hey, i'm curious what your favorite or what you think the best IDE is. I graduated about 6 months ago with a degree in computer engineering, and i always had trouble with my computer science classes, so i'm trying to sharpen up my programming skills on my own at home. what programming environment would you recommend for writing C programs?
The best IDE for C often depends on the underlying platform. For Windows, VS is generally considered the best IDE. On many platforms, there often is a full IDE -- just an editor and make system. I would suggest something along the lines of Jipstyles comment: figure out what is being used where you'd like to work and use it.
also, besides C what languages are most widely used and desirable for companies? i've "learned" some Ada, Perl, C, and assembly language in school. should i expand on those or move to something else? i've got plenty of time to learn and practice; i'm committed to the military for 4.5 more years. thanks.
Depends on the industry and type of programming. If you plan on coming out of the military and working for one of the defense companies, knowing Ada is certainly a good idea. C++ wouldn't hurt either -- most of the old-timers snub it as being inferior to Ada (rightfully IMO) -- but it is becoming more popular on newer defense program contracts. In my experience, what passes for C++ is really just 'plain old C'. MATLAB is surprisingly popular.
In most regular businesses, you're probably going to be writing web apps. Smaller companies tend to use LAMP or C#; larger companies tend to use Java. Technology companies are the hardest to characterize. Google, for example, has three primary languages: C++, Java and Python.
I would highly recommend at least an introductory knowledge of databases and SQL (ie know ERDs, normalization, and basic/intermediate SQL). If you like math, I would recommend learning MATLAB.
Personally, I think everybody should watch the SICP lectures and learn LISP. The lectures really bring some hard concepts into sharper focus and invariably change your ability to program for the better.