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Reasons Why You Should Learn C++

Today's successful programmer must be as versatile and well rounded as possible. If you want to stay competitive in today's job market, you want to learn C++.

By Joseph D. N. KendrickPublished 5 years ago 5 min read

There are few programming languages more versatile than C++. It can be used to develop complex video games, websites, and graphics-heavy phone and desktop apps. Becoming a C++ expert is a steep slope, but there are too many great reasons to learn C++ with potential benefits that are too great to ignore.

C++ can be complex, but it's worth it.

The first thing you should understand before you try to learn C++ is that it is a truly massive and malleable language. Learning intricacies like the difference between '#include<iostream>' and 'using namespace std' can seem quite daunting at the outset, but if you stick with it, through the struggles every programmer knows, you'll soon uncover C++'s numerous benefits. If you don't have much prior programming experience, you should consider hiring a C++ mentor to help you get your footing in the language. Coding beginners can easily lose their way without guidance, so having an experienced C++ programmer at your side can be an invaluable asset.

It is easily scalable.

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One of the biggest issues that neophyte programmers run into with other programming languages is scalability. If you start with a more user friendly language than C++, you may have an easier time at the outset of your project. If, however, your project grows into something more resource intensive, like a graphics-heavy app or a 3-dimensional video game, C++ is really the way to go. It may be more labor-intensive at the outset, but you'll be thanking yourself when your complex code runs perfectly smooth.

C++ can be super fast.

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As I've mentioned, C++ isn't necessarily the easiest programming language to pick up. However, once you learn the ins and outs of the language, C++ offers a great combination of speed and performance. Like Java, C++ is a statically-typed language, which generally offers greater speed than dynamically-typed languages. To the experienced coder, however, C++ is even faster than Java.

C++ gives you control over your resources.

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Another major benefit of using C++, especially when it comes to programming graphics- and resource-heavy apps, is the level of control you have. With other programming languages, there isn't always an easy way to cover basic management over how an app or another project prioritizes its own resources. C++ gives you this control though, making it the ideal language for programs that rely on speed.

C++ requires considerable maintenance.

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C++ is certainly one of the more complex programming languages, but this can be either a negative or a positive depending on your point of view. If you are hiring a team of coders to scale a C++ app, this is bad news, because it is hard to find and recruit reliable and skilled C++ developers. If you're a C++ developer, on the other hand, this is great news! If you put in the work to learn C++, this means you can demand a higher price for your work than if you only knew, say, Java.

If you aren't familiar with StackOverflow, it is a question and answer website by and for programmers. The purpose of the site is to allow coders of all skill levels to ask and answer questions about any particular issues they are having with their code. C++ happens to be one of the best-supported languages on StackOverflow, with close to 600,000 questions posted and one of the highest answer rates on the website. So if you forget the difference between classes and objects, you don't have to give up on programming: StackOverflow has a support network for C++ users.

The community meets up as well.

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In addition to a widespread and supportive online community, there is a burgeoning group of C++ programmers—especially game developers—who organize or participate in in-person meetups. Besides events specifically oriented toward the C++ community, you'll also typically meet plenty of C++ users at any meetups for game developers. These meetups give you the chance to connect with fellow coders who can offer mentorship and other guidance. Having such a wide group of people at your disposal is just as good, if not better, than a beginner's guide to getting started with programming because real people can teach you through the things you are doing wrong immediately, making you a better programmer on the spot.

GitHub is an important platform for all coders and developers, as it acts as an online hosting service for version control. Just like with StackOverflow, C++ is one of the most well-supported programming languages on GitHub. We've already established that C++ is a versatile language able to support a wide variety of data types, but GitHub is particularly helpful for people using C++ to develop games or other graphics-heavy programs.

C++ has a supportive community.

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If you're setting out to learn any programming language, it's important to have a supportive community of like-minded coders and developers who can help guide you when you have questions or issues. With some lesser-known programming languages, the support network isn't always up to snuff. Even with larger scripting languages like PHP, there's a 33 percent chance your inquiry on StackOverflow will return 0 relevant answers. C++ has not only a large user base, but an active one, meaning you are much more likely to receive any help you need along the way.

C++ offers real career opportunities.

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I've already alluded to the fact that C++'s complexity means it can fetch a higher price, one of the many reasons to become a programmer and deal with this massive headache in the first place. An experienced C++ developer has a number of serious career opportunities, as large web companies like Facebookand other social media platforms are in constant need of app developers. By the numbers, if you learn C++, you could earn anywhere from $58,000 to $125,000 per year, with an average salary of around $90,000.

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About the Creator

Joseph D. N. Kendrick

Writer of words. Haver of cats. joeykendrick.com

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