C++ is Making a Comeback

What is C++

 

C++ is one of the most used computer programming languages today. According to the TIOBE Index of September 2019, C++ maintains a ranking of the fourth most utilized computer language.

Computer Science students must learn it as a part of their degree program, game developers use it to create games, programmers use it to create secure databases, and the job markets that utilize it are still booming. C++ can also be a great asset in cyber security development and reverse engineering.

What is C++?

As a powerful, general-purpose programming language, it has imperative, object-oriented, and generic programming features, while also providing facilities for low-level memory manipulation. It is a highly portable language and is often the language selection for multi-device, multi-platform app development. While the language itself is complex and difficult to learn over a short period of time, complete fluency is not impossible.

C++ applications can be found in, but are not limited to: finance, app development, GUIs, web browsers, operating systems, virtual reality, and more. C++ has function libraries, supports exception handling, can be developed in multiple integrated development environments, and has a relatively clear and mature standard, which makes it a strong programming language and able to support a wide variety of applications.

The libraries offered by C++ are known as the Standard Libraries. They are a collection of classes and functions which are written in the core language and part of the C++ Standard itself. Having access to prewritten functions is a time saver that makes it  easier to program large applications. There are even many open source libraries for C++ that can be found online. C++ has a huge community surrounding it, which is beneficial because the larger a programming language community is, the more support will be present. Most of the C++ community resides on Stack Overflow, a forum where C++ questions are asked and solved with detailed explanations and code. Having a language that is widely supported and has a strong online community is what makes C++ a strong programming language.

C++ Programming Example

Object Oriented Programming

By being an object-oriented programming language, C++ is made up of elements called objects that subscribe to four main ideas: abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism.

Abstraction

Refers to data abstraction – a system that provides only essential information to the outside world and hides background details. This relates to the database systems that can be created by C++, which can hide certain details of how data is stored, created, and maintained.

Encapsulation

The process of placing data and the functions that work on that data in the same place. When working with procedural languages, it is not always clear which functions work on which variables, but object-oriented programming provides you the framework to place the data and the relevant functions together in the same object.

Inheritance

The process of a forming a new class from an existing class, otherwise known as code reusability. This is a huge benefit of C++ when creating large applications.

Polymorphism

The ability to use an operator or function in different ways.

C++ supports exception handling which is a must when programming large applications. Being able to handle a problem that arises during the execution of a program is a huge benefit. The greatest strength of C++ is how scalable it can be. Applications that are very resource intensive are usually built with it. C++ also has pointers and references which makes access data and variables more quickly (especially when compared to Java programs). It also offers high level abstractions, performance, and memory efficiency, making C++ a strong programming language.

Where is C++ Used?

Some examples of where C++ is used heavily today are: game development, the creation of databases, web browsers, operating systems, and compilers. The reasoning behind C++ being used to create most modern video games is because it overrides the complexities of 3D games, optimizes resource management, and the language is extremely fast.  The reason behind this is that it allows procedural programming for CPU intensive functions to provide greater control over hardware, meaning the processors do all the handling. It’s extremely fast due to the tight data structures and the fact that it’s low-level machine code.

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C++ forms an integral part of many operating systems including Apple’s OS X and various versions of Microsoft. C++ has also been used for scripting MySQL, one of the most popular database management softwares. C++ skills are in high demand for being the programming language of more and more databases, games, and operating systems.

Without the security of C++ and the object-oriented programming aspect it provides, many applications wouldn’t be possible to create.