I believe that success greatly correlates to two things, how you see the world and how much you truly understand it. We can say the same about software engineering; where computer architecture is the very essence of software engineering, if you understand it well enough, software engineering will be a piece of cake.
According to Wikipedia:
Computer architecture is a set of rules and methods that describe the functionality, organization, and implementation of computer systems.
Some definitions of architecture define it as describing the capabilities and programming model of a computer but not a particular implementation.
In a nutshell, CA is basically the set of rules that control how hardware and software interact together.
Computer Architecture can help you more than you think.
For example, most F1 drivers know a lot about their car's engine, to the point they can determine any problem with their engine, even before their engineers can!
They also know about Physics and Aerodynamics, hence this helps them give precise instructions to their mechanics in the Pitstop, like adjusting the nose or the wheels leading them to win more races.
Well, what does all this have to do with CA? It’s the same concept! When you understand and know more about the cornerstone of Software Engineering, you know how to handle problems and achieve what you need, more efficiently.
Why you should learn Computer Architecture:
- You will likely use it for the rest of your life.
- Computer Architecture is one of the most fundamental subjects in Computer Science. As without computers, the field of Computer Science would not exist.
- You need to understand how the instructions and operations actually work and interact together, to make your software better; because whatever you do, no matter what, it is on top of CA.
- Computer Architecture will help you design, develop, and implement applications that are better, faster, cheaper, more efficient, and easier to use because you will be able to make informed decisions instead of guessing estimating and assuming.
Branch Prediction: Let's say you are on a train, your job is to observe the way and you are at a railway junction:
You have to choose a side and you don't know which side to go on; so you either choose the right path or the wrong path, if you do choose the right path you will keep going, if you choose the wrong path however, you will go back and choose the other path. So if you keep choosing the right path you won't have to go back again and if you choose the wrong path you will keep having to go back and forth,
Now you are a processor and you see a branch, you have no idea which path to go, so you will have to enter.
- If you guess right the execution will never have to stop.
- If you guess wrong, you spend more time going back and restarting the execution.
So how do we make the better choice each time?
We observe. If the process, usually takes left then we guess left. If it takes right most of the time, we guess right. If it alternates, then we alternate our choice as well
Learn Computer Architecture, become a better software engineer.
Special thanks to the reviewer, Rawan Attia.