C is one of the foundational programming languages used in the development of compilers, operating systems, and embedded systems where speed and efficiency matter.

It is considered the best language to start because it provides a strong understanding of fundamental coding concepts like data types, variables, loops, and functions.

With a competitive base salary, there is a significant demand for C developers in high-stake fields where high performance is essential.

In this guide, we will cover:

If you are simply looking to learn C step-by-step, you can follow our free tutorials in the next section.

Is C for you?

Whether C is the right choice depends on what you want to accomplish and your career goals.

C from a Learning Perspective

If you are new to coding, learning C can help you build a strong programming foundation. However, when we compare the code of C with other modern languages like Python, C might seem a bit complex.

For example, the following programs perform the addition of two numbers in both C and Python.


#include <stdio.h>

int main() {

    int x = 5, y = 10;
    printf("%d", x + y);

    return 0;


x = 5
y = 10
print(x + y)

As you can see, C code includes a lot of syntaxes to perform the same task.

That being said, programming languages like C++, Python, and Java are based on C, so it's relatively easier to switch to these languages once you have a good grasp of C.

You typically learn multiple languages throughout your career, so it's beneficial to have a thorough understanding of how everything works right from the start.

C as Career Choice

C is mainly used in high-performance modern applications like:

  • Embedded Systems Design
  • Operating Systems Development
  • Firmware Development
  • Kernel Design

Learning C offers significant benefits for your career opportunities if you are interested in building complex systems with high performance.

However, there are certain fields where choosing C might not be your best option. For example, if you are interested in web development, data science, machine learning, or mobile development, then C might not be the right answer.

In these cases, alternatives such as JavaScript for web development, Python for data science and machine learning, and Kotlin, Swift, or Java for mobile app development will be more suitable.

Ultimately, your career choice is important in deciding whether C is right for you.

Best Way to Learn C

There is no right or wrong way to learn C. It all depends on your learning style and pace.

In this section, we have included the best C learning resources tailored to your learning preferences, be it text-based, video-based, or interactive courses.

Text-based Tutorial

Best: if you are committed to learning C but do not want to spend on it

If you want to learn C for free with a well-organized, step-by-step tutorial, you can use our free C tutorials.

Our tutorials will guide you through C programming one step at a time, using practical examples to strengthen your foundation.

Interactive Course

Best: if you want hands-on learning, get your progress tracked, and maintain a learning streak

Learning to code is tough. It requires dedication and consistency, and you need to write tons of code yourself.

While videos and tutorials provide you with a step-by-step guide, they lack hands-on experience and structure.

Recognizing all these challenges, Programiz offers a premium Learn C Course that allows you to gain hands-on learning experience by solving challenges, building real-world projects, and tracking your progress.

Remember, there is no easy shortcut to learning coding!

Online Video

Best: if you are an audio-visual learner and learn by watching others code and following along

If you're more of a visual learner, we have created a C programming playlist for beginners that will guide you on your journey to C programming.

Additionally, you can also follow the C course from Freecodecamp.

Mobile App

Best: if you are a casual and hobby learner who wants to just get to know C

While it's possible to learn C from mobile apps, it's not the ideal way because writing code can be challenging. Additionally, it's difficult to build real-world projects with multiple files on mobile devices.

Nevertheless, you can use these apps to try things out.

Important: You cannot learn to code without developing the habit of writing code yourself. Therefore, whatever method you choose, always write code.

While writing code, you will encounter errors. Don't worry about them, try to understand them and find solutions. Remember, programming is all about solving problems, and errors are part of the process.

How to Run C?

1. Run C in your browser.

We have created an online editor to run C directly on your browser. You don't have to go through a tedious installation process. It's completely free, and you can start coding directly.

2. Install C on Your computer.

Once you start writing complex programs and creating projects, you should definitely install C on your computer. It's needed especially when you are creating projects with multiple files and folders.

To install C on your device, you can use this guide.


Getting Started with C

Learn how you can install and use C on your own computer.

Learn more