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Erin Schaffer for Educative

Posted on • Originally published at educative.io

Is C++ still a good language to learn for 2022?

C++ is a general-purpose programming language created by Bjarne Stroustrup as an extension of the C programming language. It’s widely used for game and web development, machine learning and data mining applications, and much more. In recent years, high-level languages, such as Python, Java, and JavaScript, have seemed to surpass C++ in popularity and usage. This leads developers to ask the question: Is C++ a good language to learn for 2022?

The short answer is yes! But in this article, we’ll dive into a longer answer and get more specific. We’ll explore what C++ is used for, ways to start learning C++, and what kinds of career opportunities C++ experience can bring you.

Let’s get started!

We’ll cover:

What is C++ used for?

C++ has many real-world applications, including:

  • Video game development
  • GUI-based applications
  • Databases
  • Operating systems
  • Web browsers
  • Computation and graphics
  • Banking
  • The cloud
  • Distributed systems
  • Compilers
  • Embedded systems
  • Enterprise software
  • Libraries
  • Large-scale server applications
  • Code compilers

C++ is also used to create many popular services, such as MySQL, Microsoft Windows and Office, macOS, and more. It’s a go-to language for large embedded systems. It’s often used for system programming and building applications with resource constraints. C++ is a great language to use whenever you have a large buffer and in cases where you have high concurrency and need minimum latency. This applies to server applications and games.

C++ features and advantages

There’s a reason why C++ remains one of the most popular programming languages. The language has many solid features and advantages, including:

  • Exception handling: Exception handling is built into C++. It’s a tool that separates code that detects and handles exceptional circumstances that arise while running programs.
  • Function overloading: Function overloading is the process of having two or more functions with the same name but with different parameters. This C++ feature allows you to define more than one definition for a function name or an operator in the same scope.
  • Memory management: C++ supports dynamic memory allocation (DMA), which helps free up and allocate memory. Its memory manipulation capabilities allow you to customize things and access hardware data directly and write highly performant code.
  • C++ standard library: The C++ standard template library (STL) is filled with templates of ready-to-use libraries for various data structures, arithmetic operations, and algorithms.
  • Object-oriented: Object-oriented programming (OOP) concepts allow you to treat data as objects and classes.
  • Multi-paradigm: C++ is a multi-paradigm language. This allows you to choose a single approach or mix aspects of different programming paradigms (such as generic, imperative, and object-oriented).
  • Highly portable: C++ is highly portable and is used for scripting systems apps which make up a significant portion of Windows, Linux, and Unix operating systems.
  • Versatile: C++ is versatile and has a large job market. It’s used in many different industries, such as finance, game development, machine learning, and more.
  • Scalable: C++ is great for resource-intensive applications because of its scalability and performance capabilities.

Should I learn C++ for 2022?

Right now, C++ ranks as the 4th most popular language in the world according to the TIOBE index and the IEEE spectrum. C++ is one of the standard languages within back-end development. It’s an extremely fast and efficient language. Many tools and frameworks rely on the speed and efficiency of C++. It’s in high demand now, and it will remain in high demand in 2022 because of its reliability, performance, and efficiency.

C++ is a great language to learn if you’re a programmer who wants a deep understanding of how computers work. C++ lets you get hands-on with low-level programming concepts, and it helps you understand how computers think and operate. Other languages and programming concepts might make more sense to you after you learn C++.

Whether or not you want to learn C++ for 2022 depends on your personal and career goals. In general, learning C++ will open up more opportunities for you as a developer.

Is C++ hard to learn?

C++ is known to be one of the most difficult programming languages to learn over other popular languages like Python and Java. C++ is hard to learn because of its multi-paradigm nature and more advanced syntax. While it’s known to be especially difficult for beginners to learn, it’s also difficult for programmers with no experience with low-level languages. While it does take more time to write C++ code, the language has been modernized to present high-level abstractions. These abstractions can be used to code very efficiently. You can write code quickly with C++ 14, C++ 17, and C++ 20.

While some developers suggest learning C before C++, others argue that if you’re interested in working with C++ in your career or in personal projects, there’s no need to dedicate time to learning C (unless you want to, of course!). If you’re completely new to programming, it’s important to learn computer programming in a language-agnostic way. There are many fundamental concepts that are critical to software development as a whole. You can set yourself up for success by learning those fundamentals first, so you can dive into a language feeling prepared and confident.

Many developers believe that learning C++ can help you learn some other languages, like Java, C#, Python, or Go, a lot more easily.

How can I start learning C++?

The best way to learn a programming language is to jump right in. As mentioned before, the way in which you start learning C++ will depend on where you’re at as a developer. If you’re completely new to programming, we suggest that you take the time to familiarize yourself with fundamental programming concepts so that you can approach a new language with a more solid foundation. When you’re ready to dive into C++, there are many resources available to you.

There’s no shortage of C++ tutorials and C++ courses you can take to further your learning. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll want to begin with C++ basics, such as arrays, constructors, and iterators. This C++ beginners tutorial will help you get started with the fundamentals. If you’ve already learned the basics, this intermediate C++ tutorial explores intermediate concepts such as pointers, vectors, and maps.

C++ career opportunities

As a C++ programmer, you’ll have many different job opportunities to choose from. Many top tech companies are looking for C++ developers. Let’s take a look at some of the job opportunities offered by those companies, along with the average salary for those positions (in Seattle, WA). The following companies are all hiring for software engineers with C++ experience:

  • Microsoft: $126,341
  • Google: $141,591
  • Facebook: $133,322
  • Amazon: $126,341
  • Boeing: $104,827
  • Salesforce: $118,131

Wrapping up and next steps

The C++ programming language remains one of the most popular languages in software engineering and computer science. While it’s known to have a steep learning curve, it’s a widely used low-level programming language used to build many relevant applications. There are many benefits to learning a language that’s close to bare metal because it helps you better understand how computers work.

There’s no better time than now to get started on your C++ programming journey. Get started learning fundamental C++ programming concepts with Educative’s curated learning path C++ for Programmers. This learning path explores topics such as:

  • Data types
  • Namespaces
  • Conditionals
  • Polymorphism
  • And much more!

The path will get you up to speed with C++. You’ll be taken from basic to advanced C++ concepts, all with hands-on practice, in-browser coding environments, and quizzes to test your understanding. By the end, you’ll have enough experience to confidently solve real-world problems using C++.

Happy learning!

Continue learning about C++

Top comments (2)

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lukeshiru profile image
Luke Shiru

I mean, it might be good just because there are lots of "C like" languages out there, so understanding C's syntax can be useful, but in 2022 I feel like you'll invest better your time if you study languages such as Go or Rust for low level stuff.

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erineducative profile image
Erin Schaffer Author

Thank you for reading and commenting. I really appreciate your insight!

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