Created in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie of Bell Labs, C has since become one of the most popular programming languages of all time. While many developers believe everyone should know it, some still write it off as an outdated language that isn’t necessary to learn to build a great career. However, there is a viable case to be made for learning C, as it can be a pathway to moving up and landing a great new job.
Why Has C Lasted So Long?
In the rapidly-evolving tech field, it’s astounding to think that C has survived over 45 years. It has stood the test of time because it is an evolutionary language. Its ability to update and adapt to change has ensured its longevity. Large chunks of Windows were written in C, along with most of Linux. Macs and mobile devices are also powered by C.
A few reasons why C is still relevant:
- It’s relatively easy to learn: When you master the pointers and function pointers of C, you’ve basically learned the language.
- It facilitates learning other languages: Knowing C is the foundation for C++, Objective-C, Perl, Python, Java, PHP, C#, D and Go.
- It’s still widely used: Apache and NGINX Web servers, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Ingres database, GIMP, Python, Perl 5, PHP, Mathematica, MATLAB and most device drivers are written in C.
- The internet is driven by C: Most browsers are written in C++ and C code is used for infrastructure like DNS utilities and mail.
- Tight coding: Devices are getting smaller and cheaper – and so are processors. Small amounts of RAM and ROM require tight coding, and C fits the bill.
Why Should You Update Your C Skills?
Whatever your ultimate goal as a developer and whatever your feelings about learning an “archaic” language like C, the fact is – it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. It is also the foundation for many other languages and many new algorithm implementations are made available first in C for maximum portability. Programmers without strong foundations in C can find themselves struggling to rewrite even basic algorithms.
The pointers and objects of C also help programmers “think like the machine,” and provides a solid foundation for troubleshooting in almost any other language. Whether you use C regularly or not, knowing it can only make you a better programmer.
Are You Looking for Programmer or Developer Jobs?
If you are a talented developer with skills in C and you’re looking for new developer job opportunities, the award-winning recruiters at Talon can help. Contact us today to learn about our commitment to your career.