November 8th & 9th, 2024
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SeaGL speaker Q&A: Brian Raiter

Brian gives his talk titled, “Bare Metal Programming: Introduction to Writing Assembly in Linux” on Saturday afternoon.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: I’m Brian Raiter, I’ve been a professional programmer for most of my adult life, and a recreational programmer for even longer. I’m most interested the aspects of computer programming that are, in and of themselves, fun. My tech talks tend to reflect this.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: My tech talk will provide people with enough background to start demystifying Intel x86 assembly language. By the end of the talk, the idea of writing assembly language code for Linux will no longer seem scary (I hope) – in fact, it will even sound fun!

Assembly language has a reputation for being difficult and tedious, particularly nowadays when knowledge of assembly has become less and less necessary. While this stereotype is partly true, it is also true that assembly language is both precise and powerful. And mastering assembly language programming provides opportunity for a certain type of enjoyment that you can’t get anywhere else. I want to give more people a glimpse of that enjoyment.

Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: This is my fourth time attending SeaGL. The talks at SeaGL cover the gamut from programmers to users, sysadmins to managers, and their commitment to free software and inclusion is sterling. It’s a great little event, and I’m looking forward to it getting bigger.

Q: What is your favorite assembly instruction that is also coincidentally a valid HTML tag?