C Language Courses

Getting Started with C Programming Language

We are going to find out what C programming language really is, how it came into existence and how does it compares with other programming languages.

What is C programming language?

C is the programming language developed at AT & T’s Bell Telephone Laboratories of USA in 1972 by Dennis M. Ritchie. C programming was meant to help in improving the now widely used UNIX operating system whose development had begun in 1969. C programming language was not available to the public until 1978 when Dennis M. Ritchie joined hands with Brian Kernighan to make it available for commercial use. That is where the now, common term, K & R standard, was derived from.

C programming language was officially formalized by the American National Standard Institute or ANSI, in 1988. C became popular because it is the most useful and easy-to-use programming language.

Why C is still important to learn?

Most of the programming languages use object-oriented programming (OOP) or similar concepts to C. C is the foundation to learn various other programming languages like C++, Java, etc. Learning C will also help you get basic programming skills and many other languages have used C as their base to build upon. Starting to learn from C programming may take time but eventually, it will help you to gain enough knowledge and skills to get better at programming. It also has lots of functions that you can use to meet your program needs.

C is a very small and useful language and has only 32 keywords that are easy to learn and master. C language is still the most commonly used programming language worldwide. C language has been dominating the industry for over 4 decades. Over the years, there are many resources and information available which are posted by users, who also provide expert solutions to C problems in discussion forums. C language is more procedural and can be used for different operating systems. Even today, C is still widely used in almost every major application in the software & electronics industry. The world’s leading supercomputers like Tianhe-2, Titan, Sequoia, etc, also use C as their programming language.

Uses of C Programming Language

C programming language is also a structured language, mostly used by software developers or programmers as it is easy to learn and efficient in the writing of programs. Popular operating systems like Windows, UNIX, Linux, and Android and every application program of UNIX have codes written in C. If one needs to extend writing programs for these operating systems or any device driver programs, they need to be written in C language.

Many smart devices or electronics like a microwave, etc, require programs to run fast, ie, having low execution time and work in a limited amount of memory, so programmers use C language to build these programs. C is also used in embedded systems like TVs, remote controls, etc. In a motor vehicle, the C programming language is used in systems like automatic transmissions, sensors that monitor levels of temperature and oil, dashboard display, cruise control, airbags, etc. Even the vending machines and cash registers use the C programming language. Basically, any embedded systems that run like small computers with microprocessors are written in C. They have a pre-set setting when a user presses a key and relevant information is shown on the display.

C language is also used in many professional 3-D computer games where speed is the main essence. Even the popular gaming frameworks like DirectX that are used to create such games are also written in C. Many peripheral devices like printers or scanners run C programs in the background. The drivers that connect them to your PC or Laptop are also written in C language.

So you can see programs that require speed, flexibility, efficiency, compatibility with different hardware systems and usage of the small or limited amount of memory is a major factor for using C language by most programmers & manufacturers.

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