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>> high-level ideas about user intents way down through platforms and compilers and operating systems to wires and semiconductors.

Indeed. I did one like that for software developers, just in the reverse order (starting from charges and voltage all the way up to how a microprocessor executes code). I just wrote about that in this comment here:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20088868




I recommend the book "NAND to Tetris" to any software developers out there that want to learn bottom-up computer engineering. It's a great read. Following along and doing the exercises with it, along with watching Ben Eaters videos on YouTube, has been of the favourite things I've done in the past few years.

I'm lucky enough that I started my career in software as an EE. As a result, while my CS friends and colleagues can run circles around me when it comes to high-level website/UI/game design, anything C, ASSEMBLY, BASIC or VHDL related they'll come ask me. Knowing what is happening at a physics, to component, to circuit, to system level really makes software "click" compared to the top down way of learning from my experience.




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