C beyond "Hello, World!"

While I found the “Hello, World” challenge quite easy I’m absolutely clueless when it comes to the subsequent (easy) challenges. The stubs are almost empty and code needs to be written from scratch - that’s a massive step up from fixing the string in “Hello, World!”. Is this intentional or are there any other, easier challenges to learn more basic concepts towards writing my first program?

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Unfortunately there are only a few language tracks on Exercism that have a learning syllabus. There has not been a push by volunteers to write a syllabus for C.

That implies that you’ll need to find some other way to learn C, but you can use Exercism to practice.

@glennj I suspect @feelhipcamper means that the stubs are (almost) empty.

The point of the Hello World exercise is to make sure that the student has a proper environment set up. It is not really meant as an introduction to the language.

If you are just starting out with programming in general, you might want to consider another language as your first one. As pointed out above, Exercism by itself is insufficient as a sole learning resource. Nevertheless, e.g. the Elixir and Go tracks have well-developed syllabi. Disregard this advice in case you have good reason to choose C specifically.

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I found Eriks video “A Brief Introduction to C” quite helpful. Depending on your experience with other programming languages this might be enough to get you started. There are also more comprehensive introductory courses to C on youtube.

Otherwise I concur with @MatthijsBlom’s message.


In the absence of a syllabus, you may find the concepts to be helpful. They can be found here.


Thank you for posting this! The few c exercises I’ve managed to finish let me see your explanations and they were immensely helpful!

I have really struggled with C for basically the same reasons as above. No Exercism work done but lots of work elsewhere so I can start an exercise. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you all for the pointers :grimacing: to the additional resources and your thoughts on starting with the C track. C was my primary language in university about 25yrs ago and while I still understand and can read its concepts I’ve never gotten comfortable writing my own code. I wanted to start with C solely for nostalgic reasons. Looking at Python I found and extensive syllabus with step by step exercises which is exactly what I was hoping for.

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Hi Bob! Thanks for the hint and the mentoring in the Python track :slight_smile:

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I can see why some people struggle setting up the dev environment with C. There are some concepts like test runners, build processes, and the like, which are complicated by the user’s specific operating system.

I think a more detailed set-up README file is all that’s needed to give people that extra leg-up and boost so they can start solving the challenges faster.

Happy to contribute to this myself!

The installation docs for the track can be found here on the website, and here on GitHub.

Suggest you start a new thread for discussion, and propose some changes there and/or in a PR. :smile:

Good resource, that would make it easier to make a syllabus. I might do so, once I have the C++ one done.