Can you learn C++ without knowing C?

If you are at the beginning of the road as a programmer and you are not sure if it’s important to learn C before C++, this article might help.

First, let’s find out what each of this programming languages does:


C is a general-purpose, imperative computer programming language, supporting structured programming, lexical variable scope and recursion.

C was used in the beginning (1969 - 1973) to re-implement the Unix operating system. Since then, it has become one of the most widely used programming languages of all time.

The C compilers are available for the majority of existing computer architectures and operating systems.

This programming language has been standardized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) since 1989 (see ANSI C) and subsequently by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

C was designed by Dennis M. Ritchie at the Bell Telephone Laboratories to develop the UNIX operating system. Now, C is being used to provide low-level access to memory, to provide language constructs that map efficiently to machine instructions, and to require minimal run-time support.

The advantages of C programming language are:

  1. It’s an easy to learn programming language
  2. It’s a structured language
  3. It produces efficient programs
  4. It can handle low-level activities
  5. It can be compiled on a variety of computer platforms

A “C” program can vary from 3 lines to millions of lines and it should be written into one or more text files with extension ".c".

Some examples of the use of C might be:

  1. Operating Systems
  2. Language Compilers
  3. Assemblers
  4. Text Editors
  5. Print Spoolers
  6. Network Drivers
  7. Modern Programs
  8. Data Bases
  9. Language Interpreters
  10. Utilities

All modern programming languages like C++, JavaScript, Java, PHP or C# have drawn many of their control structures and other basic features from C. If you master C programming language you can go ahead and learn these modern languages pretty easy.


The origin of C++ dates back to 1979 when Bjarne Stroustrup, started working on language C with classes. Until 1983, it was called C with classes, and in 1983 it was named C++. During 1998, a joint ANSI-ISO committee released the specification for C++ language standards.

C++ is a general-purpose programming language. It has imperative, object-oriented and generic programming features, while also providing facilities for low-level memory manipulation.

C++ is based on C and retains a great deal of the functionality, but it doesn’t retain complete source-level compatibility with C. It was designed with a bias toward system programming and embedded, resource-constrained and large systems, with performance, efficiency and flexibility of use as its design highlights.

Free Software Foundation, Microsoft, Intel, and IBM – all provide C++ compilers.

C++ is a suitable language for young software developers to learn, because it is often used to develop game engines, games, and desktop apps.

One of C++'s greatest strengths is how scalable it is – you can build apps that are very resource intensive. Another quality of C++ is that its code is type-checked before it is executed, making C++ generally more performant than dynamically typed languages. With the help of a talented developer, C++ can be faster than Java.

If you want to develop a C++ app you will need a large team, because C++ needs a lot of code and it’s not so easy to maintain.

The advantages of C++ languages are:

  1. It has a rich function library
  2. It’s an object-oriented programming language
  3. It allows exception handling, and function overloading (C does not allow that)
  4. It’s a powerful, efficient and fast language

As a developer you know how important is to have a large community, because the larger a programming language community is, the more support you'd be likely to get.

You will be happy to learn that C++ has a large community of developers and it is the 6th Most Popular Language on GitHub.

As a career opportunity it is pretty important to learn C++ because it’s used to develop mainstream games and also some of the world’s most popular apps. C++ it’s used by Facebook to help optimize its apps or work on its products.


Some examples of the use of C++ might be:

  1. Games
  2. Graphic user interface
  3. Web browsers
  4. Advanced graphics
  5. Database software
  6. Operating systems
  7. Enterprise software
  8. Medical and engineering applications
  9. Compliers

Can you learn C++ without knowing C?

You can learn C++ without knowing C, but you really shouldn’t. WHY? Because C is one of the oldest and most popular programming languages out there.

If you master C programming language you can go ahead and learn C++, JavaScript, Java, PHP or C#, because they draw many of their control structures and other basic features from C.

If you are a talented developer looking for a fresh start, start here:


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