Posts Tagged ‘unsung heroes of the computer age’

Compiler writers are the unsung heroes of the computer age

January 13, 2019

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.