Let’s get lower than Python

January 10, 2017 | minutes read

Like a huge swath of other millennial, I dibbled and dabbled in building websites —writing in html, css, and javascript—during my youth, but these days, I primarily code (as a living) in favorite programming language: Python.

I once considered Python as one of the lower level programming languages (to a certain degree, it is) but as a I dive deeper into studying computer science— reading Computer Systems from a programmer’s perspective, at my own pace, and watching the professors lecture online, for free—I find the language creates too big of a gap between me and system,  leaving me not fully understanding what’s really going on underneath the hood.  Therefore, it’s time to bite the bullet and dive a bit deeper into learning the next not-so-new language on my list: C.

Why C?  One could argue that if you want to really understand the hardware, learn the language closest to the hardware: assembly (the compiler translates assembly into object code, which, ultimately, executed by the machine).  Yes—assembly is the closest one could get to programming the system, but C strikes a balance.  C can easily be translated into assembly, while maintaining it’s utility (many systems at work still run on C).

Now, I’m definitely not stopping from writing and learning Python.  I love Python. I learn something new—from discovering standard libraries to writing more idiomatic code—every day.  I doubt that will ever change; I’ll never reach a point where I’ll say “Yup, that’s it, I learned everything about Python.”

But, I am devoting a large chunk of my time (mostly outside of working hours) on learning C.

So, my plan is this: finish “The C Programming Language” by Brian Keringhan and Dennis Ritchie. The de-facto book to learn C.

[1] https://scs.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Sessions/List.aspx#folderID=%22b96d90ae-9871-4fae-91e2-b1627b43e25e%22

I’m Matt Chung. I’m a software engineer, seasoned technology leader, and father currently based in Seattle and London. I love to share what I know. I write about topic developing scalable & fail-safe software running in the AWS cloud, digital organization as a mechanism for unlocking your creativity, and maximizing our full potentials with personal development habits.

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