To C or Not To C – That is the Programming Question

The C programming language is a standardized imperative computer programming language developed in the early 1970s. It is valued for its efficiency and is the most popular programming language for writing system software. Even though it was not designed for novices, it is commonly used in computer science education.

This language was developed, along with the Unix operating system, with which it is associated, by programmers and for programmers. It is available on a wide range of platforms (probably more than any other programming language in existence). It was designed to enable and encourage machine-independent programming.

C has a minimalistic set of keywords, parameters that are passed by value, function pointers and static variables, lexical variable scope, a simple core language with important functionality like math functions and file handling provided by sets of library routines. It focuses on the procedural programming paradigm, with facilities for programming in a structured style.

There are certain functions lacking in C, such as automatic garbage collection, language support for object-oriented programming, closures, native support for multithreading and networking and nested functions. Even though other languages may contain what C lacks, it still runs more efficiently than many other languages. It is a language that can be written quickly and run on a new platform more easily than other programs.

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The book, “The C Programming Language” known to C programmers as “K&R” for its publishers Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan, serves as an informal specification of the C language. An interesting side note is that C’s developers wrote it to be able to play Space Travel on their company’s mainframe and needed a new language to do so.

Another justification for developing the original computer used to develop Unix and the C language was to create a system to automate the filing of patents.

For those interested in acquiring this programming skill, there are several options. E-Learning Center offers C programming training courses, which build a solid foundation in the basics. There are interactive, easy-to-follow training sessions with unlimited access 24 hours a day, costing only cents per day. Hands On IT Training Nationwide offers a five-day class in several major cities.

At a price of $2295, this hands on C programming course provides a comprehensive introduction to the C language. There is treatment given to topics of string and character manipulation, dynamic memory allocation, macro definition, and the C library. The course explains the use of aggregate structures, unions and pointers early on so that students can get extensive practice in the labs.

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In order to write flexible, user-friendly programs, it appears that C is a ticket to success. If you have a fundamental knowledge of programming concepts, you can add C to your repertoire of computer languages, and increase the number of job opportunities available to you.