Is C required to be seen as a developer authority?

I like Jeff Atwood’s blog. He writes about all kinds of technical subjects in an accessible way, and although I don’t read every one of his posts in depth I’m always happy to see something that brings up or challenges an assumption I had.

Alastair Rankine has some criticisms of Jeff’s blog. Jeff’s admission of no knowledge of C is a core one, and I simply can’t agree.

I work for a .NET consultancy, and apart from some mobile work I don’t go near C code anymore. It is a shame.. if you are starting out in coding I’d recommend playing with C. You maybe don’t have to experience the purgatory of the WIN32 API, but still it is fun being close to the metal.

Are my purely .NET / Java colleagues disadvantaged by not knowing C? I don’t think so.. programming has moved on in the last 10 years. C is just less relevant in the Enterprise for greenfield projects.

For an interview, I would take the candidate’s C knowledge as part of his enthusiasm for the work he/she does. I would not assume someone is good or bad for the development language that they know / don’t know. These things are best left to the religious rants found on Slashdot made by people who have next to no real relevance for the IT industry.

Thinking about this wants me to release the game I wrote in Borland C back at university 🙂 Where did I leave it? (It was called ‘Titanic’, and very nearly as bad as the film)

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