It’s April 1, and that means it’s both April Fools’ Day and the anniversary of the founding of Apple Inc. While this year is a sober one due to current events, I think a lot of people still appreciate what people are creating and sharing to keep spirits up, whether that be music or art or…impractical programming projects. And while pranks on April Fools’ seem less and less fun1, obvious jokes and whimsy, not at anyone’s expense, are still something I believe in…and even better if they actually work.
A month or so ago, @__biancat (whose username I can’t help but read as “Bian-cat” even though it’s probably “Bianca T.”) suggested I write up some ideas for getting into compilers and programming languages.
It turns out I’m happy to expound on this, and it doesn’t need a formal CS education either.1 Unfortunately, pretty much all of them require some amount of free time. I’ll come back to that at the end of the post.
A few weeks ago I asked people a question on Twitter:
So, for people working on developer tools (compilers, debuggers, IDEs, many other things), how did you get into it?— Jordan Rose (@UINT_MIN) November 2, 2015
I got many interesting responses, but one of them asked if I had any recommendations for books on compilers.
Oh gosh. Books? Books about computer science? I’m actually not very well-read: while I’ve been programming since I was a kid, I “only” have an undergraduate formal education. That means the set of books I’ve read about CS is rather haphazard. But I suppose I do have a few things that come to mind.