C programming is a general-purpose, procedural computer programming language originally developed at AT&T Bell Labs by Dennis Ritchie in the early 1970s. A successor of the B programming language, it was developed to overcome the challenges of BASIC, B, and BPCL programming languages. It had both high-level functionality and detailed features required to program an operating system. During the 1980s, C programming gained popularity for creating mainframes, microcomputers, and minicomputers and has become one of the most widely used programming languages.
What makes the C language so popular? Why are companies keen on hiring C professionals even today? The most basic and straightforward answer would be its features make it a unique and special language, thereby still holding its relevance and popularity.
What are the Most Important Features of C Language?
The core features of a programming language describe its ability and uniqueness and how beneficial it can be in developing a website or software. Listed below are some of the significant features of C language:
Simple and Efficient
The basic syntax style of implementing C language is very simple and easy to learn. This makes the language easily comprehensible and enables a programmer to redesign or create a new application. C is usually used as an introductory language to introduce programming to school students because of this feature.
It is a well-known fact that statically typed programming languages are faster than dynamic ones. C is a statically typed programming language, which gives it an edge over other dynamic languages. Also, unlike Java and Python, which are interpreter-based, C is a compiler-based program. This makes the compilation and execution of codes faster.
Another factor that makes C fast is the availability of only the essential and required features. Newer programming languages come with numerous features, which increase functionality but reduce efficiency and speed. Since C offers limited but essential features, the headache of processing these features reduces, resulting in increased speed.
Another feature of the C language is portability. To put it simply, C programs are machine-independent which means that you can run the fraction of a code created in C on various machines with none or some machine-specific changes. Hence, it provides the functionality of using a single code on multiple systems depending on the requirement.
You can easily (and quickly) extend a C program. This means that if a code is already written, you can add new features to it with a few alterations. Basically, it allows adding new features, functionalities, and operations to an existing C program.
C comes with an extensive set of libraries with several built-in functions that make the life of a programmer easy. Even a beginner can easily code using these built-in functions. You can also create your user-defined functions and add them to C libraries. The availability of such a vast scope of functions and operations allows a programmer to build a vast array of programs and applications.
Dynamic Memory Management
One of the most significant features of C language is its support for dynamic memory management (DMA). It means that you can utilize and manage the size of the data structure in C during runtime. C also provides several predefined functions to work with memory allocation. For instance, you can use the free() function to free up the allocated memory at any time. Similarly, there are other functions such as malloc(), calloc(), and realloc() to perform operations on data structure and memory allocations.
Modularity With Structured Language
C is a general-purpose structured language. This feature of C language allows you to break a code into different parts using functions which can be stored in the form of libraries for future use and reusability.. Structuring the code using functions increases the visual appeal and makes the program more organized and less prone to errors.
Mid-Level Programming Language
Although C was initially developed to do only low-level programming, it now also supports the features and functionalities of high-level programming, making it a mid-level language. And as a mid-level programming language, it provides the best of both worlds. For instance, C allows direct manipulation of hardware, which high-level programming languages do not offer.
With the use of pointers in C, you can directly interact with memory. As the name suggests, pointers point to a specific location in the memory and interact directly with it. Using the C pointers, you can operate with memory, arrays, functions, and structures.
C language provides the feature of recursion. Recursion means that you can create a function that can call itself multiple times until a given condition is true, just like the loops. Recursion in C programming provides the functionality of code reusability and backtracking.
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C programming is very popular in the world even today, and the biggest reason behind it is the unique features of C language. In this article, we have shed light upon some of the most significant features of C language. Due to these features, several multinational companies and corporations are still looking to hire C programming professionals.
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