There are several possible ways to become a C programmer. University education in computer science with a focus in programming in C++ is one common route into the profession. A programmer who specializes in a different language may study the syntax and structure of C++ and thereby become a C programmer. In addition, many programmers are largely self-taught, and learn the language from books, online resources, and experimentation.
A degree in computer science with a concentration in C++ has several advantages as a way to become a C programmer. A good computer science program will teach both the specific syntax of a programming language and the larger concepts needed to understand computers and software design in detail. A degree is also very useful in obtaining work as a programmer, as many companies prefer to hire programmers with this type of certification.
Programming languages accomplish many similar tasks, but do so using different tools and approaches. A programmer who is skilled in a language other than C or C++, such as Java or LISP, can more easily make the switch to a new language. These programmers are already familiar with basic concepts in computer programming, such as data structures and assembly languages. This familiarity means that a skilled programmer need only study the particular syntax of C++ and the structural peculiarities of the language in order to become a C programmer. Programmers who work in languages that share key concepts with C++, such as the focus on object-oriented programming, would have an easier time making this transition.
Many good programmers have little or no formal training. A wealth of resources exists on the Internet to aid would-be programmers in learning new computer languages. Books on the subject are widely available, ranging from teach-yourself books to academic textbooks and professional user reference guides. Using these resources, it is possible to become a C programmer through a process of self-study.
Practice plays an important role in all of these pathways to become a C programmer. To become a skilled programmer, it is imperative to write a great deal of code. Universities direct students to create programs as assignments, and self-taught programmers write code on their own, but both activities further individual mastery of the programming language. In all cases, it is best to attempt increasingly difficult programming tasks, as this type of study gradually increases one's capacity to do difficult intellectual work.