Learn C Programming: Get a Thorough Grounding in Programming in C

c programming examplesC is a fantastic first programming language to learn. Once you know C, you will find it easy to master languages that build on C, such as C++ and C#. In addition, C is one of the most well-established programming languages still in use today. Most operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, are written in C, and many software and game developers also work in some variant of C.

Deciding to learn C is only the first step. Whether you are a novice or an experienced programmer, you will have to get to grips with C syntax and program structure. This C programming language online course will take you from the very basics – installing the C environment on your computer – to more advanced topics such as pointers and recursion.

Getting Started

The first thing to do is to set up your computer to compile C. You need to install an Integrated Development Environment, which allows you to write C programs in any text editor and compile them using your computer’s command line. You can also install a compiler that comes with its own program editor, where you write your programs and compile them simply by pressing a button.

First C Program

Your first job is to check that the compiler is working by writing a simple test program. The typical first program in C prints “Hello world”. This is the C code you will need to write:

     printf("Hello world");

The first line tells the compiler to look at the in-built C instructions for printing words to the screen. The main() function simply tells the compiler that the code inside the curly braces is the main part of the program. Finally, printf(“Hello world”); tells the computer to print the words “Hello world”.

Next Steps

The next step is to get familiar with the different types of variables in C. Every piece of data that you want to use in your program must be stored in a variable. Variable types in C include int (integer), float (fractional number), and char (single character).

You then need to learn about ways of structuring your program. Like most programming languages, C allows you to define functions so that certain sections of code can be called over and over again without having to repeat the code in the editor. You should also learn how to use common C syntax, such as “if” statements, “for” loops, and “while” loops.

Once you have mastered these basics of programming, then it is time to explore C’s unique features. By using pointers, you can directly access data stored in the computer’s memory. This is a very powerful feature, but it is easy to mess it up so that your program crashes.

If you are looking for a course that will give you a thorough grounding in C programming, the try Mark Lassoff’s C Programming: iOS Development Starts Here! course.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The best way to learn a programming language is to practice writing programs every day. Challenge yourself by setting your own design briefs: decide exactly what you want the program to do, and then start planning how you can achieve that outcome using the commands you already know. You can also find example C programming exercises online.

Expand Your Skills

Once you have mastered C, consider taking a course in C++ or a C# tutorial to expand your skills. Now that you can program in C, you should find it easy to get to grips with these more modern iterations of the language.