C Traps and Pitfalls

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C Traps and Pitfalls is a slim computer programming book by former AT&T researcher and programmer Andrew Koenig, its first edition still in print in 2005, which outlines the many ways in which beginners and even sometimes quite experienced C programmers can write poor, malfunctioning and dangerous source code.

It evolved from an earlier technical report, by the same name, published internally at Bell Labs. [1] This, in turn was inspired by a prior paper given by Koenig on "PL/I Traps and Pitfalls" at a SHARE conference in 1977. Koenig wrote that this title was inspired by a 1968 science fiction anthology by Robert Sheckley, "The People Trap and other Pitfalls, Snares, Devices and Delusions, as Well as Two Sniggles and a Contrivance".[2]


  1. Koenig, Andrew R., "C Traps and Pitfalls", Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey, Technical Memorandum.
  2. Cf. Koenig, preface to "C Traps and Pitfalls" book.

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