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Begin Your Journey with C

To initiate your learning in C, you require the following:

  • A text editor for crafting C code
  • A compiler like GCC to convert the C code into a machine-understandable language

There are various text editors and compilers to select from. For this tutorial, an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) will be used by us.

Setting up the C IDE

An IDE is a software suite that consolidates the basic tools needed to write and test the code. Popular IDEs include Code::Blocks, Eclipse, and Visual Studio which are all free to use and facilitate both the editing and debugging of C code.

Note: Although web-based IDEs can be used, they typically have more limitations compared to their desktop counterparts.

We recommend starting with Code::Blocks. The latest version can be downloaded from here.

Let's Start with C

Create your first C file by following the steps below:

  1. Open Codeblocks
  2. Go to File > New > Empty File
  3. Write the following C code and save the file as myfirstprogram.c:
#include <stdio.h>, int main() { printf("Welcome to Fynd Academy!"); return 0;}

The above code might seem incomprehensible for now, we'll break it down in later chapters. For now, concentrate on running the code.

Executing Your Code

After writing the code, it's time to run it. In Codeblocks, navigate to Build > Build and Run. Your result will look something like this:

Welcome to Fynd Academy!

Great job! You've just written and executed your first C program.

Your C Learning Journey with Fynd Academy

Learning C with Fynd Academy is facilitated by our "Practice it Yourself" tool. It concurrently illustrates the code and the outcome, simplifying every new part you learn:

#include <stdio.h>int main() { printf("Welcome to Fynd Academy!"); return 0;} Welcome to Fynd Academy!

Practice it Yourself ยป

Fynd Academy Pathfinder

Track your progress as you embark on your learning journey. Best of all, it's complimentary!

<p><strong>C Pointers</strong></p> <p>Creating Pointers </p> <p>You learned that we can get the memory address of a variable with the reference operator &:</p> <div> <pre> int myAge = 43; // an int variable printf("%d", myAge); printf("%p", &myAge); </pre> </div> <p>A pointer is a variable that stores the memory address of another variable as its value. A pointer variable points to a type (like int) of the same type, and is created with the * operator. The address of the variable you are working with is assigned to the pointer:</p> <div> <pre> int myAge = 43; int* ptr = &myAge; printf("%d\n", myAge); printf("%p\n", &myAge); printf("%p\n", ptr); </pre> </div> <p>Create a pointer variable with the name ptr, that points to an int variable (myAge). The type of the pointer has to match the type of the variable you're working with (int in this case). Use the & operator to store the memory address of the myAge variable, and assign it to the pointer. Now, ptr holds the value of myAge's memory address.</p> <h2>Dereference</h2> <p>In the example above, we used the pointer variable to get the memory address of a variable (used together with the & reference operator). You can also get the value of the variable the pointer points to, by using the * operator (the dereference operator):</p> <div> <pre> int myAge = 43; int* ptr = &myAge; printf("%p\n", ptr); printf("%d\n", *ptr); </pre> </div> <p>Note, the * sign does two different things in our code:</p> <ul> <li>When used in declaration (int* ptr), it creates a pointer variable.</li> <li>When not used in declaration, it acts as a dereference operator.</li> </ul> <h2>Good To Know</h2> <p>There are two ways to declare pointer variables in C:</p> <div> <pre> int* myNum; int *myNum; </pre> </div> <h2>Notes on Pointers</h2> <p>Pointers are feature that make C stand out. They are important because they allow us to manipulate the data in the memory. This can reduce the code and improve performance. Pointers are extremely useful for implementing data structures like lists, trees and graphs, and are often necessary when working with files and memory management. Remember though; pointers must be handled with care, as it can lead to data corruption.</p> <h2>C Exercises</h2> <p>Test yourself With Exercises</p> <p>Create a pointer variable called ptr, that points to the int variable myAge:</p> <div> <pre> int myAge = 43; ptr = &myAge; </pre> </div> <h2>Fynd Academy</h2> <p>Track your progress</p>