Is C++ still relevant in 2023?

Software development
2022-06-22
8 minutes
C++ in 2023

C++ was awarded the title of TIOBE’s programming language in 2022. Let’s then get familiar with the reasons to use C++ in 2023. You will discover the most prominent advantages of this programming language and you will get a feeling on its development.

 

C++ Overview

Let’s start from the very beginning. C++ was designed to provide object-oriented programming facilities together with C’s efficiency and flexibility for low-level programming. Most of the programs we use on a daily basis are written in this language – for example Microsoft Windows, Java Virtual Machine(!), AAA games, and the majority of web browsers. However, C++ is often underrated and criticized. It is accused of being over-complicated and outdated. Is it justified though?

The good thing about C++ is that it evolves over time. Currently every three years a new standard is completed. It is a good thing as C++ constantly gets new features and improvements to keep it performant and up-to-date compared to other languages.

For instance, recently in the C++20 version, functionalities such as coroutines were added to the standard library. Both those features make C++ more similar to other languages from both syntax and feature perspectives. The next version, C++ 2023 promises more updates on the modules feature which was really awaited improvement.

C++ 23 standard

 

5 Advantages of C++

Against all appearances, C++ doesn’t stay in place and it still keeps improving. Since 2011, a new standard of this language is published exactly every three years, introducing further improvements and adding new utilities and library support. C++ is being standardized by the ISO committee and, moreover, it has many different compiler manufacturers. It means that it is more resistant to possible turbulence in one specific company. The most crucial advantages of C++ are:

 

1. Memory Management

The undeniable advantage of C++ is definitely its manual memory management system, which makes programs developed in this language extremely efficient. A skilled C ++ programmer will be able to write code that, doing the same, will use up much less memory than the code written in higher-level languages like Java and C#.

 

2. Backward Compatibility With C

Another crucial advantage of C++ is its compatibility with C as the first one is the superset of the second one. It means that all libraries created for C can be used with C++. This in turn means that all operating systems, driver libraries, and APIs can be used along with C++ natively because they’re written in C. Moreover, C++ can be easily combined with Objective-C, which is crucial in cross-platform development.

Both programming languages exist for quite a long time and because of that, plenty of third-party tools and libraries have been created. Especially in the world of embedded development, it matters that C code often used to operate on the low level, closer to the hardware, can be called directly from C++.

C++ and C language compatibility

 

3. It is Incredibly Fast

What bytecode-compiled languages do in milliseconds, C++ is able to do in microseconds. It is because C++ is compiled directly into machine code and there is no virtual machine and jitting. Moreover, there are also scenarios when, due to its objectivity, C++ is even faster than C due to an easy member-function template.

Compile time is another topic, but that strongly depends on the project, features, and your compilation time improvements. Anyway, the performance is definitely a reason to use C++ in 2023 and will stay so for a long time.

 

4. It is a Multi-Paradigm Language

It does not force the developer to use a specific paradigm. You can write in it object-oriented programs and use a standard library when it is reasonable, and you can write procedural when object-oriented is redundant.

It is worth noticing that C++ compared to Java is not a fully objective programming language. In C++ the application’s entry point is the main() function. Not the main class.

 

5. It is One of the Most Popular Languages

According to the TIOBE index C++ is currently 4th most popular programming language in the world and it is not about bragging. This literally means that many people use it, which in turn means there are plenty of frameworks and libraries easing your life as a developer. There are plenty of open-source solutions created over the years by the community. The leading framework for C++ development is Qt which is the most popular C++ framework for (not only) GUI development.

chat

Speed comparison of the BLAST parsing program implemented in C, C++, C#, Java, Perl, and Python  –

Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Speed-comparison-of-the-BLAST-parsing-program-Speed-comparison-of-the-BLAST-parsing_fig3_5600272 

 

Disadvantages of C++

The main disadvantage of the C++ language is its level of complexity as well as high entry barriers. It is often criticized for its lack of garbage collection. They do exist smart pointers as well as parent-child relationships (Qt Object Trees) in the Qt framework, which makes memory management easier.

Qt object trees

However, all of them need to be called in code and are not as automated as in higher-level languages. For some people, pointers and references are also considered disadvantages because they don’t occur in higher-level languages. However, despite their initial confusingness for people new to C++ language, they become handy as we keep gaining experience.

 

In Which Area C++ language is Mostly Used?

As we mentioned before, C++ is a natural language for interfacing with operating systems, so It will definitely find usage in situations when you need to communicate, low-levelly, with windows or Linux. C++’s performance so is very priced when it comes to bare metal and embedded programming where hardware is limited and you need to save memory space.
Moreover, C++ is commonly used in the game-dev industry. Especially in AAA games where optimization for different machines is crucial.

C++ in automotive

 

C++ With Extra Frameworks

C++ can be extended with many interesting frameworks, of which our favorite is definitely the Qt framework. With its help, you can easily create apps for desktops, mobiles, embedded systems, and web assembly. C++ is cross-platform by its nature, and with Qt you can do even more.

C++ frameworks, tools and libraries

Qt extends C++ with a parent-child relationship system, which really eases memory management. It delivers V4, a proprietary javascript engine allowing easier event-based programming. Qt’s documentation is describing everything very clearly and there are plenty of tutorials on its official website. Qt is an indispensable aid to any C++ programmer.

There are of course many more frameworks and libraries including OpenCV, OpenGL, STL, and more. All of them can be incredibly useful and can ease C++ programmers’ lives making you not have to reinvent the wheel again and help you reach your destination faster.

Qt C++ framework supported platforms

 

Is C++ Still Relevant in 2023? Summing It Up!

In our opinion without a doubt. However, we’re not going to convince you that this language is in any way better than another. Every language used in the industry has its strengths and weaknesses. However, we believe, projects that can be released using C++ are very different.

In C++ you develop apps for embedded, desktop, mobile, and web platforms, and the code runs in industrial automation projects, cars, and many other cool projects. It makes C++ developers’ work not so monotonous as, for example, web developers or SQL developers. People knowing C++ are still very wanted and their earnings are great.

Is it worth learning C++? We believe it is. Despite its complexity and maturity C++ is still widely used in professional projects. Programs written in this language are faster and consume less memory than programs written in high-level other languages. Thanks to new standards, C++ still meets the expectations of professional developers.

 

FAQs

Will C++ still be a viable coding language in the future?

C++ is a standard language for back-end development that provides faster execution and efficient performance. Many tools and frameworks rely on its speed, reliability, and efficiency, making it a highly sought-after language now and in 2023.

 

Which would be a better coding language to learn: C# or C++?

C# is the more popular choice for web applications, while C++ is generally used for more specialized programming tasks such as games, operating systems, and low-level programming. It all depends on what type of applications you intend to develop. With the Qt framework, C++ is great for all types of software. Including cross-platform desktop, mobile, and embedded. It is also a great tool to implement UI.

 

Are C++ skills sufficient to land you a job?

Yes, C++ is a widely used and popular language all around the world. Skilled C++ programmers have many job opportunities available to them.

Scythe-Studio - Chief Executive Officer

Łukasz Kosiński Chief Executive Officer

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