Will learning assembly language be a waste of time in 2020?
Hello readers, welcome back to the new blog post. Students love to complain about their classes and their teachers and all the things their teachers force them to do, but if you ever come across a group of teachers angry students waving their fists and forks in the air and being angry at the machine are very likely to complain about assembly language.
The fact that your program or teacher is making you learn it but no one is programming assembly language anymore is not true, but it feels true that not much assembly programming is done professionally.
Is It Worth Learning Assembly Language In 2020
There are a few places you will use it, but many of your computer programs still insist that you learn at least a little. So they are crazy, they are out of touch, some of them could be. It might be yours, but the point is that there are some good reasons to learn assembly language in 2020.
The main reason is the same reason we go under the hood in the first place, it is the same reason why programming students learn computer architecture and not because we play with the Alus and Tomasulo algorithm all day. This is because understanding how computers work under the hood improves our awareness and helps us make better decisions as software developers.
It helps us understand why some things are slower than others, and that leads to better decision making and less code rewriting. Of course, there are times when I don’t use assembly language every day of my life, which is definitely useful, but at first some of you may be wondering what assembly is. So assembly is simply human-readable machine language. It looks like this and is the intermediate language your compiler is likely to use. Basically, when you compile your C language code, you need your C code to compile into assembly instructions. The assembler then converts the assembly code into binary machine instructions that your computer can understand.
The first assembly language was created in 1947 by Kathleen Booth, who, oddly enough, was also one of the first people to study neural networks in the early days when humans played with computational neural networks. I mean, can you imagine trying machine learning at a time when they didn’t even have programming languages, at least not in the sense that you and I normally think of them? Function pointers are confusing.
Okay, if you want to see this process up close, you can download the AC program here. I just use hello world and compile it with scripts that are uppercase and the compiler compiles your code into assembly. So now you have a point file with our assembly code. This can also be useful when you are trying to understand some mysterious behavior in the program, or maybe you are just trying to understand a program that for legal reasons does not have the source code.
Of course, every embedded system developer knows that a lot of the time you are working with processors and programming tools that are brand new, sometimes not as well tested as on our desktops and laptops, and occasionally we run into bugs or less. Documented compiler quirks and sometimes the only way to find out what’s going on is to look at the actual machine code generated. Another justification for learning machine code is that sometimes there is code that has to be incredible. For some reason, every cycle quickly counts, and that little piece of code is really important. It has to be super fast and in this case, while that doesn’t happen to me very often these days, in this case you might want to handwrite a put together assembly to get this done really quickly.
But seriously, how much of this do I really need, how much assembly do I have to learn, and of course the reality is you don’t need any of it? Many people have successful careers in software development without mastering machine languages. But how much do i need? I recommend that you at least get to the point where you can write some simple programs in assembly. This includes basic input and output system arithmetic calls, as well as function calls that allow you to use assembly to better understand how function calls actually work in C language. The call stack never looks the same after being managed in an assembly program.
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I also recommend that you try to understand the basic types of assembly instructions so that this includes your arithmetic operations such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing, as well as your bitwise and / or non-x operations. Let’s throw in more than less than comparisons and tests as well. Equivalence Second, we have our instructions for memory access. These are our loads and memories. This is how your program gets information to and from memory. Third, we have our instructions for the flow of control. This is like branches and jumps, and some assembly languages also have built-in instruction support for calls. Push and pop stack operations as well as function calls and system calls.
You now want to understand the different addressing modes, registers, direct addressing and indirect addressing. Why am I breaking this down into categories at this point? The reason for this is that the assembly language you are learning really depends on the processor being used. Each processor has different instructions, so you will have a different assembly language for each processor.
This is one of the reasons I don’t really recommend that you spend too much time worrying about becoming an assembler-savvy software developer unless you want to or have one of those jobs that do all of you need to assemble. Days and in this case you will become an expert on your taste of assembly language, but for most of you the goal is not to master any particular assembly language but to understand how assembly languages work and how to convert your C code or code, that you write in a high-level language in low-level machine code as it makes you a better programmer. So if you have a computer organization class or a computer architecture class, you have that one assembly component, stick with it.
That’s probably all you need. Just make sure you learn what you can from him because it will help you in the future if you don’t have a class to help you. Of course you can find a book. The other thing is that you can use your c. Try to learn, just write really simple C-programs, turn them into assembly language, and watch various things in c translate into assembly language instructions. Then of course you can look up your processor’s assembler documentation and make sure these translations make sense to you. One thing to keep in mind while doing this is to make sure that you turn off the optimizations as turning on optimizations can drive you absolutely crazy as the optimizer will modify the code to be faster than it might not of course the same seems.
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