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#1 Boyan  Icon User is offline

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The future of C

Post icon  Posted 07 January 2008 - 04:19 PM

I've been studying C for some time and I wonder... What is the actual benefit of C knowledge? OK, I know, it has many programming basics that MUST to the learn, but isn't (for example) Java a better start for a new programmer? What is the future of C, as most of the projects (at least in Macedonia) are in C++ and Java.

I'm not saying that C is dying or anything, I just wondered if the future of programming is in languages like Java, Ruby or Python.

What do you think?

Let me get some things clear - I don't attack C and I'm not stop learning it.

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Replies To: The future of C

#2 Jingle  Icon User is offline

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Re: The future of C

Posted 07 January 2008 - 04:24 PM

View PostBoyan, on 7 Jan, 2008 - 04:19 PM, said:

I've been studying C for some time and I wonder... What is the actual benefit of C knowledge? OK, I know, it has many programming basics that MUST to the learn, but isn't (for example) Java a better start for a new programmer? What is the future of C, as most of the projects (at least in Macedonia) are in C++ and Java.

I'm not saying that C is dying or anything, I just wondered if the future of programming is in languages like Java, Ruby or Python.

What do you think?

Let me get some things clear - I don't attack C and I'm not stop learning it.

C has its place and yes as computers get faster that place will get smaller
but C still has many uses. for examply my dad is a statistion and would not want all the object oriented.
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#3 Boyan  Icon User is offline

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Re: The future of C

Posted 07 January 2008 - 04:30 PM

Yeah, but how much a C programmer can find his place today in the sea of much more older and experienced C programmers? That's what I'm talking about.
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#4 William_Wilson  Icon User is offline

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Re: The future of C

Posted 07 January 2008 - 04:50 PM

there are jobs for nearly any language, even scheme, though the market is small, can be a reasonable language to have a career in.
If you are the best at what you do, the job will be available no matter what language it is, even if it results in being a professor or instructor of some kind.
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#5 Bench  Icon User is offline

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Re: The future of C

Posted 07 January 2008 - 07:07 PM

One argument often presented for learning C is that its become the de-facto standard language for programmers. Which means that anyone who turns up for a job interview who knows C, will often have a far better chance than someone who doesn't - Even if the job they're going for doesn't require it. That's just the way many employers think.

Although there is a reason that 'C' is the de-facto standard - there are probably still hundreds of billions of lines of "legacy" C code still in use across the globe in all kinds of systems.

Aside from that, C is known to some as being like a high-level assembly language - sometimes this comparison is made condescendingly of C, other times complementary towards it, depending on context.
- The frequent comparison to assembler, is because 'C' is exceptionally useful for development of real-time or embedded systems, in part due to its platform neutrality, but also because C naturally lends itself to low-level systems progarmming. Few other mainstream languages do the job better than C when it comes to such systems, and those which do, are usually less well supported. (Even C++ code can be too bloated for cost-effective development on some micro-controllers).

This post has been edited by Bench: 07 January 2008 - 07:17 PM

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#6 AmitTheInfinity  Icon User is offline

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Re: The future of C

Posted 08 January 2008 - 01:53 AM

You are right Bench...

I work in embedded systems domain and we use C and C++ most of the time. [C still dominates this place.]. These languages are much more supportive to this domain for the reasons you pointed out. Specially C, as it can be mixed with assembly as well. In the domains like automotive, even clients insists to use C as a language for development. May be due to the faith it has created till today.
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#7 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: The future of C

Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:27 AM

Quote

anyone who turns up for a job interview who knows C, will often have a far better chance than someone who doesn't


One thing you have to understand is that once you know one language it is not terribly hard to learn another. So, although adding in the object oriented nature of C++/Java/.Net can be a little bump in the road, basically if you know C then learning a new language will not be all that hard -- most programmers can (and do) program in more than one language.

C will give you an understanding of lower-level concepts that are often hidden from you in other languages -- but this understanding can often lead to important insights.

Yes there are a good number of older C/C++ gurus out there, but they tend to require larger salaries and you would be amazed at how eager employers are to save a few cents putting a guru with a "junior developer".

My advice is: Learn C/C++, but also learn Java or a .Net language (C# is a very good one to know). You may or may not ever get a job in C but you benefit form it.

I routinely write programs in C/C++, Java, Python, Perl, Javascript, VBScript, and I have been asked to brush up on C# -- I am technically a Java developer but I do get around a good bit.
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#8 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: The future of C

Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:23 AM

View PostBoyan, on 7 Jan, 2008 - 04:30 PM, said:

Yeah, but how much a C programmer can find his place today in the sea of much more older and experienced C programmers? That's what I'm talking about.

I worked for a fortune 500 company (not long ago, maybe 5 or so months, I worked there for about a year & a half), & all of us in the Unix (Emergency & Development) department wrote in C, & worked with a version of MySQL from 1991 (informix). So... just goes to show you.

This post has been edited by no2pencil: 08 January 2008 - 10:24 AM

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#9 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: The future of C

Posted 08 January 2008 - 12:37 PM

Many of the people in this thread have already made good points on why learning C could be an asset. But I am not really one to accept that "because it is used in this or that project it is good to know". If that was the case people would be saying COBOL is the best and while I know that one as well, I can tell you, COBOL can be a pain in the ass. And if you code in it for too long you will be dying for things like a messagebox or to have a class defined somewhere. (DAMN YOU BLOODY MISSING PERIOD!)

It is good to know where programming languages came from, but personally I wouldn't waste too much time learning C and always recommend going to C++ as a great starting point. You can still use a bit of the stuff in C, but you are not as restricted on the language. You can actually get something really cool done with it in a shorter period of time.

I know C, but rarely ever use it. I know what C gave to the world of programming, I know why C++ does the things it does because of C and I know why Java does some of the things it does because of C and C++.

Take a introductory C class, but ask questions along the line of "Why is it done this way?" and you will learn more than simply memorizing the function names. You will then gain a better understanding of the languages that have followed it.

:)
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#10 Louisda16th  Icon User is offline

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Re: The future of C

Posted 09 January 2008 - 09:53 AM

View PostMartyr2, on 9 Jan, 2008 - 01:07 AM, said:

I can tell you, COBOL can be a pain in the ass.

With 500 reserve words to remember :P!
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#11 born2c0de  Icon User is offline

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Re: The future of C

Posted 09 January 2008 - 11:58 PM

More than that it's the long keywords that piss me off.
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#12 Mikhail  Icon User is offline

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Re: The future of C

Posted 13 January 2008 - 09:09 PM

Well I learned some basic C in 2004, but if i didn't i would be knowing java right now, because C is what helped me start out in programming...I had some fun playing around with C, but right now I am mainly focusing on Java and other languages, however I still think that C is a base platform for some other languages, I might continue learning it to the advanced level if I decide to do some work with Unix Shell and Kernels... But its all C that brought me to the world of computing.
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#13 Boyan  Icon User is offline

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Re: The future of C

Posted 14 January 2008 - 02:58 PM

Great. Thanks everybody for your time. :)

I'll learn C++ and Java in the same time, but first I want to upgrade my C knowledge a bit more.
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