Should a "real" programmer know C language – experts answer

If a person wants to become a good builder, he must know how the house is structured: understand how brickwork is done, what materials need to be used so that the house can withstand all the disasters of nature, as well as how to make the house comfortable and safe for future newcomers. For the same reason, a good programmer must understand how the basic algorithms work, as well as how much and how much the program consumes system resources. For this, the C language is best suited, where the interaction with the machine is at a fairly low level, but which, unlike the Assembler language, has all the same designs as most languages ​​of a higher level.

Someone becomes a journalist, someone a writer, and someone a scientist. It is clear that all these professions are united by one thing – the ability to clearly and correctly express their thoughts: to a journalist – in a journalistic style, a writer – in an art, a scientist – in a scientific one. Similarly, the study of C contributes to the development of your own style, which can be applied in further languages ​​that specialize in their tasks. Knowledge of C will be equally useful to a system programmer, and an application, and a web technologist. Just remember which languages ​​use similar syntax: C ++, C #, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Perl, AWK. And many others.

Another argument in favor of starting to study programming with C is that this language does not forgive mistakes. It will not be possible to neglect memory carelessly, relying on the garbage collector or on the fact that the interpreter will skip past the output of the array. There is no interpreter or garbage collector. Therefore, such errors will be immediately visible, and for the hundredth time, after receiving a message from the Segmentation fault operating system, the student will begin to think about what, ultimately, will lead to the formation of the correct code style and will help him in the future in mastering new languages.
Of course, one who has mastered C will easily switch to higher-level tools, but such a student will remain forever with a good style skill, with a sufficient level of study in C. And if the student is particularly inquisitive, he will want to figure out how his program is executed on the computer and open the compiled file in the disassembler. Due to the fact that C is not overgrown with a large number of layers and abstractions, it will not be difficult to compare the resulting code with what it was originally. And this is the first step to learning assembly language. Having made such a step, the student is already embarking on the path of a system programmer, microcontroller programmer, or program researcher. The amazing low-level world will especially appeal to perfectionists who want to thoroughly study the principles of functioning of a computer and fully control it.

No wonder the C language jokingly calls it "cross-platform assembler." And although the phrase itself is an oxymoron, there is still some truth in this joke. For example, the interface of system calls in UNIX-like operating systems is implemented using C libraries. In this language, operating systems, drivers, and software for microcontrollers are also being developed, compilers and translators are written in this language. The gcc compiler used to compile C programs is one of the main programs included in the basic package of any Linux distribution, since the assembly of other packages and modules is done by compiling the source code in this language. It is also worth noting that most of the higher-level technologies and development tools were originally written in C: interpreted languages ​​like Python, Perl and PHP, the Java virtual machine, and much more.
The execution time of an algorithm and its memory consumption can be “honestly” calculated in C language as much as possible, because no additional overhead occurs when the program is executed. That is why it is especially useful for testing oneself for the correct implementation of certain algorithms. In the MAI bachelor's program, for five years, the C course has been successfully studied, displacing the Pascal language. And although Pascal makes it possible to understand the operation of the basic algorithms, in it many errors are controlled at the syntax level. That is why it is important to make many mistakes at the very initial stage, disassemble them, control them and prevent them in the future. It is also important to understand not only the progress of the algorithm, but also to imagine how much such an algorithm consumes system resources. It is important to study the classic syntax so that there are no problems with the study of other technologies in the future. Here are the main reasons why you should start learning programming with this wonderful language.

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