Key Concepts

Review core concepts you need to learn to master this subject

The Compilation Process

The compilation process is the procedure code goes through to go from high-level programming languages into machine code that the hardware understands. Most languages go through some semblance of this four-stage process:

  • Preprocessing
  • Compiling
  • Assembling
  • Linking
Assembly Language
Lesson 1 of 1
  1. 1
    An important step in the journey to execute code is Assembly. The process of code execution starts with a software developer creating a program in a high-level programming language, such as Python…
  2. 2
    While Assembly has been mostly abstracted away from the lives of the majority of programmers, it still has a few specific use cases throughout the industry such as: - Embedded systems that have li…
  3. 3
    Before we dive too deep into Assembly language, let’s take a step back and learn where Assembly language fits into the everyday process of software engineering. When we push Run in our code ed…
  4. 4
    The generated Assembly from the last exercise follows much of the same semantics as the machine code we learned in the ISA lesson. This is because Assembly language and binary code have almost a di…
  5. 5
    Arithmetic operations make up the majority of functions in the Assembly languages. After all, the manipulation of binary numbers is how you execute any type of code, whether that be changing a ch…
  6. 6
    Memory access and the control of stored information is an incredibly powerful aspect of Assembly while also being one of the most confusing. As we write Assembly, we control exactly where every pi…
  7. 7
    In Assembly, we use branches and jumps to provide control flow in our programs. A branch statement is used to define a conditional statement. Think of it as a fork in a river. We are sitting at …
  8. 8
    You may have noticed the use of dollar signs and parentheses in our previous code. These are some MIPS language conventions used to denote direct and indirect memory referencing. Let’s assume that…
  9. 9
    Assembly was written as the first language above binary to make it easier for humans to write functional programs. As such, there is almost a line for line equivalency between the two codes. When …
  10. 10
    Congratulations on making it through the Assembly Language lesson! Assembly languages play an important role in understanding how computer programs execute at the hardware level. Seemingly simple …

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