“Work in pairs, thinking out loud to one another.” – Seth Gordon
This reminded me so much of my very first experiences learning to program. “Enhancing your Apple II” by Don Lancaster. Get a copy if you can. If only to read the chapter on how to understand 6502 assembly printouts. Not so much the specifics (yellow highlight for JMP, red for register operations, etc.) but the gestalt.
Find the structure of the code. The bones.
From there find how the bones connect to each other. The tendons.
And only then, try to sort out the order of operations. The brains.
When in doubt, start someplace in the middle and flow both up and down.
Just remember, somewhere, someplace, is an ARM programmer who’s forgotten more about assembly than entire states of people ever knew and our lives are so much better for it. Looking at you Accelerate library.