C is the perfect example of beauty with brains! Naturally, C mesmerizes! When Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, an American computer scientist created this programming language, probably he would not have estimated that in coming days C would be so popular and one of the most used programming languages in the industry.
Initially, C was developed for Unix based systems but later its implementation became wide to cover all the operating systems.
A language that is developed by a team could be vast and capable too, but in all the probability it would miss harmony to some visible extent. But C enjoys to be a one man product.C is balanced, full of harmony and powerful. Naturally, it attracts. And this harmony, consistency, and balance are totally because it was created by a single person. The rhythm of the thought process of Dennis is all over the language.
C is a seasoned and robust language. If you have to learn programming, the best way is to learn C. All the basic conceptions of programming like keywords, variables , constants, data structures,control instructions, nesting, file inclusions, file handling, memory management etc. are there to be learned and implemented. Numerous library functions are there to support us to program and we can develop many others ourselves to enhance the scope. It gives us a free hand and a big sky to fly and practice.
Many working principles of the computer science and information technology are a part of or reflected in the functionalities of C. If we learn C deeply, we actually learn many such conceptions like algorithms, numerical analysis, operating systems, computer architectures, database administration, character user interface(CGI), graphical user interface (GUI), image processing, network communication, real-time systems, device drivers, computer games and much more.
C is a middle-level language. C compilers have the power of an assembly language as well as that of a high-level language. It is very much suitable for system programming. But it is also capable enough for powerful application programming. C programmes are portable, i.e., a C programme written for one computer can easily be run on another computer with little or no changes.
C is widely used for the programming the embedded systems. It is a language of choice for robotics. Most of our desktop applications are developed in C or C++, be it the operating system we are using or the web browsers or many other applications.
C basically is a structured language. Every problem is thought of in the terms of functions and blocks of the code. A C programme written wisely is easy to debug and test. It is right that it is the era of object-oriented programming and C is a structured language. But still, C is so powerful that many object-oriented conceptions can be designed within its framework. And that is just the start. The object-oriented version of C, called C++ is there to match with the latest requirements. C++ is a superset of C.
There are many languages which could be popular but still have no specification or documentation. But C is a Programming language with an ISO standard. It has a standard definition or specification. Such languages are stable and a committee of experts monitor their evolution. This is another big feature of C.
It is also equally right that there are many challenges and limitations of C programming. One of them, for e.g., is mastering pointers. Handling graphics is another one. Managing things with a structured approach while the world itself is object-oriented is a real challenge. Even the veteran programmers feel it becomes tough after a specific degree of the complexity of the projects. Though, the power of C is that, still it is possible to code complex programmes. One needs to be a master of C for that, anyway.
In brief, it is the simplicity, power and scope of C that makes it one of the most admired programming languages.