The C++ programming language came into existence in 1985, which makes it one of the most aged programming languages that are still being used nowadays. In spite of its maturity, it is continuously used in many companies and taught at universities. How does C++ look compared to other languages in 2022 and is it still worth your attention? Today we will try to answer exactly these questions.
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 It is accused of being over-complicated and outdated.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?
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. 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.
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.
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 when it is reasonable, and you can write procedural when object oriented is redundant.
5. It is one of the most popular languages
According to 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 through all 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.
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 C++ 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 relationship in Qt framework, which makes us memory management easier. However, all of them need to be called in code and are not so automated as in higher level languages. For some people, pointers and references are also considered as disadvantages because they don’t occur in higher level languages. However, despite their initial confusingness for people new to the C++ land, they become handy as we keep gaining experience.
In which area C++ 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 rarely appreciated on desktop, 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++ with extra frameworks
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.
Is C++ still relevant in 2022? Conclusion
In our opinion without a doubt. However, we’re not going to convince you that this language is in anyway 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 differential. In C++ you develop apps for embedded, desktop, mobile and web platforms and the code runs in the industrial automation projects, cars and in 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 languages. Thanks to new standards, C++ still meets expectations of professional developers.