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Even when I studied CS in the mid-90's at the University of Toronto, taking a course in C programming was optional, either as part of a survey of languages course, or in the upper level OS courses where C is still the obvious choice.

Otherwise, writing C programs has been called a "historical reenactment" (http://research.swtch.com/2008/03/rotating-hashes.html) and I think for most working programmers this is accurate.

It helps to know some C or C++ if you're using scripting languages like Python or Ruby in order to wrap 3rd party C libraries, but wrapper generators like SWIG will do 99% of the work for you, and what little C code you might have to write by hand doesn't need to be particularly fluent or idiomatic.

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