Compilers matter because it Compiler Construction is the first course that brings together everything you learned before. Many things can be generalized into a stream symbol problem.
- Gentle, yet insistent executive summary: If you don’t know how compilers work, then you don’t know how computers work. If you’re not 100% sure whether you know how compilers work, then you don’t know how they work.
A compiler midend sits between the frontend (which generates the IR), and the backend (which generates the machine code). Midends generally operate on the symbolic level, which is what university professors understand. This is typically where most of the optimization happens, such as loop unrolling, since here the code is symbolic.