C Programming For Beginners – A 20 Day Curriculum!
For the last 40-45 years, C is one of the most popular and highly recognized programming languages in the world. In fact, it is the first programming language of a huge number of individuals (including me!). Indeed, it is strongly recommended to start your programming journey with C language as it helps to understand a lot of underlying processes on the ground level, which enhances your fundamental knowledge & boosts your confidence, which further makes it easier for you to learn other high-level programming languages as well. Also, proficiency in C Programming offers you various career opportunities that can prompt you to take it into consideration and start learning the C Language!!
Meanwhile, C was developed by Dennis Ritchie and it is a procedural programming language. The language was principally developed as a system programming language to write an operating system and is used in the development of various major platforms, such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, etc. Moreover, C language has a rich library that provides various built-in functions and offers dynamic memory allocation as well. Here in this article, we will discuss the thorough curriculum or pathway that one must follow to learn C Language in just 20 days!
1. Introduction to C Language (Day: 1)
This is the first and foremost thing you need to do – to know and understand the nature of C Language! You’re required to go through the fundamentals of the C Language, such as the origin of the language, its features & applications, how to compile and run a C program, etc. Furthermore, you need to create your first C program as well to get a better understanding of C programming. In this initial stage, you’re required to get familiar with the basics of the language as much as you can!
- C Language Introduction
- Features of C Language
- Benefits of C over other languages
- Compilation of C program
- Hello World Program in C
2. Go Through Variables, Data Types & Operators (Day: 2-3)
While learning a programming language, you must need to know about the variables, how to define and store them (datatypes), how to perform logical and mathematical operations (operators), etc. prior to any other programming concepts. These topics can be considered as the basic necessity to learn C programming skills. Meanwhile, you need to cover here several other related topics as well, such as how variables are scoped in C, how to perform typecasting in C, type of operators, etc.
3. Understand the Control Flow Statements (Day: 4-5)
Now, it’s time to understand the process that controls the flow of a program’s execution. You are required to know what the control statements are & how to implement them. There are various topics, such as Conditional Statements, Loops, Jump Statements, and many more. After having a theoretical understanding of these concepts, you can opt for their implementation as well through solving programming questions and creating basic programs. You are also recommended to cover several additional topics like Switch Statements, Continue Statement, Break Statement, etc for more clarification.
- Loops in C
- Decision Making Statements
- Switch Statement in C
- Continue Statement | Break Statement
- C Loops & Control Structure Practice Questions
4. Learn Array & String Handling in C (Day: 6-7)
After going through the control flow statements, now you’re required to know about Arrays & String Handling in C. Precisely, an array is a collection of data that holds a fixed number of values of the same type, whereas Strings are actually a one-dimensional array of characters terminated by a null character ‘\0’. You need to understand how to declare an array & access its elements, what are the multidimensional arrays, string library functions, and other relevant topics.
- Arrays in C
- Strings in C
- Multidimensional Arrays in C
- String functions in C
- Single-quoted & Double-quoted declaration of the char array
5. Get Familiar with Functions in C (Day: 8-10)
Once you get done with the above-mentioned topics, now you need to know about the pillar of the C programming language – Functions in C. A Function is a block of code that performs a specific task or computation. You need to know about user-defined and standard library functions, function prototypes in C, function calling – call by value and call by reference, and various others. Meanwhile, you’re also required to go through several other crucial topics such as storage class, recursion, etc. to understand the functions in C effectively.
- Functions in C
- Function Prototype
- Parameter Passing Techniques in C
- Storage Classes in C
- Recursion Concept
6. Learn about Pointers, Structures, and Unions (Day: 11-13)
Okay, let’s dive deeper into the world of C programming with some more in-depth concepts like Pointers, Structures, Unions, and many more. In short, a Pointer is a variable that stores the address of another variable or a memory location. Moreover, structures, unions, enums, etc. are types of user-defined data types having their own functionalities and specifications. You need to know about how to declare and Initialize Pointers, about Double Pointer, how to define Structure & Union, and other related concepts.
- Pointers in C | Double Pointer
- Structures | Union | Enumeration (or enum) in C
- Declare a pointer to a function
- Pointer vs Array in C
- Operations on struct variables in C
7. Understand Dynamic Memory Allocation & LinkedList (Day: 14-17)
Furthermore, you need to understand concepts like dynamic allocation of memory, linked lists, etc. Dynamic Memory Allocation is the process of allocating memory manually during run-time. You’re required to learn Dynamic Memory Allocation in C using malloc(), calloc(), free() and realloc(). Moreover, a linked list is a linear data structure where each node contains a data field and a reference to the next node in the list. You also need to cover several other appropriate data structures such as Stack, Queue, etc. as Data Structure is the backbone of each programming language.
- Dynamic Memory Allocation in C
- Linked List Data Structure
- Memory Leak
- Stack | Queue
- Difference between malloc and calloc
8. Learn about File Management & Preprocessors in C (Day: 18-20)
Lastly, you’re required to get a thorough understanding of File Management & Preprocessors in C. File Handling in C concerns various operations such as creation, opening, reading, writing, moving to a specific location, and closing a file. You are required to learn about the functions used for performing these operations, etc. Moreover, you need to know about the C Preprocessor, which is used automatically to transform your program before actual compilation. It will also help you to understand the architecture of C programming.
- File Handling in C
- Multiline macros in C
- Merge the content of two files into a third one
- Preprocessor in C
- Preprocessor directives
After following the above-given pathway, you’ll be able to implement and showcase your skills in C programming to achieve your career goals. Also, the curriculum is not too complex or time-consuming to follow as you all need to go through a few topics each day and you’ll cover the entire syllabus in a mere 20 days. So, without any delay, dive into the C programming world and enhance your programming skills for various career opportunities!