I graduated in Computer Science in 2018.

I landed in a java project for my first job, I lacked java skill( I have a c background) and understanding of the product my team was working on. My team leader had no time to help me. Another junior team member who arrived a few months before me had no problems. I need to be monitored more than usual people.

I was given another trial period of 4 months but I was never able to grasp a global understanding of that complex product despite progress in technical skills.

That led managers to propose me to switch to a test position at the end of my second and last trial period(in January 2020). I am not satisfied and I will leave.

I started refreshing my c skills before seeking for another developer job.

How can I ensure if my c skills are strong enough to succeed in my next position ? I don't want the previous scenario to repeat.

I will answer to comments here :

My MSc curriculum was : - year 1 : mainly Fundamental CS then AI, AR/VR - year 2 :OS programming and C++ projects then advanced Fundamental CS. my final internship was about python scripting and databases.

I have done very little OOP in 2018. I had done some java in undergraduate but it was clearly not enough to understand OOP concepts. Thanks to my current job, I now understand them. It will allow me to focus back on c++

@KingDuken : I told them I was stronger in C before entering.. I could have landed in either project, the recruting manager could only tell me a few weeks after i took position.

  • What did the job description say with regards to java and c?
    – sf02
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 15:58
  • So you graduated in 2018 and the only language you learned is C? You didn't even learn C++? Was your curriculum mostly focused on low-level hardware? Did you have to learn Assembly as well? Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 22:20
  • 1
    @JackDero Saying ambiguous and mentioned should indicate that it wasn't ambiguous. If you applied to a job posting that says, "Required knowledge: C or Java", then sure, you have the right to tell your hiring manager that the job description said either. Otherwise if the job description said, "C and Java", then the hiring manager clearly did not assess your capabilities with Java. I find it hard to believe that a Comp Sci graduate has only worked with C and not Java.
    – user82352
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 23:37
  • If you landed in a Java project, why were you emphasizing C knowledge? The way C and Java tend to be used is very different in practice. Also the way C++ is used in practice also different from C. I would treat all 3 as separate languages.
    – Brandin
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 12:02
  • As I said, there was no way to tell in which project i would work in. By the way, I thought C and Java were used in the same one project, and it turned out to be wrong.
    – Jack Dero
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 12:29

3 Answers 3


How can I ensure if my c skills are strong enough to succeed in my next position ? I don't want the previous scenario to repeat.

You can't ensure your c skills are strong enough for every possible employer.

Do the best you can to be a life long learner. Enhance all of your skills constantly. That will serve you well no matter where you work.

For your next job, make sure you confirm that you will be coding in c, and not something else. Ask enough questions so that you understand what will be expected of you, and so that you can assess your personal evaluation of your skills against the position requirements.

  • 1
    This is a good answer. @Jack Dero, Consider looking at the 2019 survey: insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2019 and you will see C accounted for just 17% of the professional developer market. In many places it is a maintenance only language without many substantial new products. So consider branching out. Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 17:16

How can I ensure if my c skills are strong enough to succeed in my next position ? I don't want the previous scenario to repeat.

To add on to Joe's answer, you really can't guarantee your C skills or any of your skills are up to par. Furthermore, you may get into a job with a specific tech stack and then have to pick up a different tech stack as the product evolves over time. This is why software engineers need to be flexible enough to pick up multiple languages and technologies, ideally, by yourself to be successful in the majority of roles.

  • That's pretty much the gist of it. These days it's not (that) important what you know, it's how fast you can learn. Knowing one language or stack is okay if you work in a narrow, unchanging field, but pretty much the whole software development field is in constant flux and going with the times makes or breaks a career. A one-language-only job is very rare these days. Having a broad spectrum of knowledge makes it easier to adapt to new languages and technologies, compared to having a very narrow technical background (C only).
    – user90896
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 12:55

How can I ensure if my c skills are strong enough to succeed in my next position ?

As others have answered you can't be sure but you could learn more programming languages and hopefully you'll find the more you learn the more you'll understand why C is used.

To me if you own The C Programming Language and actually understand it then that's pretty much all you really need to know about programming in C in general the rest will be on the job training.

You could also look at some popular open source projects that are written in C and try to help out.

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