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July 20, 2018

Code Clinic C, the 2018 Edition

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

My Code Clinic course for the C programming language has been updated at LinkedIn Learning, once known as Lynda.com. This course is an update to one I did back in 2014, with a few new challenges.

The Code Clinic course is really neat. Six programming challenges are presented. Each one tackles a different type of puzzle, from graphical analysis to raw number crunching. These challenges are given to instructors who attempt to solve the problems by using their specific programming language. The result is that you can view a single problem and see how well different computer languages can solve it.

As the C programming instructor, my job is particularly difficult. In fact, I believe C is the most ancient of the languages given the challenges.

Some of the newer languages, such as Python and Java, deftly tackle the problems. I mean, for some of the challenges, the code is only a handful of lines long. For example, one challenge is a numerical analysis of data. For the R programming language, the solution is just under 20 lines of code. For my C language solution, the code has several hundred lines of code.

With this 2018 update, two of the older challenges were removed: One to compare different images and a second to organize images into subdirectories. These were replaced by a geolocation challenge and a challenge to find faces in an image. Both of these were problematic for C.

For my solutions, I tried to be true to the origins of the C language: Create code that would compile on a number of platforms and not rely on specific operating system or hardware calls. This restriction increased the difficulty to resolve the problems, but in some ways it showed that good ol’ C is still up to the task.

You can catch a course preview by clicking this link. To view the entire course, you need a subscription or LinkedIn account that offers access to the humongous library of online courses and training tools.

I have a few more courses in the pipeline, stuff that I’m really excited about. I’ll be posting when each one comes online. Stay tuned.

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