Introduction to C Tutorial
In this introductory tutorial we talk about what C is, what it's used for, and why you should learn this simple and powerful programming language.
We also quickly cover the learning level of difficulty for C and prerequisites for this tutorial series.
Here's a table of contents of what you'll learn in this lesson:
(click on a link to skip to its section)
Let's jump right in.
What is C
C is a powerful, high-level, general purpose programming language used to create applications across multiple platforms.
Why learn C
C is Efficient and Compact. Among other benefits, efficient mapping makes C programs as compact and fast as assembly language programs.
C is Portable. Little or no modification is needed to create cross-platform programs for Windows, Unix and Unix based systems such as Mac and Linux.
C is Powerful and Flexible. Most kernels (operating system brains) are written in C, and it can be used to develop just about any program you can imagine.
- Operating system kernels (Unix, Linux, Windows, Mac)
- Embedded systems, The Internet of Things
- Databases such as Oracle, PostgreSQL and MySQL all use C
- Compilers for Perl and Python, among others
- Drivers for printers and networking
- Microsoft Excel, Git, Facebook, the Go programming language etc.
Why learn C over C++
Mostly, it comes down to personal preference. Some people may feel that they don’t need the extra features of C++ or it introduces undesirable overhead or that C is just simpler.
Knowing C also makes C++ easier to learn, if or when you need to.
Is C hard to learn
Although C is sometimes considered to be hard to learn, it is in fact a simple language. Because of its compactness, C is relatively easy to learn and an ideal first language.
Before we proceed, please note that we make the following assumptions:
- You know how to install software on whichever operating system you use.
- You can create and navigate directories and files on your computer.
While this tutorial series is for beginners with no knowledge of C or programming in general, programmers coming from other languages that want to learn C will also find it very helpful.
This tutorial series covers many topics of programming in C, ranging from beginner concepts to advanced.
List of Tutorials
Development Environment Setup First C Application Basic Syntax: Statements, keywords, identifiers & comments Variables & Constants Data Types Operators Conditional Control: if, else, switch, ternary Iteration Control: while, do while & for loops The goto jump statement Functions Arrays
Pointers Dynamic Memory Management Structs Preprocessor directives & macros