C Programming Technical Interview Questions

What is C language?

C is computer programming language. It was developed by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs between 1969 and 1973.

It is often considered to be the mother language as most of the later programming languages have developed from C. This includes C++, C#, Java, etc. In fact, most of the compilers, JVMs, Kernals etc. are written in C language.

C is a System programming language and was used to re-implement the Unix operating system. It is a type of system programming language as it can be used to do low level programming, such as for hardware devices, OS, drivers and kernels. However, unlike other programming languages it cannot be used in internet programming.

C is procedure-oriented in nature as its primary function is to specify the series of steps or procedures that the program must take to solve the problem. It is also a structured programming language which is a subset of procedural language. A structured programming language breaks down the program into parts or blocks to make it easier to understand. C is also considered as a middle level language because it supports the features of both low-level and high level language.

Since its development, C has become the most widely used programming languages of all time. While there are various other languages in use today, the impact that C has had on programming cannot be denied.

Importance of C

C is considered to be one of the original programming languages. It was developed by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs between 1969 and 1973. Since then, it has gone on to become the basis of numerous other programming languages such as

C is small with only a few functions at its root that can be used to do most of the programming. These 32 keywords and standard functions can even be used to write complex programming. It is a relatively straightforward compiler that provides low-level access to memory, efficiently maps machine instructions, and requires minimal run-time support. Additionally, it supports cross-platform programming, which means that the program will work on any platform.

C has no parallel. It is simple and quick to learn, with unlimited practical applications. Despite being created nearly 50 years ago, the language is still one of the most commonly used programming languages today. It is used on various platforms, from embedded microcontrollers to supercomputers. Nearly all languages after C borrow heavily from it, including        C++, C#, D, Go, Rust, Java, JavaScript, Perl, PHP, Python, and even Unix’s C shell.

Why C is known as the mother language?

C is commonly referred to as the mother language as it is generally considered to be one of the most prominent programming languages. Since its development in 1972, it has gone on to become the most widely used programming languages of all time. Most of the compilers, JVMs, and kernals in use today are written in C.

Additionally, most of the other programming languages that developed after C have borrowed heavily from it, including but not limited to C++, D, Go, Rust, Java, JavaScript, Limbo, LPC, C#, Objective-C, Perl, PHP, Python, Swift, Verilog and Unix's C shell. C is responsible for introducing the core concepts like array, functions, file handling, etc. that are used in these languages.

Why C is called a mid-level programming language?

C is called a mid-level programming language because it merges the concepts and features of both low level programming languages and of high level programming languages.

Like low level programming languages, C’s language code can be converted into assembly code. Additionally, C also supports pointer arithmetic, while is a property of low level programming languages.

However, while low level programming languages are typically machine-dependent, i.e. they are specific to a particular machine, C is not. C is in fact machine-independent, which means that it not specific to a single machine, which is a property of high level programming languages. It is also easy to understand and easy to use, like other high level languages.

When was C language developed?

The C language was developed between 1969 and 1973 at Bell Labs by Dennis Ritchie. It was originally developed to help write the Unix operating system, as the previously available programming languages could not take advantage of some of Unix’s features. So, Ritchie wrote up a new language.

Why is C Programming Language so popular?

C is one of the oldest programming languages to be still in use. Since, its development, it has constantly been in use. The reason for this popularity of C is firstly the fact that it has been around practically forever. Hence, it is tried and tested. Being one of the first language, it also has widespread adoptability.

Another reason for the flexibility of C is that it is also quite flexible for use in memory management. Programmers have the choice of how, when, and where to allocate and deallocate memory. In C programming, memory can be allocated statically, automatically, or dynamically.

Also, as C was designed to be implemented on the Unix operating system, most of the Unix kernel has been written in C. Also, as most operating systems today have been developed on the basis of Unix, this means that C can be implemented on those as well.

C is also a good choice for system-level programming. However, it is not perfect. C also has low-level accessibility, including native support for inline Assembler for even greater optimization.  No other language extant, other than C++, offers the full spectrum from high-level abstraction to low-level control.

What is the difference between top down approach and bottom up approach in programming languages?

Programming languages often follow either a top down approach or a bottom up approach. Both of the types of approach are involved in software development, and not in program execution. Some of the differences between these types of approaches are:

Top down approach

Bottom up approach

Is the breaking down of a program to gain insight into its compositional small program (or module) in a reverse engineering fashion.

Is the piecing together of module (or small program) to give rise to more complex program, thus making the original modules of the emergent program.

Structure/procedure oriented programming languages like C follows top down approach.

Object oriented programming languages like C++ and Java follow bottom up approach.

Begins with high level design and ends with low level design or development

Begins with low level design or development and ends with high level design.

main() function is written first and all sub functions are called from main function

Code is developed for modules and then these modules are integrated with main() function

However, in today’s day and age, most modern software use a combination of a top down approach and bottom up approach so as it include the best of both worlds, and to negate the limitations of each.

What language has C been developed in?

C is a general-purpose, imperative computer programming language that supports structured programming. The development of C is tied in with the development of Unix. In fact, it was originally used to re-implement the Unix operating system. It has since gone on to become one of the most widely used programming languages of all time.

Unix was originally implemented in assembly language on a PDP-7. Eventually, Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson decided to port the operating system to a PDP-11. They considered doing this using the B language, which was a simplified version of BCPL. However, due to the limitations of B, such as its inability to take advantage of some of the PDP-11's features, notably byte addressability, led them to develop a new programming language. The name C was chosen, as it came after B.

C, like Unix, had been originally written in assembly language.

Which year was C language developed in?

C language was originally developed when Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson decided to port the Unix operating system to a PDP-11, from the original PDP-7. They considered doing this using the B language, which was a simplified version of BCPL.

However, due to the limitations of B, they had to develop a new programming language, which they chose to name C, as C comes after B.  They developed C at Bell Labs between 1969 and 1973. Its first launch is credited to be in 1972.

A programming language is a type of language that is used to communicate with a computer. It is used by programmers to write instructions that can be understood by the computer. The computer can then follow these instructions to do what the programmer requires the computer to do.

A programming language can be uses to create programs that implement specific algorithms. These programs and algorithms can then be used by a computer.

Some examples of a programming language include BASIC, C, C++, COBOL, FORTRAN, Ada, and Pascal.

What are the key features or characteristics of C language?

C is one of the most popular programming language in the world. It is generally considered to be one of the original programming language as most of the other programming languages can be traced back to it.

These are the key features or characteristics of C language:

  • is a general purpose programming language
  • is a middle level language, which means it combines the features of high level language with the functionality of an assembly language
  • is a structured programming language
  • is simple and easy to use
  • has a vast collection of keywords, operators, built-in functions and data types
  • is portable and can be used in different environments
  • can be used as an interface to other more visual languages
  • is a very flexible
  • is fast
  • is modular, i.e. can be divided into small modules
  • is easily available
  • is easy to debug, as it detects syntax errors quickly and easily and displays the errors along with the line numbers of the code and the error message

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it is goood to understand the students
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