DEV Community


Posted on

Top 5 advanced C programming concepts for developers to learn

Why Should You Learn C Programming?

C is a general-purpose programming language with a static type system that supports structured programming, lexical variable scope, and recursion. C is designed in such a way that its constructs map efficiently to standard machine instructions.

  • C teaches you about a computer's internal design, how it stores and retrieves data.

  • Once you've mastered C, it'll be a lot easier to learn other programming languages such as Java, Python, and so on.

  • Possibility of contributing to open source projects. C programming is used to create some of the largest open-source projects, including the Linux kernel, Python interpreter, and SQLite database.

Characteristics of C Programming

C, which programmers adore for its low-level and embedded programming capabilities, has progressively made its way into the semiconductor, hardware, and storage industries. The most significant characteristics of the C programming languages are as follows:

  • It includes built-in functions and operators that enable it to tackle nearly any difficult problem.

  • C is a language that combines low-level (assembly) and high-level programming; it may also be used to develop applications and interface with low-level system memory and hardware.

  • It may be written on virtually any operating system and is compatible with the majority of mobile devices.

  • Due to the assistance offered by C's datatypes and operators, programmes written in C run quickly.

  • It is easily expandable, as C++ was evolved from C and enhanced with features such as OOPS and others.

  • The libraries included with the programming language give support for the functions and operators.

  • Advantages of C programming language

1.Simple and Efficient
The fundamental syntax style used to build the C language is quite simple and straightforward to learn. This simplifies the language and enables programmers to rebuild or construct new applications.
Due to this feature, C is frequently used as an introductory language to introduce programming to high school students.


It is a widely accepted truth that statically typed programming languages are faster than dynamically typed programming languages. C is a statically typed programming language, giving it an advantage over dynamic programming languages.

  • Additionally, unlike Java and Python, which are interpreter-based programming languages, C is a compiler-based programming language. This accelerates the compilation and execution of programmes.

  • Another factor that contributes to C's speed is the absence of all except the most essential and required features.

Modern programming languages have a plethora of features that boost capability at the expense of efficiency and speed. Due to the fact that C provides a small set of key characteristics, the headache associated with processing these elements is reduced, resulting in greater speed.


Portability is another characteristic of the C language. Simply put, C programmes are machine-independent, which means they may be run on a variety of processors with little or no machine-specific changes.
As a result, it enables the use of a single codebase across numerous systems, depending on the demand.


A C programme can be simply (and quickly) extended. This means that if you already have some code developed, you can easily add additional functionalities to it by making a few changes.
Essentially, it enables the addition of additional features, functionalities, and operations to a C programme that already exists.

5.Libraries with a High Function Density

C includes a large collection of libraries and various built-in functions that simplify the life of a coder. Even a novice programmer can readily use these built-in functions.
Additionally, you can write your own user-defined functions and include them in C libraries. With such a broad scope of functions and operations available, a programmer can create an infinite number of programmes and applications.

5 Advanced C concepts you should be aware of
1.Allocation of memory dynamically

In C, memory allocation is classified as static or dynamic. The more fundamental of the two is static allocation, which is assigned to the Stack during execution.

  • Static allocation, once assigned, has a fixed size. Static allocation is used for global variables, variables with file scope, and variables marked with the static keyword.

  • Dynamic memory allocation is the more sophisticated of the two because it allows for size changes after allocation. The Heap stores this memory. Unlike the Stack, Heap memory has no restriction on its size.
    Dynamic memory allocation provides additional memory when it is required, ensuring that you never have more memory than you require.
    Additionally, dynamic memory allocation has performance drawbacks. Contrary to cached Stack data, cached heap data is not nearby.
    Dynamic memory allocation imposes a significant burden. Variables cached to the Heap must be accompanied by an equal-sized pointer that can be used to locate the variable later.
    For instance, a four-byte variable would also have a four-byte pointer associated with it. This indicates that Heap data consumes nearly twice the amount of resources as Stack data.
    While dynamic memory can be expanded to accommodate additional data, it does not automatically deallocate memory when the amount of data decreases. You must deallocate memory manually using the free() function.
    If you fail to deallocate your memory, you will immediately encounter a memory leak error, which may cause your software to run slowly or even crash!

2.Using gdb for debugging

Linux is the most often used operating system for C development. Linux includes a command-line debugging tool called gdb that will assist you in debugging your software.
Once installed, you can use gdb to run the complete programme, which will highlight logical and syntactical issues.

This enables you to:

  • Execute a programme sequentially.

  • An execution can be halted at any line/function in the programme.

  • Print intermediate values

  • Recognize the detailed execution flow.

3.Functions Pointers

Another method of calling a generated function is via a function pointer. The usual function call is function1 followed by the function name in parenthesis (). Function pointers enable you to call a function by specifying the memory location of the function, (*f) ().
To begin, you must store the desired function's location in a pointer variable. Once this is accomplished, you can use the function pointer in place of the regular function call.


When a function contains a call for itself, this is referred to as recursion. Recursive programmes frequently contain commands and operations that are repeated in each iteration of the recursive call.
In C, you can call both user functions and main recursively (). In many cases, recursion can be used in place of traditional loops. As with loops, recursive programmes can run indefinitely if they are not terminated.
Typically, recursive calls occur within an if or else section.
For recursive programmes of the if type, the recursive call is included within the if segment. The programme will iterate until the if statement becomes false. The programme will then proceed to the else segment, which includes the return statement.

5.Typecasting and typedef

Typecasting is a C operation that converts one data type to another. Typecasting is a process that can be carried out implicitly or explicitly.
Implicit typecasting occurs when the compiler translates data automatically. Implicit typecasting is simpler to construct but frequently results in data loss during the conversion.
With explicit typecasting, you manually transform the data, allowing you to choose an earlier conversion point.


Though C extends all the way back to the early 1970s, it remains one of the most popular programming languages. Numerous businesses utilize C as a programming language for developing embedded devices, applications, and socket programming.
Despite new programming languages flooding the market, C programming language still keeps its forte and is constantly recognized as a top 10 programming language by developers. So why wait? Learn C programming and add its versatility to your portfolio. Take up a C programming tutorial and hone your C programming skills.

Discussion (0)