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Learning C For PHP Programmers

PHP / mySQL programmers may spend most of their time using languages that contribute to the web application. In general, this could include PHP, mySQl, Javascript(Jquery), HTML and CSS. Although these languages detail the users experience, the PHP programmer could reach a point where he would like to program with the language for which the hosting machine was created. For Linux users, that would mean C.

After one develops a keen interest with Linux and the command line tools like bash, Sed and Awk, it could be natural progression to learn C.  After all, Apache and varnish were written in C. I found this the case.

Meanwhile, university students often learn C and C++ to build the strong foundation for learning other languages and it should come as no surprise why many employers seek those programmers with these skills. When I decided to learn C, I had several years with other languages like PHP, SQL and CSS. and a 775 page book about programming.

So, there I was diving into C to learn this language. After all, I had a little spare time to do this and focus on the language. Although knowing other languages and toying around with others helped in the understanding, there was some very distinct concepts and features that were new. However, many of the new concepts were minor adjustments to the base knowledge.

When going from PHP to C, many of the details were declaring variables before using them, structures, pointers, compiling code, printing text(more similar to sprintf with PHP), different loop syntax, importing C libraries, different commenting, different variable syntax and actually assigning real memory values to strings, arrays, etc. I may have left some more details out, but, the previous examples have left a string impression.

After a strong week of comittment, coding and compiling, it was well worth it. Not only was it beneficial to be able to create and have a better understanding to those C programs that will be edited, but, it helped fill in many of the holes for reading Java and Python too.