Rich Programmer Food by Steve Yegge
Lengthy but brilliant rant by Steve Yegge on the educational, personal, spiritual, moral, intellectual, and engineering value of compilers (knowing how they work, writing them… that sort of thing).
Several of my favorite quotes follow:
Gentle, yet insistent executive summary: If you don’t know how compilers work, then you don’t know how computers work. If you’re not 100% sure whether you know how compilers work, then you don’t know how they work.
Designing an effective undergrad CS degree is hard. It’s no wonder so many ivy-league schools have more or less given up and turned into Java Certification shops.
I’d call compiler optimization an endless chasm of eternal darkness, except that it’s pretty fun. So it’s an endless chasm of fun eternal darkness, I guess.
You get the idea. It is a *lengthy* rant, so be prepared. But it’s worth the ride, whether you agree or not.