure it's been upgraded since...)

Prototyping is usually permitted, and if you solve an operational
problem, chances are it will get used, while others figure out how
to do it with certified technology.

At least that's how things used to get done in the places I got in
touch with in the 90s.

Ulf W

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