C Language and it’s Important:-
The C Programming Language is an enigma that numerous of its practitioners have been trying to unravel in its entirety since its very inception. But like a mystery, the secrets and possibilities of C keep on surprising every one till date. Hence it would be rather safe to say that no one can claim to have attained complete mastery of the language, neither is it desirable. Hence the effort should be more concentrated on identifying a facet of C Programming that appeals most to you and then delves deep into it as much required or as much possible.
C as a programming language is also unique in the sense that even though it is small in size (in terms of disk space or memory required), but it has achieved some rather astonishing achievements, of which the most important would definitely be the fact that almost 80% of the complete UNIX OS has been written in C. Not only that, most of the critical applications that we see today starting from databases, compilers, real-time applications used in guidance systems, telecom systems, etc have been developed using C as the programming language. And moreover, in the embedded programming space, there is nothing else other than C.
I have been doing serious C programming for more than a decade now. But I still feel like a beginner, I still feel the same mad rush to research and dig deep into something that I have recently known about C and I can’t rest till I have found out all there is to know about it and can understand and implement it inside out. That also is an inherent requirement because I also want to share the newly gained knowledge the very next day with my students, so that they always stay ahead of their peers and contemporaries. There is no point, today, to learn the same old C programming techniques and topics that have been devised decades ago to teach and practice C, the industry has changed, requirements have changed and I believe in keeping my students one step ahead.
Another inherent shift that has to happen with C programmers and learners is that we need to stop thinking about writing programs and start thinking about writing applications. Those of who don’t understand the difference between a program and an application, should first look into understanding that and then coming into C. I have seen that an unending source of C applications are in the Open Source world, there are famous repositories of such applications and projects in sites like, OpenBSD project sites, etc.
You search the Internet to locate projects/applications of your interest and then delve deep into them to understand how actual production grade C coding is done in the real world. You will notice that is hugely different from the way we are taught to program in our educational semesters. My aim has always been to make my students get habituated in that mode of C programming which is actually the foundation of a successful programmer’s career.
Having said all that it is also imperative to mention that C programming does not find the interest of many a learner or IT aspirant, because it simply does not appeal to individuals who are not ready for the long haul, who don’t appreciate the importance of a programming foundation in one’s IT career. It’s not for people who are afraid to use their brains, their creativity and are not confident enough to experiment and explore. Its true value is realized by the person who understands the importance of “technology independence”, a person who is willing to put in the effort to learn the foundation solidly so that in the long run any new technology that might come up, he/she can master that in quick time and deliver. C is the foundation, not the end result.
C is meant for people who understand the big picture well. You have to go through the pains of C programming for at least 4 years before you can attain some level of expertise if that is what you want to do also. I have come across many C programmers who say that they will rate their C skills as only 7 or 8 out of 10 even after programming for 5 years or more.
C is deep, it is painful, but it is fun since there is no comparison.
There are numerous application areas, which you can do in C, but not in any other language. Think of kernel programming or embedded systems.
Also, I wish to point out that your efforts in learning C will pay rich dividends in terms of not only monetary value, but in terms of building a solid, technology-independent programming career for you. No doubt about that. The deeper you delve into technology, the more you want to know about memory, CPU, registers and so on. Skill sets like embedded programming involve tight programming practices. You should be careful with buffer sizes, with mallocs and so on. Your brain learns to think and use itself once you do C programming for a while.
Best of Luck, just remember C is Simple!!!
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