The truth is that many companies still use compiled languages like C and C++. This ends in several developers (some of them absolutely remarkable) that keep losing time to understand how to fix an "undefined symbol" error.
Operating diagram of a C compiler
The main purpose of a C compiler is to generate a binary file starting from one or more C source files. The generated file may be an executable or a library but in every case it contains low level machine-code instructions that a processor can execute.
A C compiler (such as GCC) is made of three logical blocks: the preprocessor, the compiler properly so called and the linker. Each block performs a set of specific tasks and produces an output for the next block but for performances reasons, usually the first two are implemented together.
Just as a side note, the first C++ compilers were implemented as preprocessors for C compilers.