How to Learn C++: Unlock This General-Purpose Programming Language
Do you want to start a career in tech? If so, you surely know the importance of coding skills in the tech world. There’s a multitude of popular programming languages out there, and C++ is one of them. Many of the best tech jobs require you to learn C++.
You will find C++ in a variety of digital industries, including finance, e-commerce, music, sports, and video games. By specializing in C++, you can stand out from the crowd of programming experts.
What Is C++?
C++ is a popular programming language used for software and application development. It is an object-oriented and compiled language. This means C++ code is written using classes and objects, which are then translated from the initial source code via compilers into a language a machine can understand.
C++ was first introduced in 1979 by Bjarne Stroustrup as an upgrade to the C language. His goal was to create an advanced general-purpose language.
Microsoft Office, Amazon, and Spotify are among some of the massive companies that write applications in C++. Its popularity has made the decades-old language irreplaceable. Modern-day C++ programs are compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms.
What Is C++ Used For?
C++ is used for a variety of software purposes including application development, design, website maintenance, as well as many other general purposes. Below are some popular uses of this language.
There are over 100 game engines written in C++. Some of the most popular companies using C++ are Unity, Aleph One, Delta, and 4A engines.
Many developers prefer C++ to other programming languages because of its speedy performance and hardware accessibility. Additionally, these game engines are compatible with many modern-day platforms and consoles.
So, if you are playing a popular game on your PS4 or Xbox 360, chances are C++ was used to write that game engine.
Today several medical technologies use C++ for data analysis as well as the healthcare application development process. Specifically, healthcare information record software, imaging devices, and other embedded systems all use C++.
Graphical User Interfaces
If you’ve used a modern-day device, you’ve used a graphical user interface (GUI). A GUI is essentially a connection that allows users to interact with their digital devices.
C++ is present in many GUI-based applications. Adobe Systems and Winamp media player are two very prominent applications that use C++.
Learn C++: Step-by-Step
C++ has a reputation for being a hard language to learn, especially for beginners. However, don’t let this discourage you. Although it might be difficult, it isn’t impossible.
In this step-by-step guide, we bring you a solid plan to learn C++. So, get your computers and reading glasses ready to embark on your C++ journey.
1. Download and Install the Software
The first step is to get prepared. You will need to download and install the necessary software, including a text editor and a compiler. This software will help you code in the language.
The compiler you download will depend on your operating system, so make sure you download the correct compiler. Some popular compiler options are Clang, GNU Compiler Collection, and Visual Studio C++ Compiler.
2. Enroll in Fundamental C++ Courses
Now that you have the software, you can start learning the basics of this programming language. There’s plenty of C++ training and online courses available. There are also options that allow you to learn to code for free.
You should enroll in foundational C++ online courses that teach you the syntax and variables used in the language.
3. Enroll in Advanced C++ Courses
Once you are comfortable with the basics, you are ready to move onto the next step. Enroll in courses and coding bootcamps that cover advanced C++ topics like flow control, classes, objects, and loops. Make sure you choose courses that offer ample hands-on exercises.
4. Specialize in Your Area of Interest
This step is for those looking to build a professional portfolio. If you are interested in game engine design or backend development, you should choose to enroll in courses specific to these fields.
5. Join C++ Communities
One of the best ways to learn a technical language is by connecting with fellow programmers. There are plenty of C++ online groups that you can join.
You can join the Meetup, GitHub, or Stack Overflow C++ communities to network with like-minded C++ programmers.
The Best C++ Courses
The benefits of learning a global cross-platform language like C++ are immense. The application of this language spans multiple tech fields, including databases, OS systems, graphics, and web browsers. By learning C++, you are building a firm foundation for many high-paying IT careers.
But where do you find the best C++ courses? It’s simple. Just refer to our list below to find the best of the best.
For all those C++ beginners out there, this introductory course by NYU on edX.com is a great place to start. This is a 6-8 week comprehensive course that will enhance your computer science skills. And the best part is that it’s absolutely free.
The course will cover C++ analysis, I/O operations, and C++ design. By the end of the course, you will be proficient in C++ fundamentals and expression. At the end of the course, you can choose to purchase a verified NYU certification for $332.
Udemy is often considered one of the great technical course providers. This beginner’s course doesn’t disappoint, teaching you everything you need to know about C++. Moreover, you will learn about memory management and the standard template library (STL) in C++. At the end of this 11.5-hour on-demand journey, you will earn a certification of completion.
In this beginner’s course from Coursera, you will learn to use dynamic memory management and pointers in a modern application. There is also a guided project that will teach you how to create memory-safe applications in C/C++. You will also learn the syntax of pointers, the Big 3, the Big 5, and many debugging techniques.
Hands-on experience is a crucial component of learning C++. This C and C++ bootcamp by Developer Bootcamp provides excellent hands-on and practical training. The bootcamp comprises 50 percent online lectures and 50 percent lab time.
By the end of the bootcamp, you will have the skills to apply for an entry-level position as a C and C++ developer. The school also recommends taking their introductory programming course as a prerequisite, which you can take for free.
Who doesn’t love a good beginner-to-expert course? If you are a C++ beginner looking to get an advanced understanding of the language, this course is for you. You will learn modern C++, its features, and polymorphic functions. The course also includes many coding exercises and quizzes.
This free course by Udacity will teach you the ins and outs of C++. You will learn the program structure, arithmetic operations, and control flow in C++. The course also covers overloading functions, templates, and pointers. Overall, this is a fantastic 3-week course to learn the fundamentals of C++.
This is another beginner-to-expert C++ course by Udemy. In 16 hours of on-demand video, you will learn how to navigate in the fstream library, different variables, and STL vector. The course also teaches pointers, arrays, and project creation in IDE.
Having general programming skills is essential to understanding C++. This Codecademy course starts the course by teaching you the basics of programming languages, then moves onto C++. You will learn conditionals, logic, loops, variables, and how to execute in C++. The course also includes many projects to provide you with hands-on exercises.
This Coursera course teaches students how to debug and set an environment to code in C++. You will learn the C++ program, memory models, classes, and engineering software solutions. This is a three-part course offered by The University of Illinois under its accelerated computer science fundamentals program.
Is Learning C++ Right for You?
Yes, learning C++ is right for you if you are interested in a career in software engineering, design, or game development. According to a recent programming popularity index compiled by GitHub, C++ is the sixth most popular language worldwide.
The language is second to none in terms of durability. Be it NASA, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Microsoft, many tech giants use C++ in their embedded systems today. So, if you are looking to increase your job prospects in the tech industry, we suggest learning C++.