This book attempts to teach computer programming to the complete beginner using the C
language. As such, it assumes you have no knowledge whatsoever about programming. And if
you are worried that you are not good at high-school mathematics, don’t be. It is a myth that you
must be good at mathematics to learn programming. In this book, knowledge of primary school
mathematics is all that is required—basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, finding
the percentage of some quantity, finding an average or the larger of two quantities.
Some of our most outstanding students over the last thirty years have been people with
little mathematics background from all walks of life—politicians, civil servants, sports people,
housewives, secretaries, clerical assistants, artists, musicians and teachers. On the other hand,
we’ve had mathematical folks who didn’t do as well as might be expected.
What will be an asset is the ability to think logically or to follow a logical argument. If you are
good at presenting convincing arguments, you will probably be a good programmer. Even if you
aren’t, programming is the perfect vehicle for teaching logical thinking skills. You should learn
programming for these skills even if you never intend to become a serious programmer.
The main goal of this book is to teach fundamental programming principles using C, one
of the most widely used programming languages in the world today. C is considered a ‘modern’
language even though its roots date back to the 1970s. Originally, C was designed for writing
‘systems’ programs—things like operating systems, editors, compilers, assemblers and input/
output utility programs. But, today, C is used for writing all kinds of applications programs as
well—word processing programs, spreadsheet programs, database management programs,
accounting programs, games, educational software—the list is endless.
Learn to Program with C
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