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What is C programming?
The C is a computer programming language so you’re going to use C in order to develop lists of instructions for a computer to achieve,
At the moment, C is just one of so many programming languages used around the world. Versatile and high-level programming language, C programming is a useful tool for developing firmware and portable applications. Even though it was created for writing system software, C was developed in the 70s at Bell Labs for the Unix Operating System.
Popular and so widely spread, C includes a compiler for many computer systems and has been used for other popular languages, with C++ being the most impressive one.
Easy to learn and it’s really popular as it offers programmers amazing control and efficiency. Even if it may seem a bit cryptic in style as compared to other languages, it’s only a matter of time until you get to master it.
What are the details?
C is a compiled language as after you write it, you’re going to have to run it through a C compiler so that you make your program executable.
As a human you may read the C program, whereas the executable that is generated by the compiler has an executable form that is only machine-readable. Therefore, even if you may write and run a C program, you’re going to need access to a C compiler.
If you’re a student working on a lab’s Unix machine or you’re writing some CGI scripts in C on a host’s UNIX computer, the C compiler is free, but this is just one example. It’s named “cc” or “gcc” and you can find it on the command line.
In case you’re a student, chances are that the school is going to give you access to a compiler. However, when you’re working from home on your Windows machine, you’re definitely going to need to download a free C compiler or even buy a commercial compiler.
One popular compiler is the Visual C ++ environment (this compiles C and C++ programs) from Microsoft, but it’s pretty expensive. You don’t need to break the bank for one though as you may get one of the many free compilers available online.
Here are the main features of C programming!
Even if C and assembly language are rather high level, they present similar attributes. Here are some of the most important features of C programming:
- Several logical and mathematical operators, bit manipulators included
- Fixed number of keywords and set of control primitives (if, while, do while and switch)
- Several assignments that may be used in a single statement
- Static typing. All data does have type, but it may also be implicitly converted
- You don’t need to use function return values all the time; you can ignore them if you don’t need them
- Extern and static attributes for control of function or object visibility
- Basic form of modularity and ability to compile and link files
What are the coding challenges?
The coding challenges are tests that possible employees may use as a zero/first round interview for obtaining initial coding/technical signal on the candidates.
They are used mostly for the interns or the new graduates, but anyone may become a subject to a coding challenge. Most of the time, coding challenges are going to precede onsite interviews or phone. However, some may use them later only if the company needs more info on the candidate.
Here are some thoughts on the coding challenges:
- The coding challenges are various and this applies to the C programming as well
- Most of the coding challenges are going to follow an informational interview.
- You’re going to get an email with the url to a coding challenge (Coder Byte or Hacker Rank are pretty common, but the company may use its very own internal tools). You’re going to have X minutes to complete a specific number of problems.
- You may get 30 minutes or 2 hours, and one to 3 problems to solve. The challenge is going to be specific and you shouldn’t expect any help whatsoever. You’re going to get coding problems typical of Software Engineering. You may choose the language and the approach as well.
Some recommendations when solving the C programming challenges
The variety of C programming challenges is pretty impressive and here are some suggestions to keep in mind:
- Write down the tests when you’re not getting any and don’t hesitate to add more tests if they’re provided. It’s better that you solve two problems completely than three that don’t really work
- It’s fundamental that you document your work and don’t stop commenting. There isn’t going to be anyone on the other line to see you work through the process. Should you not be able to solve the challenge, it’s best that you have impressive documentation on your point of view. It can make the difference later on, helping you go through another phase. Write down everything even if you do accomplish the challenge.
- Try to keep your calm. It may be tricky to do it, but it’s only an interview and even if you’re not succeeding on a challenge, it may not cancel your chance for going through. You may still make it through the interview process at a company, so stay positive!
- Once you’re done with the challenges, the only thing left to do it wait. Most of the time, you’re going to get a feedback from the company through the same online portal from which you open the C programming challenge. It may take a week or two, but don’t lose hope!
One last recommendation
We cannot stress enough about the importance of daily programming. Some like to stay away from top coder, project Euler and so on and go with the more interesting ones. Trying the daily programming challenges is going to keep you fresh, nevertheless. Post your solutions and get involved in the discussions- it’s going to improve your focus and give you some new ideas as well!