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Difference Between C and C#

by Pranisha Rai
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN C AND C#
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Understanding the Difference Between C and C#

C is the oldest language in the history of programming, earning its name, “Mother of Programming Language”. C# came into existence 29 years later with upgraded features and benefits. Although both these languages might seem similar at first instance, they are distinctive in terms of syntax, memory management, and performance. One major difference between these two is C is a procedural language and C# is an object-oriented language. Today in this article, we’ll explore the differences between C and C# in detail.  

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Is C Relevant Today?

C is the foundation for both C++ and C# languages; if C didn’t exist then we wouldn’t have witnessed the drastic improvements in software development. It has the goodness of both high-level and low-level language. Around 19.34% of developers have voted C as the most used programming language in 2023Moreover, it ranks 2nd on the TIOBE Index with 11.77% ratings.

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What Are the Features of C vs. C#?

Features of C: 

  • Portable and Extendable: C programs are highly portable. Without any specific changes they can run on various machines. Programmers can even add new features and functionality in the C programs that have already been written. 
  • Extensive Libraries: With so many numerous built-in functions, starting your coding journey is super easy. Even a novice will be able to use these functions with ease. 
  • Dynamic Memory Management: In C, programmers can decide the size of memory and allocate it accordingly during runtime. 
  • Recursion: This is a function that can call itself until it is true. As a result, this feature allows code reusability and backtracking. 
  • Pointers: C uses pointers as it helps them to get the exact location in memory and interact directly. Through pointers, programmers can operate easily with arrays, functions, structures, and memory.

Features of C#: 

  • Type-safe: C# counts the array and objects from zero instead of 1st position. This feature automatically checks whether the users are accessing any variable beyond the limits of the array. It also checks for potential issues to avoid unexpected errors and ensures data types to use correctly. 
  • Asyn/await: Modern-day architecture supports asynchronous computation, and this feature is crucial in maintaining efficient use of resources and working on multiple tasks. 
  • Object-Oriented Language (OOP): C# follows the principle of OOPs i.e., classes and objects. Thus, it makes the maintenance and development of the program easier. 
  • LINQ Support: One of the signature features of C#, most of the apps nowadays use data access logic in a provider-independent way. This feature allows programmers to query almost anything in the same syntax. 

The variation in their features shows how different both languages are. C uses a pointer in the program and doesn’t support the OOP features, whereas C# with Typesafe and OOP features provides robust security. 

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Comparison Between C and C#

C C#
It uses a pointer to retrieve the specific location in the memory It does not use the Pointer due to safety reasons. But allows using it in unsafe mode
C supports cross-platform C# is dependent on the .NET framework
It is a procedural programming language that follows a step-by-step approach and uses functions more in its program Instead of functions, it uses a method in its program, which is like a function. For example: method overloading and method overriding
C doesn’t support the concept of class and objects C# supports the concept of class and objects as well as the features of OOP
Programmers need to allocate and deallocate the memory using functions like malloc(), calloc(), and free() Whereas, in C# there is no need for manual interventions. It is managed by an automatic garbage collector
C provides great performance C# provides standard performance
Keywords are predefined and in total, there are 32. It also allows users to define the function and add it to the C library Similarly, keywords in C# are also predefined and have approx. 79 keywords
In C, variables can be defined globally While C# uses the access specifier, which makes the code secure
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What are the Benefits of Using C?

Benefits of C
  • Good Starting Point for Beginners: C code is simple and doesn’t have any advanced features and keywords that’s hard to remember. Also, it follows the step-by-step coding style, making it super easy to grasp the concept of C. All you need to do is find one good tutorial and install Turbo C on your laptop/Desktop practice code. If you learn wholeheartedly within the span of six months, you could be an expert. Once you’re sound with the basics of C, learning another programming language would be a piece of cake. 
  • Ideal for System Programming: C was built to tackle the issue of assembly programming (low-level programming) and undoubtedly, it is an ideal choice for system programming. It can locate the data stored in any location of computer memory and manipulate it using a pointer. This is a key feature in building operating systems and working with embedded systems.  
  • Easy Debugging: Users don’t need to deal with complex statements in C, unlike other programming languages. Its direct memory access, readable syntax, and robust GNU Project Debugger allow programmers to identify bugs and errors easily. 
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Use Cases and Applications of C

C language can be used to build various applications and systems. The following are some of the notable applications along with their use cases: 

  • Operating System: C  is the go-to programming language for building an operating system. It was developed to write the UNIX kernel and then became a primary choice for Microsoft Windows. Eventually, C became the instant choice for the Android operating system. 
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI): Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Premier are created using C language.  
  • 3D Games and Animation: C is a compiler-based language, thus its performance speed is faster than Java and Python. Because of this, it is popular for developing 3D games and animations. Tic-Tac-Toe, snake game in earlier phones, Dino, and Doom 3 are some of the games developed in C. 
  • Compilers: C is the best choice for developing compilers, due to its low-level language compatibility. Bloodshed Dev –C, MINGW, Clang, and Apple C, are to name a few prominent compliers developed using C. 
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How is C# Different from C?

C# is the improved and updated version of C and C++, but it shares commonalities with Java. While C# inherited powerful characteristics from both C and C++, it also discarded numerous unnecessary and complicated functions at the same time. Unlike C, C# is an object-oriented language that follows the concept of objects and classes along with features like interfaces, polymorphism, abstraction, and encapsulation.

One of the added benefits of C# is the cross-platform use on Windows, MacOS, and Linux. In addition, C# is compatible with Xamarin, Mono, and .Net frameworks through the .Net framework standard library. What sets C# apart from C is that it runs on the .Net framework and .Net Core. It is also one of the preferred languages for the .Net framework and ASP.Net framework. 

Whereas, C is a procedural programming language and structural program that supports recursion. The C code gets compiled into machine code and runs directly on hardware without relying on any framework or any run time environment. Well, C also supports cross-platform development, but it does not rely on a specific framework runtime environment. Furthermore, C lacks some of the advanced built-in features such as automatic memory management, asynchronous async/wait keywords, and Language Integrated Query (LINQ). But this does not conclude here, for more in-depth details on C# click on this link, What is C# and What is C# Used for?. 

  • C directly gets compiled into the machine code, whereas C# first needs to be interpreted into bytecode, and then CLR, which negatively impacts the performance. 
  • With the use of correct structure and command in the syntax of C, users can write pretty much anything. But that’s not the case in C#, users will have a hard time implementing something that is not under the .Net framework.  
  • In C, users need to manually allocate and deallocate the memory, whereas in C# it is done automatically with the garbage collector.
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Benefits of Using C#

  • Easy to Use: C# syntax user-friendly than C and integrates well with the .NET framework. This framework offers extensive libraries and tools through which developers can create diverse applications. 
  • Good Option for Windows Centric: If you’re someone who wants to develop a Windows application, then look no further than C#. 
  • Community Support: C# is used widely, and many developers worldwide use it, so finding support in times of trouble is not hard. Having a huge community support is also a sign of getting plenty of job opportunities.
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Applications that Can be Built Using C#

  • Server-side (backend) for any websites and web applications using ASP. Net 
  • Windows desktop application 
  • Enterprise-grade application for Windows environment 
  • Game development along with Unity
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Syntax Difference Between C and C#

C C# 

#include <stdio.h> 

#include <conio.h>  

 

int main () 

{ 

    printf(“Hello, World!\n”); 

} 

 getch(); 

   return 0; 

} 

 

using System; 

 

namespace HelloWorldProgram 

 

    public static class Program 

       { 

          static void Main() 

                { 

                 Console.WriteLine(“Hello, World!”); 

                 } 

          } 

       } 

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Is C# Still Relevant in 2023?

Yes, with the introduction of the .Net Core, C# is gaining traction in cross-platform development. Similarly, other technologies like Razor Pages and Blazor are expected to evolve. Plus, the development of the .Net Nano framework can increase the demand for C# in IoT devices and embedded systems. The TOBIE Index rating of 2023 shows C# on the 5th rank and per Statista report, around 28.67% of developers use C# along with the .Net framework. This data tells us how C# is holding its strong ground in the programming world and it’s not going to fade away soon. The following are the diverse uses of C#: 

  • C# is the go-to choice for Windows Services. 
  • C# along with the .Net framework can be used to build a workflow application to automate tasks for business. 
  • It can also be used to create a wide range of web application development. 
  • Best for game development, Unity is the perfect example that uses C# and .Net frameworks. 
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What are the Future Prospects of C and C#?

C and C# programming are the versatile languages used in various applications. Having a solid understanding of C and C# concepts will open a golden opportunity for you in software engineering 

  • By learning C, you could be a system software, desktop application developer, or development driver.  
  • Likewise, C# can open doors for you in diverse domains such as Cloud computing, web development, data science, application development, and DevOps engineering.  
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C and C# Developer Salaries

C Salary PA C# with .Net Salary PA
C Developer Salary 0-3 yrs exp. ₹ 4.0L (₹3.4 – ₹5.0) L C# .Net Developer yearly in the US $ 119,704
C Developer Salary 1-4 yrs exp. ₹ 4.9L (₹2.5 – ₹8.5) L C# .Net Developer yearly in India Ranges from 3.6 LPA to 12.2 LPA
C Developer Salary 2-6 yrs exp. ₹ 7.7L (₹4.0 – ₹13.0) L C# .Net software developer 1-6 yes of exp. 1.4 Lac to 8.4 Lac
C Developer Salary 0-5 yrs. exp ₹ 4.1L (₹3.3 – ₹7.2) L

Source C Salary: Ambition box 

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Final Words

So, before you choose between these two programming languages, note that C is generally faster than C#, due to its ability to directly communicate with hardware. It also dominates other programming languages in terms of raw speed with large inputs and memory efficiency. But it is more failure-prone than C#. Whereas C# is well-designed and is not failure prone like C. However, maintaining the robustness of the C# program depends on the best coding practices and how well the developer can design the applications. Its automatic garbage collector feature can impact the performance of C#.  

Both of these languages are suitable for beginners. C is beneficial for someone who wants to have a solid grasp of computer systems and learn the fundamentals of programming. C# is an ideal option for someone who is looking for a quick and efficient language to develop applications. 

C is the primary choice for developing operating systems, device drivers, and system-embedded development. Mostly favored by developers and programmers who want to pursue their careers in the IoT and smart devices.  

C# object-oriented and high level of abstraction makes it suitable for developing games. A game enthusiast should give it a try with C# to take the next step in their career. Other than that C# is also a good option for someone who wants to develop scalable enterprise-grade applications. Finally, C is best suited for performance-critical applications, operating system development, and system programming. Therefore, both languages serve different purposes. 

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FAQs

It will take a few months to master all the concepts in C#. But if you’re already familiar with C++ and Java, then learning C# won’t take much time. That being said, you must practice and devote a good 2-3 hours a day. Also, there are many learning videos and resources available online that can provide great help. 

C#, of course, supports numerous frameworks that not only accelerate your web development journey but also provide the needed functionalities. Plus, it can easily integrate smoothly with the .Net library and C does not support this feature. 

C# is mostly used along with the ASP.Net. framework and .Net framework for developing the backend of systems.

C# is the primary language for the .Net framework, but the .Net supports other languages like F# and Visual Basic.

C# follows the modern object-oriented language used with the .Net framework for developing applications. Whereas C is a procedural language mainly used for system programming.

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