Whenever I gave even a moment’s thought to whether I needed to learn compilers, I’d think: I would need to know how compilers work in one of two scenarios. The first scenario is that I go work at Microsoft and somehow wind up in the Visual C++ group. Then I’d need to know how compilers work. The second scenario is that the urge suddenly comes upon me to grow a long beard and stop showering and make a pilgrimage to MIT where I beg Richard Stallman to let me live in a cot in some hallway and work on GCC with him like some sort of Jesuit vagabond.

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