What is a configuration?
Configuration is a set of rules or parameters that dictate how a system or application behaves.
Knowing the nuances of your system's configuration is critical because it can be used to customize the behavior of a system or application to meet specific needs (in both small and large ways.)
It's important to ensure that configurations are kept consistent across different environments (e.g. development, testing, and production) unless there is a good, well-understood and agreed-upon reason for divergence.
There are many tools and techniques available for managing configurations, and it is important to choose the right tool for the job at hand and system in question.
Why is it important for software engineers to understand how configuration works?
Understanding how configuration works can help software engineers troubleshoot problems and optimize program performance.
And by not understanding how your system is configured, you're opening yourself up to the potential opportunity of creating an unforced error.