What is C
C is a computer programming language that has been widely used for Operating systems, applications like windows and iOS and software that is used for creating graphics, animation, and 3D movies. Despite being around 50 years old, it is very famous because of its efficiency and portability.
It is a general-purpose programming language. It was invented by Dennis Ritchie between 1969 and 1973. It was originally invented for writing system software and now it has been used for developing portable applications. It is also called a compiled language because it has its own compiler (compiler converts a programming language into a machine language) which is required to run and execute the program.
Prerequisites for learning C Language
There is nothing much that you need to know before starting learning C. Basic knowledge about logic building skills and mathematics are enough to start learning it.
There are a fixed structure and syntax for writing a program in any language, and writing it in any other form will give a compilation error. It means that we have a fixed structure for writing a C program as well.
Structure of C
- Operating Systems: It is used to program Operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac. Kernel, which is also known as a central part of an OS is mostly developed in C language.
- Mobile Phone: Mobile phone kernels are also written using this language. So, the smartphones which we have in our hands all the time are running on C kernel.
- Mobile Applications: Languages like C++, C#, Objective-C are derived from it and are used to make phone and web applications.
- Databases: Many popular databases like MySQL, Oracle Database, MS SQL Server are written using this language.
- 3D movies, Animation, Computer Graphics: Applications which make 3D movies, Animation, Computer Graphics need to be fast and efficient. Therefore, we code these applications in C, as it is very efficient and fast.
- Embedded Systems: Embedded systems like Mp3 player, Alarm clock, radio, microwave, coffee making machine, sensors in the car etc. are coded and programmed in C.
- Portable: Its portability allows code to run on different computers and different operating systems without making any change.
- Efficient: It is a general-purpose programming language. Therefore it works efficiently.
- Case-sensitive: You need to be very careful while writing the code as it treats lowercase and uppercase letter differently.
- Memory Manipulation and allocation: It has the ability to manipulate arbitrary memory addresses. It also allows allocating the memory dynamically.
- Middle-level language: It merges the features of both low level and high-level languages in itself.
Therefore, it can be used for both:
- Low-level programming: Like in development of Kernels
- High-level programming: Like in the development of applications.
- Structured programming language: It is a structured programming language. Therefore, a complex program can be broken into different functions.
- Ability to extend itself: Since it is supported by the library, it allows us to add our own functions to its library.
Why should we use C Language?
We should use this language because of the following reasons:
- It makes the code size small.
- It is efficient, portable, structured and well understood.
- It has only 32 keywords which are easy to remember.
- It is near to Assembly language as code written in C language runs as fast as code written in assembly language.
- It has Pointers which connects hardware like as kernel, drivers to a system, because of this reason C will always be in use.
Though it is not used by many people, it is still one of the most valuable and sought skill. It is worthy to learn it because there is a lack of C programmers and work is not less.
Operating systems, Embedded systems can only be coded in C language as they need fast and efficient execution.
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It has pointers, which are not available in any other programming language. This specialty will never let the language die.
Who should learn C?
Whether you are new to programming, you should learn it because of the following reasons:
- It is around 50 years old and is still very popular.
- It builds a strong foundation of programming. Because it has its own compiler, the program written in it runs on C compiler only. So, it will not only teach you programming or coding but it will also let you understand how a program runs on the computer.
- It will make you a hardcore programmer as it has lesser libraries. So, you will end up writing your own code.
Career growth in C
There are companies which work on embedded programming, system programming and compiler designing etc who are looking for good C professionals and give a good career growth. This technology will not die and will always provide a good career opportunity.
C is considered as the base of other programming languages. This technology doesn’t seem to have an expiry date. Its specialty to provide interaction with hardware makes it unique. Its portability and efficiency make it a good choice for complex data manipulation and development of embedded systems and operating systems kernels. There are many other programming languages also in demand, but they can’t beat it, which is still preferred when performance becomes the priority.
This is the reason why it is primarily included in the academic syllabus in colleges and schools.
This has been a guide to What is C. Here we discussed the working and advantages of C. Also how and where it can help in career growth. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –