Book Image

Learn C Programming

By : Jeff Szuhay
Book Image

Learn C Programming

By: Jeff Szuhay

Overview of this book

C is a powerful general-purpose programming language that is excellent for beginners to learn. This book will introduce you to computer programming and software development using C. If you're an experienced developer, this book will help you to become familiar with the C programming language. This C programming book takes you through basic programming concepts and shows you how to implement them in C. Throughout the book, you'll create and run programs that make use of one or more C concepts, such as program structure with functions, data types, and conditional statements. You'll also see how to use looping and iteration, arrays, pointers, and strings. As you make progress, you'll cover code documentation, testing and validation methods, basic input/output, and how to write complete programs in C. By the end of the book, you'll have developed basic programming skills in C, that you can apply to other programming languages and will develop a solid foundation for you to advance as a programmer.
Table of Contents (33 chapters)
Section 1: C Fundamentals
Section 2: Complex Data Types
Section 3: Memory Manipulation
Section 4: Input and Output
Section 5: Building Blocks for Larger Programs

A note about debugging

As you go through the program development cycle and as you get more familiar with the development language, development tools, and yourself (yes, you are learning about yourself as you program), this will all become second nature to you, as it should. When you make a typing error, or when you get an obviously incorrect result, these are not bugs – they are just mistakes. Bugs are far more subtle.

There is a deeper trap that is very difficult for most beginner programmers to see;that is, their own assumptions about what should happen without evidence of what did happen. Most of the most difficult bugs that I introduced in my own code were those that I assumed the program would work on in a certain way but I did not verify that. When I finally went back to my assumptions and proved them in code, I was able to get beyond my self-imposed bugs.

Can you avoid this trap?

Yes. Throughout this book, we will attempt to mitigate this subtle problem with a method we will use to develop programs. As we proceed, we will use trial and error, guided discovery, and evidence through observation. Sometimes, we will purposefully break our programs to see what happens. We will also try to prove each concept so that the expected behavior matches the actual behavior.

This is not to say that even with such an approach, bugs won't creep in. They will. But with careful attention to your own assumptions, observed behavior, and the collection of evidence you have gathered to prove any assumption, most bugs can be avoided.