‘C’ is a widely used, flexible, and powerful programming language developed by Dennis Ritchie in 1972. The design of ‘C’ is such that codes written in it are simple and portable with a minimal digital footprint, while high performance is still maintained. It has been popularly used to develop embedded systems, as well as a variety of operating systems and complex programs such as Apple Os, Microsoft Windows, Google Chromium, Oracle database, Git, and Python Interpreter.
The more the programming language evolved, the more different versions were released. After a while, it became difficult for developers to keep up with the latest version as the existing systems were running under the older versions. To maintain standardization, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) defined a commercial standard for ‘C’ language in 1989. Later, it was approved by the International Standards Organization (ISO) in 1990.
The first operating system written in ‘C’ was UNIX. Later, operating systems like GNU/Linux were also written. Most of the Internet servers are built using Linux, which means that ‘C’ powers the core of most, if not all Android devices. In fact, ‘C’ set the antecedent for most of the popular high-level languages we now have e.g C++, Java, PHP, Python, Perl, and Ruby. Many compilers for ‘C’ have also been released for cross-platform systems. Examples are Clang compiler, MinGW compiler, Portable C compiler, and Turbo C.
Why Learn Computer Programming?
If a beginner were to learn how to drive in a simulated environment, the experience may not be practicable in the real world. To really get the hang of the vehicle and to control it in different environmental conditions, he must drive on real-life roads alongside real-life people.
This is the same scenario with the ‘C’ programming language. Learning it helps you understand and appreciate an entire family of programming languages built on the variations of ‘C’. They share the same elements such as data types, control statements, operators, etc, as well as a set of powerful built-in functions that makes you a more efficient programmer.
Also, when learning ‘C’ you only need to learn fewer libraries and frameworks. You can add your features and functions to the ‘C’ language, access and use them in the program anytime you need them. This feature makes it easier to work with complex programming.
In addition, there are various compilers available to be used in executing programs written in ‘C’. With the help of these modern compilers, executed files compiled from ‘C’ source code will run faster on other machines. This is an important feature when you need to use or execute ‘C’ on another computer.
Another advantage of learning ‘C’ is that unlike most programming languages like Java and Perl, ‘C’ allows the developer to write directly to memory and control the allocation of memory. This is particularly useful since the process of dealing with memory allocation/deallocation when building a high-level program is very prone to errors. However, when handling a low-level code, ‘C’ provides a clean, uniform interface.
‘C’ can be used in many applications, is simple, and provides faster execution than an assembly language. It is a mature and stable language that is unlikely to become obsolete any time soon. There are also many available jobs in the market for ‘C’ developers.
However, as always, it is up to the developer himself to decide which programming language to learn first or second or third, etc. All computer languages are challenging and useful in their own right.