C++ ranks 4th in popularity according to 2016 IEEE spectrum Top Programming Language ranking. Learning C++ is a wise investment for all programmers.
This guide answers all your questions related to C++ on what is it, when is it used, why is it used and how to get yourself started with it.
“C++ is a statically-typed, free-form, (usually) compiled, multi-paradigm, intermediate-level general-purpose middle-level programming language.”
In simple terms, C++ is a sophisticated, efficient and a general-purpose programming language based on C. It was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup in 1979.
Many of today’s operating systems, system drivers, browsers and games use C++ as their core language. This makes C++ one of the most popular languages today.
Since it is an enhanced/extended version of C programming language, C and C++ are often denoted together as C/C++.
History of C++
Features of C++
5 Reasons Why you should learn C++?
This is one of those questions you need to ask before starting any programming language. It helps you understand the scope of the language, the real-world usability and how far you can get with it in terms of support. Here are 5 reasons why you should learn C++.
- C++ is irreplaceable
With the use of C++ in the development of modern games, operating systems, browsers, and much more, it is safe to say that C++ is irreplaceable.
Many major applications like
- Adobe Products like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
- Amazon – one of the biggest e-commerce sites
- Autodesk products for Computer-Aided Design
- Facebook – social networking site is heavy C++ centric products.
Moreover, the fact that there’s a huge community improving C++ on every iteration means that it is only expected to be used even more in the coming future.
- You learn the internal architecture of a computer
Since C++ is a middle-level language, you will write code that interacts directly with the internal hardware of the computer.
You’ll learn how the computer memory really works, how information is stored in them, how you can retrieve them and so on.
It is sure to expand your knowledge of the architecture of the computer.
- Over 600,000 C++ repositories on Github
Github, the leading open source collaboration platform, has over 600,000 repositories for C++ alone.
This metric itself proves the worth of C++ in the open-source community as well.
Be it gaming, graphics, windows applications, you can find tons of great open-source projects extensively used today. And, you can always create your own.
- 60% StackOverflow Answer rate and active community
Likewise, with over 400,000 C++ questions asked on StackOverflow, the number one Q&A platform for developers, more than 60% questions have been answered.
The number of questions asked and the percentage of them answered shows the interest and active support for C++ today.
So, you can expect many great developers to help you solve real-life problems using C++.
- C++ job opportunities and salary
C++ developers can expect an average of yearly $100,000 salary with over 7,700 jobs advertised every month.
The requirement of jobs comes mostly from game development, rendering engines and windows applications.
4 Things to Know Before you Code in C++
Now that you know what C++ is and how vast its scope ranges too, it’s time to get started with it.
But, before you start, there are a couple of important things you should know.
Below are the 4 most important things you need to know.
- C++ cannot be learned in a day
Learning any language takes time and that holds even more true for C++.
If you are here to learn C++ in a day, then you’re going to end up facing failure.
To be honest, there’s no definite time to complete learning C++ and someone who says they can, are simply lying.
You only start learning with regular practice and dedication. So, I suggest you invest valuable time learning C++.
- Learning C++ can be hard.
Since it’s not a high-level language, learning C++ can get overwhelming when you start and you’d need to be prepared to put thoughtful hours to learn the basics.
But, there’s no need to panic.
We offer plenty of resources and easy C++ tutorials available on Programs to get started for beginners.
Also, there are numerous support communities that will help you when you are stuck.
- No, you don’t need to learn C before C++
People have different theories about whether one should learn C before C++ or not. If you ask me, it isn’t a must. You can easily start with C++ and that’s what I did myself.
If you already know C, you will have a head start in learning C++ as they have similar attributes like syntax and semantics.
- Don’t wait for the next C++ release
Since a new iteration of C++ is due late 2017, a lot of people ask whether it would be better they wait until the next release before learning C++ or not.
The answer is NO.
Though there are a lot of additions and improvements planned for the next releases, the core principles are the same. So, it would be wise to invest your time now.
Compile and run C++ programming on your OS
C++ is completely free and readily available on all platforms.
Follow the tutorial below for running C++ on your computer.
There are multiple compilers and text editors you can use to run C++ programming. These may differ from system to system.
If you want a quick start, you can also run the C++ program online.
Run C++ program Online
Run C++ Programming in Mac OS X
Run C++ programming on Linux
Run C++ in Windows (XP, 7, 8 and 10)
To run C++ Programming in Windows, you’d need to download Code:: Blocks.
There are others available as well but Code:: Blocks makes installation a piece of cake.
It’s easy, simple and developer-friendly.
To make this procedure even easier, follow this step by step guide.
- Go to the binary release download page of Code: Blocks official site.
- Under Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8.x / 10 section, click the link with mingw-setup highlighted row either from Sourceforge.net or FossHub.
- Open the Code:: Blocks Setup file and follow the instructions (Next > I agree > Next > Install); you don’t need to change anything. This installs the Code:: Blocks with gnu GCC compiler, which is the best compiler to start with for beginners.
- Now, open Code::Blocks and go to File > New > Empty file (Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+N)
- Write the C++ code and save the file with a .cpp extension. To save the file, go to File > Save (Shortcut: Ctrl+S). Important: The filename should end with a .cpp extension, like: hello.cpp, your-program-name.cpp
- To run the program, go to Build > Build and Run (Shortcut: F9). This will build the executable file and run it.
If your program doesn’t run and if you see the error message “can’t find compiler executable in your search path(GNU GCC compiler)”, go to Settings > Compiler > Toolchain executables and click Auto-detect. This should solve the issue in most cases.