Today, C language is embedded into the programming of almost all the electronic devices and machines currently available. From robotics to high-end game programming to engineering, C/C++ language is a necessity. And this is why the below list will help you learn C/C++ programming- no matter whether you are a beginner or the programmer looking to upgrade your skills.
More into C/C++ Programming…
Regularly “C” language is referred to as a middle-level computer programming language. It has the ability to combine the elements of high-level languages with the functions related to assemble language. C programming gives you the capabilities to manipulate bits, bytes, and addresses. This gives you more control over the program behaviors and direct access to the mechanics of the underlying hardware.
Since C was mainly influenced, created and tested by the working programmers themselves, it completely gives what programmers really need. Coming to C++, it is a more enhanced or improved version of C language. C++ language has everything that is part of C and moreover, C++ adds support for OOP i.e. object-oriented programming. It is also packed with many improved features that make it a better version of C language.
C++ is extensible too as you can define new types in a particular way that it acts like the predefined types that are part of the standard language. Still, if you are looking to use C++ as a better version of C language then you will not be able to utilize all the features of C++ programming language. To exploit all the richness of C++, you must use this language the way it is designed. Some of its latest features are overloading operators, inline function calls, inheritance, encapsulation, and polymorphism.
As stated earlier, C/C++ languages are one of the most popular languages that are used widely by programmers throughout the world. The concepts of C and the syntax have stood the test of time and now, it is influencing other programming languages, even the latest ones like Go.
Even if you have decided to create web applications or front-end components for all your upcoming life then also learning C programming will help you in understanding how hardware and software interact. Apart from this, don’t forget that these 2 languages are everywhere. Actually, C in particular powers a lot more techs than we give it credit for and similarly, some of your favorite software including the web browser on which you are reading this blog- is built using the C++ programming language.
C might be a good base but on several occasions, you have to learn C++ along with its paradigms for software development. In case, if you are looking to create software, sophisticated productivity tools, great desktop games or complex computationally intensive programs or even if you want to learn programming language that allows you to interact with a computer’s hardware directly, then C/C++ languages are the perfect fit for you.
Still not convinced? Here are my top 10 reasons why you should learn C/C++ programming languages
1. Popularity & High Salary
As I have written earlier that many times, C is considered dead but every time, the need for this language has increased than previously. Today, C/C++ might not be as popular as Python, but is equally important and is used by over 4 million programmers from all over the world. Not only this but C/C++ developers are highly valued and hold some of the top-paying jobs in various industries with an average salary of more than 100,000 annually.
2. Large Community
Both C & C++ languages have a very large community of both regular and advanced programmers who are ready to help anyone in case any support is required or to solve any queries. You can also find many of the resources on the internet easily that will help you to learn and understand everything related to these programming languages. I have mentioned some of the best resources in the later section of this blog.
3. Thousands of Library Support
Both languages have extensive support for libraries. When it comes to C++, it has the STL i.e. Standard Template Library that is very useful for writing code quickly and compactly as per the requirement. Generally, it includes 4 major components such as containers, algorithms, functions, and iterators. Here, algorithms can be of different kinds like searching, sorting and so on. Functions help in working with the associated functions to be customized with the help of the parameters passed, and the iterators are used for working upon a sequence of values. Containers help in storing the classes for implementation of different data structures that are widely used such as hash tables, stacks, queues, lists, maps, sets, vectors, and others.
As of today, there are several popular & modern databases like MongoDB, MySQL, MemSQL & others that are written on C++ because this language is quite new with the latest features like lambda expressions, exceptions and so on. All the databases that are written in this language are being used in apps like WordPress, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and others.
5. Operating Systems
All the widely used operating systems, be it Windows, iOS, Linux, Ubuntu and others are written using C and C++ programming. It is because C or C++ provides high speed and has a strongly typed nature. For instance, Windows applications are completely written in C++, whereas, Android apps are written in C/C++ along with Java. The core of the iOS apps is developed using C++.
6. Embedded Systems
Since both these programming languages are closer to the hardware, it is quite useful to use these languages in embedded systems, as the software and hardware are closely couples. Today, there are several embedded systems like smartwatches, GPS systems, MP3 players and others that use C/C++ programming languages.
These 2 programming languages are highly portable too. Any programs that are developed using C/C++ programming can be easily moved from one platform to another. It is the main reason why programmers use C++ for the applications that require the development over different devices or different platforms.
Since C/C++ is closer to the hardware and are comparatively low-level languages, it is highly used in many compilers as a back end programming language. A top example of this is GCC or GNU Compiler Collection that is written in C and C++ programming language.
9. Web browsers
Various applications that need graphics like computer vision, digital image processing, screen reading programs, and others use C++ because of its high speed. This is also true for many games that include graphics as the main part of their structure.
So, as of now, I am very sure that you have the right idea about the importance of C/C++ programming.
Let’s check out the top resources to learn C++ or C programming in 2020!
Best websites for learning C/C++ programming language
I’ll start this list with Eduonix. Remember there are tons of websites like Udemy, Coursera & others that offer curses on both the programming language, but what makes Eduonix unique is that it offers both Free and Paid courses.
And don’t think that all the free courses will just be ordinary online courses. In fact, they have made some of their highly-rated courses on C/C++ programming completely Free. And even if you are interested in learning some more advanced concepts or working on a specific project using C/C++ programming then you can get it at very low prices.
It is a website that includes a comprehensive series of tutorials that describe the C++ programming language. LearnCPP covers all the broad fundamentals of the language and includes sample code, quizzes and so much more to test your C++ knowledge.
It included some of the best technical tutorials that I have ever found on C++ programming you will ever find online. If this is your first programming language then you might find it a little intimidating but don’t worry, with time, you’ll get used to it. This website covers everything such as basics, functions, debugging, data types, operators, bit manipulation, object scope, control flow, arrays, strings, pointers, functions, object-oriented programming, inheritance, exceptions, standard library and so much more!
Read More: Learn About Inheritance in C++ Programming
It is again a great website for you if you are looking to learn & master a C++ programming language. Though this website includes all the tutorials, articles and other information on the programming language, it is best used by programmers as a reference.
Here, you can look for multitudes of programming concepts that will help you in using certain techniques without any difficulties and without being stuck. It might not be beginner-friendly as it includes more jargon with respect to references but it includes some quality information related to C++ programming.
C programming has been on the website since 1998 and if you are not comfortable with the last 2 websites then you will find more luck on this website. It covers tutorials on both C and C++ programming languages. Apart from great tutorials, you can also find other goodies like advanced articles and highly-reviewed books on these languages.
From my perspective, the tutorial on this website is easier to understand and simple to navigate between different lessons. Here everything is more organized. Since you can find resources on both the programming languages in one place, it gets easier to compare and check out all the differences of both the languages.
Read More: Learn to Write C++ Programs on Linux
Stack Overflow is one of the largest and most trusted community of developers in the whole world for learning and sharing their programming language. If you are into programming or scripting then there is a high chance, you have heard about or ended up on Stack Overflow at some point.
When it comes to C/C++ programming, then you will have a myriad of essential resources that cover almost anything. Whenever something goes wrong or something that you don’t know or something specific you need for your programming, then it is Stack Overflow where all the programmers find answers.
Best books for learning C/C++ programming language
Whenever the name Dennis Ritchie comes, it is obvious that you are talking about C as this programming language was originally developed by Dennis Ritchie for making utilities running on UNIX. This book is written by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie themselves.
Both authors have done exceptionally good work in this book. They have created it as a complete guide to ANSI standard C programming language. Since it is written by the very developers who created this programming language, it covers all the concepts by going into details that give you a complete picture. The newer version of this book will help you in keeping up with the finalized ANSI standard for C. It also shows how to take advantage of the economy of expression, rich set of operators, data structures and improved control flow.
The 2nd Edition of this book is completely rewritten and includes extra examples along with additional problem sets for clarifying the implementation of difficult language constructs. This book consists of detailed coverage of the C programming along with the official reference manual of C language for at-a-glance help with declarations, syntax notation, scope rules, ANSI changes and so on.
As a whole, you can easily consider this book like the Bible of C programming language. Despite it requires you to have a basic knowledge of general programming, it will give you a complete picture of programming in C language.
Have you ever read any of the books from the Head First series? If yes, then you are lucky. There is a Head First book for C programming language as well! If you have read any of the books before then you already know that their style of showing concepts is a bit different. This book is co-authored by David Griffiths & Dawn Griffiths and will be a complete learning experience for you. It will teach you to create C programs easily and efficiently.
This book is popular for teaching C programming language in a unique way that is way beyond any how-to manuals and syntax. It helps you to become a great programmer by teaching you key areas such as basics of C programming language, dynamic memory management, pointers and command pointer arithmetic along with advanced concepts like network programming, multi-threading and so on.
This headfirst guide can be used as an accessible book for a college-level course and just like that, this book includes various projects that will stretch your abilities, test your skills and help you build confidence. It is a perfect resource to learn C language beyond the basics and will help you to understand how to use make tools, archiver to tackle real-world problems and the compiler.
Already the authors behind this book have made the statement that “your time is too valuable to waste struggling with new concepts”. This book uses the latest research in learning theory and cognitive science for crafting a multi-sensory learning experience. Head First C uses a visually rich format instead of a text-heavy approach that helps your brain to consume more and more.
It is the only book that I believe has a no-nonsense practical approach for learning the C language. This has also made this book very popular among all the students and programmers. Steve Oualline is the author of this book, and he teaches you everything from the mechanics behind the C language to creating C programs that are easy to read to debugging and updating the C programs. In this book, practical rules are stressed more.
This book will not only teach you how to avoid all too common obfuscated uses of C programming but will also tell how to recognize these uses while you encounter them in existing programs related to C language. Because of this, programmers don’t struggle during maintenance.
Apart from the basic concepts, the Electronic Archaeology i.e. the art of going through someone else’s code is also explained. This 3rd edition book is also packed with popular C IDEs on Windows systems along with UNIX programming utilities.
It is a highly comprehensive and popular book dedicated to fully updated and recast for the newly released C++ 11 standard. It will help you to learn the C++ programming language quickly, and you will be able to use this language in a modern and effective way. Its authors Stanley B. Lippman, Josée Lajoie, and Barbara E. Moo highlights all best practices of C++ language and also show how to use both the language i.e. C/C++ along with its standard library for writing powerful, readable and efficient code.
The authors have done a very good job of introducing the C++ standard library from the outset. This helps in learning all common facilities and functions that are useful in writing programs without mastering all the details of the C++ programming language. Many examples in this book have been revised as per the new features. It assists in demonstrating how to use all the features in the best possible way.
If you are new to C++ programming then C++ Primer 5th Edition will be a perfect fit for you. Moreover, it also discusses core C++ techniques and the concepts making itself a valuable resource for experienced programmers. You will love this book if you want to know all the C++ enhancements.
Some of the things that you will learn from this book are:
- Using all the new features of C++11 along with the standard library for building robust programs fast.
- High-level C++ programming.
- Examples that will help you decode best and the latest coding styles and program design techniques.
- The rationale behind the rules: why C++11 works as it does?
- Extensive cross-references that will help you connect all the insights and related concepts.
- Up to date learning aids and exercises that will more emphasize on key points. It will help you to avoid any pitfalls, reinforce what you have learned and promotes good practices.
It is one of the classics for learning programming in C language. The latest edition of this O’Reilly guide is co-authored by Peter Prinz and Tony Crawford, and is ideal for both beginners and experienced C/C++ programmers. They have given clear and detailed explanations of all the features of C programming language along with a runtime library including library functions, multithreading and type-generic macros that are relatively new in the 2011 C standard (C11).
You can even find the effects of unfamiliar functions and what standard library requires to behave along with typical examples. Apart from these, C in a Nutshell is packed with popular tools in the GNU software collection. Overall this book teaches you to build C programs with GNU make, test & debug your programs with the GNU debugger and compiling executable programs from C source code.
Some of the key things that you will learn from this book are:
- C language concepts and elements; having exclusively dedicated chapters on statements, memory management, types, pointers, I/O and so much more.
- C standard library along with standard headers and in-depth details of function reference.
- Instructions of C programming tools of GNU software collection along with its usage and implementation with the Eclipse IDE.
What else could be better than a resource that will help you learn and master something new in a way that is both easy and simple to understand? This absolute beginner’s guide for C programming does exactly the same! In C programming, often the learning curve is quite steep, and it is important for programmers to find the right resource that caters to all the needs effectively.
The authors of this book Greg Perry & Dean Miller have successfully created one of the best beginner’s guides for writing C programs. Moreover, the skills gained from this book can also be used in practically any language. In other words, this book has simple practical instructions that will aid you in creating reliable & useful C code for mobile applications to high-quality games. Apart from all these, this beginner’s guide is updated for the new C11 standard and free, open-source tools.
Some of the key things that you will learn from this book are:
- Parts of C program
- How different parts of the C program fit together.
- Using computers’ memory more efficiently.
- Free C programming tools for OS X, Windows & Linux.
- Allowing C for handling all the maths behind your program.
- User interaction and responding to their inputs.
- Generating the output and then displaying it on the screen.
- Using preprocessing directives for creating more powerful programs.
- Exploiting variables by using expressions and assignments.
- Using simple built-in functions for building powerful data-entry routines.
- Manipulating text with strings.
- Using loops and other techniques for saving the extra effort and time.
- Storing information in a way that is easy to access and use.
- Using logical operators and testing data for controlling programs.
- Managing your data with arrays, data structures, and pointers.
- Using functions for making programs easier to maintain and write.
Read More: Learn About Strings in C++ Programming
This book is written by none other than Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of the C++ programming language. It dives deep into the C++11 programming language. And if you are someone who is looking to thoroughly master C++ language then this definitive guide will be the most suitable choice for you.
The “C++ Programming Language” is also one of the most popular, most trusted and widely read guides for C++ language. The latest version of this guide is comprehensively updated as per the C++11 standard. It is rewritten in an extensive way that presents the whole C++11 language, key design techniques, and standard library.
With this book, Stroustrup completely addresses all the changes that make C++11 feel like a completely new language. It also provides a guide for improving reliability, clarity, and performance.
Read More: Learn about Arrays in C++ Programming
It is the 2nd book in this list that is authored by the inventor of C++ i.e. Bjarne Stroustrup. This book was written exclusively for those who have never programmed before. It has tested with thousands and thousands of first-year university students and is also heavily used for self-study.
This book helps its readers to gain guidance and new insights by observing how an expert approaches the elements of his art. In general, Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++ introduces you to programming covering both generic programming and object-oriented programming.
It gives you a solid introduction to the C++ programming language along with modern C++ programming techniques from the beginning. It also covers the C++11 & C++14 features along with the standard library for simplifying the programming tasks.
Overall, the first section of this book covers all the essential concepts along with programming techniques, design, libraries and the features of C++ programming language. This significantly helps in writing a program that covers computation, input, output, and simple graphics.
The second part of the latter section of the book gives you insights into more sophisticated topics. It covers testing, text processing & other advanced concepts of C programming language. This book provides abundant reference materials, and you can find support supplements or source code from the author’s website.
Once you are done with all these resources, then you can read out the top IDEs and code editors for C/C++. It will help you to showcase your programming skills in no time.
Read More: 13 Best IDEs for C and C++ Developers- 2020
Best online problem-solving websites for C/C++ programming language
The best way to learn C or C++ programming language is to program in these languages. The main difference between the below websites and the previously mentioned resources is that the latter one requires a solid grasp of the basics. It involves various challenges related to C/C++ programming language. You can solve these to test your knowledge and to have a complete picture.
It is one of the most popular platforms for solving problems or puzzles related to programming languages. It requires knowledge of computer programming, logic, and mathematics. Not only this, but Google holds a competition “Code Jam” every year with the winning prize. This time the winning amount is $15,000. Apart from the competition, you can also find quizzes from old contests that will be useful for solving mind-bending questions. Though, you cannot gain points through it.
Many programmers from all over the world consider Google Code Jam’s archives of challenges as one of the best resources for polishing their programming skills or acing any interview.
It is a website designed for everyone who has a hunger to learn more. It is packed with a collection of problem/solving challenges related to mathematics as well as computer programming related problems. Remember, it requires more than mathematical knowledge to solve these puzzles. You can even track your progress on this website.
With this, we will end this article. To summarize all… I would say it covered the basic overview of C and C++ programming languages. It is then followed by several reasons why these 2 programming languages are yet not dead.
After understanding the importance & the requirements of C & C++, we have covered some of the best resources to learn C/C++ that included online websites, top books, and of course, coding challenges.
Whether you are a newcomer to the programming world or an existing programmer looking to master every aspect of C or C++ programming; some of these resources will definitely be a good help.
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