Although C++ may be ‘old’, it paved the way for a large number of the ‘hip’ new languages in the programming world. And believe it or not it’s still very commonly used today. If you ask us, you won’t get a better foundation in programming anywhere else.
So, How Difficult is C++?
Answers from the experts vary between ‘exceptionally difficult’ to ‘not actually that difficult at all’. But one thing is for sure; it does take work to get really good at C++, and it’s not a language you can pick up in a matter of weeks.
But here’s the thing; the main reason so many people say that C++ isn’t exactly suitable for beginners is because of its power and complexity. It’s efficient and it can do a lot of different things, and it has many nuances and subtleties for that reason. Beginners by nature tend not to pay strict attention to detail, so their mistakes show up pretty quickly in C++ and can often be a lot worse because of its raw power.
People also gripe about C++ memory management, or lack thereof. Again, this is something that with a little conscientious thought and effort can be easily overcome. So basically, C++ isn’t difficult to pick up if you approach it in the right way, but it does require some elbow grease to master.
What about Community Support?
All programming languages have a developer community that has grown up around them as the language has gained popularity, so there’s always plenty of ways to give and receive advice. The larger a community, the more exciting and interesting ways you’ll see the language being used and developed, so it’s a vital component. C++ is one of the oldest programming languages still in widespread use, so it’s safe to say there is a huge support network there.
StackOverflow is a worldwide programming community that answers questions and offers advice on anything code-related you can think of. C++ has been tagged in a whopping 477,000 questions, so if you need an answer to a problem you’ll most likely find it here.
MeetUp.com is a useful resource for finding like-minded programmers or mentors to help you on your way to matering C++. There is a C++ MeetUp group in almost every big city in the world – the Chicago group alone has over 1200 members!
There is a mind-boggling 182,000 projects involving C++ on GitHub, so if you’re looking for inspiration, answers or just something cool to do with the language, this is where you need to be.
How will C++ Benefit my Career?
There’s one big advantage to learning C++; most fresh-faced, newly graduated programmers don’t know a thing about it, favouring the ‘cool’ languages of the moment instead. Having C++ under your belt (along with a few other languages of your choosing) shows that you’ve not only mastered something perceived by many to be highly difficult, but you’ve also given some thought to your long-term skillset. C++ experts will always be in demand, and is a sure-fire way to land a secure, stable programming career.
Where is C++ headed?
C++ will pretty much be around forever, so there’s no need to worry about your skills going out of date. Once you keep abreast of the new languages on the block (which will be easy since you’ve already mastered the most challenging one), you’re golden. C++ is commonly used in capital and trading markets, so it’s guaranteed to be in steady demand for a long time. Basically anything that requires a high performance framework needs C++…and that’s a lot of things these days.