Pascal not considered harmful - was Re: Rich kids are into COBOL

Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Fri Feb 20 14:27:24 CST 2015

>> Folks in the lab would stop looking up the instruction encodings and
>> would just ask me...I could do the assembly in my head...

> [...]
> I'm not at all certain that such a skill is even marginally valuable
> today.  Who codes much in assembly, much less machine code?

Those two sentences are only somewhat related.  Knowing instruction
encoding is important to anyone who is writing or maintaining an
assembler or disassembler.

Or who is working with malware (either generating it or analyzing it)
or other deliberately-obscured code.

Or who is designing, building, or debugging hardware.

Or who is writing or maintaining a hardware simulator.

Not as valuable as in the days when dealing with machine code was a
routine programming task, but, I think, more than "not...even
marginally valuable".  (Personally, I fall into the first, second, and
fourth of those camps: I've done assemblers and disassemblers, I've
picked apart captured malware, and I've done a hardware simulator.)

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