Compiler writers are the unsung heroes of the computer age

It recently dawned on me that everything we do with a computer, from making friends on Facebook, to running weather forecasting models, to rendering images on a browser, gets compiled down to a set of simple operations that a CPU executes at amazingly fast speeds. Without compilers and compiler writers most of the amazing things we do today with computers would not be possible.

I bow in honor of Alan Turing, who recognized that all computing can be done using a set of simple operations. Turing made the revolutionary breakthrough. Turing made today’s computers possible.

I bow in honor of the person or persons who recognized that high level languages can be created and broken down into – compiled into – the simple operations that Turing identified.

I bow in honor of compiler writers, who have devised ways to produce assembly code (CPU instructions) that are even more efficient than hand-crafted code.

I bow in honor of CPU makers; their machines are Turing’s soul incarnate in computers.

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