Compilers course is starting on Coursera

Posted on 2014/03/13

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The 17th of March Coursera will open a new session of the Compilers course, offered by Stanford University and led by Professor Alex Aiken:

Coursera – Compilers

The Coursera courses belong to the category of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in the sense that anyone can sign up, and everyone studies the same chapters in the same time frame, offering the possibility to interact with many students for clarifications and support on the course content.

I passed this course in 2012 and I suggest it to any software developer that uses compilers every day. The course is quite intense: I attended it in the evening while working during the day and at the end of the week I had no spare time left, so be aware that it will require a lot of effort. But I think the effort is well spent: the course changed the way I interact with compilers, it improved my skills in regular expression, exercised me in formal thinking and ultimately raised the quality of my code. I strongly suggest doing the optional homework where you create the missing parts of a full compiler (for the COOL programming language): it’s an exercise both in writing but also in reading code, understanding what needs to be done and using the existing libraries in the way they were intended to be used.

 

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