Menu Close

The Applications of The C Programming Language

Posted in C Programming
The Importance of C Programming in Computer System
The Importance of C Programming in Computer System

For many years, C language has consistently ranked among the top three programming languages. The top four programming languages as of October 2022, according to TIOBE Index, are Python, C, Java, and C++. C++ has a close relationship with C language, as it is an object-oriented programming language invented based on the foundation of C.

The TIOBE Index and other programming language popularity indexes can be useful for programmers and businesses to stay informed about current trends in programming languages. It can help individuals evaluate their skills and knowledge of various languages and make decisions about which ones to learn or focus on.

For businesses, it can provide insights into which languages are currently in high demand, which can inform decisions about what languages to use for developing new software systems or hiring new developers.

However, it is important to note that popularity does not necessarily equate to the best language for a specific task or project.

Tiobe Programming Community Index
Tiobe Programming Community Index
C Programming Popularity
C Programming Popularity

The TIOBE Programming Community Index is a popular standard for measuring the popularity of programming languages, created and maintained by TIOBE Software BV based in Eindhoven, Netherlands since October 2000. The index is calculated based on the number of search engine queries containing the name of a specific programming language. It covers search results from Google, Baidu, Wikipedia, and YouTube.

The Common Application C Programming Language

Operating System

C programming language was used to construct the first operating system, which was UNIX and Linux.  Later on, the C programming language was used to write Microsoft Windows and several Android apps.  As operating systems need to interact with low-level hardware, this is an area where C excels.

Related:   What Are the Disadvantage of C Programming Language ?

Driver development

Drivers for peripherals that communicate with the operating system are generally written in C and assembly language to adapt the communication interface protocols between the peripheral and operating system. Peripherals include external devices such as motherboards, graphics cards, sound cards, cameras, keyboards, etc., such as motherboard drivers, graphics card drivers, and camera drivers for computers.

Server-side development

Many game or Internet company’s backend server programs are based on C development, and most of them are Linux operating systems. Therefore, if you want to do this kind of work, you need to be familiar with the Linux operating system and its development on it, be familiar with database development, and proficient in network programming.

Programs with strict performance requirements

Generally, programs with strict performance requirements are written in C language, such as the the bottom layer of the program and the bottom layer of the web server terminal, map queries, and so on.

Database development

C is widely used in the development of database programs due to its high efficiency and stability. Common relational databases used in enterprise development, such as MySQL, SQLite, and Oracle, are developed in C. Even non-relational databases, such as the famous Redis and Memcached distributed memory object caching systems, are written in C. Version control tool Git, invented by the creator of Linux, is also written in C.

embedded system
embedded system

Embedded development

Microcontroller programming and ARM programming are both part of embedded software development. Smart devices are referred to as embedded development because of their small size and lack of abundant software and hardware resources like servers. Smartwatches and intelligent sweepers that we are familiar with are all embedded smart devices. C is used to manipulate hardware through programming for microprocessors, sensors, Bluetooth, and WIFI network transmission modules at the bottom level of these intelligent systems. Real-time embedded operating systems FreeRtos, UCOS, VxWorks, etc., are primarily developed in C.

Related:   What is the Difference Between Integer Data Type and Floating Point Data Type ?

Game development

Everyone is familiar with games, and many people are familiar with computers by playing games. Using C language, many games can be developed, such as pushing boxes, greedy snakes, and so on.  OpenGL is written in C, which is a cross-platform application programming interface used for rendering 2D and 3D vector graphics.

Network programming

C can be used to implement network communication through the use of network programming sockets provided by the operating system. This is the infrastructure for the current Internet of Everything, which involves transmitting information between multiple servers via the network.

Digital computing

Compared with other programming languages, C language is a high-level language with super strong digital computing ability.

GUI (Graphical User Interface)

Since the beginning of time, Adobe Photoshop has been one of the most widely used picture editors. It was created entirely with the aid of the C programming language. Furthermore, C was used to develop Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Premiere.


C/C++ programming language is used to create the Google Chrome web browser and the Google File System. Additionally,  many projects in the Google Open Source community are maintained using the C/C++ programming language.

Design of a Compiler

C programming language is used in many popular compilers such as Clang C, Bloodshed Dev-C, Apple C, and MINGW.  C language is often used to create compilers for other languages, making it easier for machines to understand the code written in those languages.

The Application of C Programming Language can be used in two categories:

In general,  C programming language can be used in two categories:

  • system software development
  • application software development.
Related:   How to Convert Decimal to Hexadecimal?

Among them, the C programming language is primarily used for developing system software and developing application softwar.

System software development includes:

  • Operating systems: UNIX, Windows, Linux.
  • Device drivers: such as motherboard drivers, graphics card drivers, and camera drivers. Drivers are generally written in C language and assembly language, and C++ is weaker in this regard.
  • Databases: SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, DB2.

Application software development includes:

  • Office software: WPS.
  • Graphics, image, and multimedia: Photoshop, Mediaplayer.
  • Embedded software development: Embedded software development can be simplified as chip programming. For example, learning development on microcontrollers and ARM belong to embedded software development.
  • Game development: 2D and 3D games. The entire engine of the game CS is written purely in C.


Leave a Reply