in reply to What Makefiles do
I was first introduced to makefiles as kind of "batch files on steriods." My old company used them to execute market research tabulation runs-- instead of having to type commands manaually, you put them all in a makefile, and you could put variables at the top of the makefile for job name, date, everything. then just type "make tables" and go get a cup of coffee.....
Cargo cult at its best (worst?) And it made it a little confusing for me later to get a handle on what makefiles are Usually for.