Here’s what I thought when I took it back in 1991. See if it sounds familiar. I thought: a compiler is a tool that takes my program, after whining about it a lot, and turns it into computer-speak. If you want to write programs, then a compiler is just one of those things you need. You need a computer, a keyboard, an account maybe, a compiler, an editor, optionally a debugger, and you’re good to go. You know how to Program. You’re a Programmer. Now you just need to learn APIs and stuff.
Steve Yegge, “Rich Programmer Food”