Advantages of a compiler in software coding include better error detection mechanisms, higher performance in terms of execution and enhanced optimization for specific hardware. Compilers also improve security for professional programmers and make it much harder to copy one’s code.
Compilers are special programs that read the statements in a high-level language (source code), analyze them and convert them into machine language that the computer processor can understand (object code).
During this processing, the compiler seeks any presence of errors throughout the source code, and some inform the programmer of the specific lines with errors.
Compilers also improve execution time by converting the program into an executable object code, which is more compact and runs much faster, such as ".exe" files in Windows environments. This conversion is what improves security and keeps the source code safe from being retrieved by other parties.
A compiler works differently from an interpreter, though both are meant to achieve the same goal of translating the high-level languages to a form that computers can understand. Interpreters do this by analyzing and executing one line of code at a time, whereas compilers process the whole source code at one go before executing it. This makes interpreters much slower than compilers, but more efficient in debugging capabilities.