Systemnahe Informatik (Systems Programming)

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Pedro José Marrón, Exercises: Dr. Matteo Zella

Differently from application programming, whose focus is to develop software providing services to the user, systems programming addresses software that interacts with computer systems. In this sense, systems programming exposes the dependency between software and the hardware executing it and forces the programmer to deal with low-level system knowledge. This knowledge is relevant not only to develop efficient software but also in systems with limited resources, e.g., embedded systems like robots, vehicles, IoT devices. The lecture and the exercises provide the basis to understand and develop system programs. In the course, the following topics will be discussed:

  • Basics of computer systems
  • Machine-level representation of programs
  • Optimizing program performance
  • Memory hierarchy
  • Linking
  • System-Level I/O
  • Network programming
  • Concurrent programming

The exercises will provide hands-on experience in system programming to understand the interdependency between software and the computer system executing it. Basic knowledge of the C language is required.

Place and Time:

Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19, the course will be offered in this semester virtually. Lectures and exercises will be provided as video recordings. In addition, the communication will take place asynchronously through forums as well as synchronously in the form of web conferences and online consultation hours. Further information about the organization of the course can be found on the Moodle page of the course. The password for joining the course is SP_WT2021 and can be used until December, 1st to enroll in the course.


The module is accompanied by a corresponding examination in the form of a written exam on the common goals of lecture and exercises (usually 90 minutes). Successful participation in the exercises is a prerequisite for admission to the module examination. The students collecting 80-89% of the points in the exercises receive a grade bonus of 0.3/0.4, for 90% of the points or more a grade bonus of 0.6/0.7.

For more information about the course, feel free to contact Matteo Zella (

Moodle page: Link

LSF entry: Lecture and Exercises