What is C++ (And How to Learn it)

C++ is a high-level, general-purpose programming language developed by Bjarne Stroustrup at Bell Labs in the late 1970s. It is an extension of the C programming language, and its name reflects this - C++ is often called "C with classes". 

Since its inception, C++ has become one of the most widely used programming languages. It is commonly used in various applications, from operating and web applications to video games and embedded systems.

This article will explore what C++ is, its history, and how to learn it effectively.

The History of C++

The origins of C++ can be traced back to the early 1970s when Bjarne Stroustrup was working on his PhD thesis at Bell Labs. At the time, he was working with a language called Simula, which was the first language to support object-oriented programming. Stroustrup was impressed with the power and flexibility of Simula, but he also saw some limitations in its design.

In particular, Stroustrup felt that Simula was too specialised for specific applications and that it would be more valuable if it could be used to write a broader range of programs. He began experimenting with extending the C programming language, one of the most widely used programming languages at the time, with some of the features of Simula. The result was C++.

The first version of C++ was released in 1985, and it quickly gained popularity among programmers. It offered several features unavailable in C, including classes, virtual functions, and operator overloading. These features made it easier to write complex programs and also made programs more modular and easier to maintain.

C++ is one of the world's most widely used programming languages today. It is used in various applications, including video games and operating systems.

What is C++?

C++ is a high-level, general-purpose programming language often used to write software requiring high-performance or low-level access to hardware. It is an extension of the C programming language, and as such, it is compatible with C code. C++ supports various programming paradigms, including procedural, object-oriented, and generic programming.

One of the key features of C++ is its support for object-oriented programming. Object-oriented programming is a programming paradigm that organises code into objects, encapsulating data and methods. This makes it easier to write complex programs and also makes programs more modular and easier to maintain.

C++ also supports many data types, including integers, floating-point numbers, characters, and pointers. It also includes a rich set of built-in functions and operators, which makes it easy to perform joint operations like arithmetic, logic, and input/output.

Another important feature of C++ is its ability to interact with hardware. Because C++ is a low-level programming language, it can write code that interacts directly with hardware like the CPU, GPU, or memory. This makes it an ideal language for applications like video games, requiring high-performance and low-level hardware access.

How to Learn C++

If you are interested in learning C++, there are a few steps that you can take to get started.

Step 1: Learn the basics of programming

Before learning C++, you need a basic understanding of programming concepts like variables, data types, loops, and conditional statements. Many online resources can help you learn these concepts, including tutorials, online courses, and books. Some popular online resources for learning programming basics include Codecademy, Udemy, and Khan Academy.

Step 2: Choose a C++ tutorial or course

Once you have a basic understanding of programming concepts, you can start learning C++. Many online tutorials and courses can help you learn C++, including free resources and paid courses.

Some popular online resources for learning C++ include:

  • C++ Tutorial (
  • Udemy C++ courses
  • Coursera C++ courses

Step 3: Practice coding exercises

One of the best ways to learn C++ is to practice writing code. Start with simple exercises and gradually work up to more complex programs. As you work through tutorials and courses, practice what you have learned by writing your code.

Many websites offer coding exercises and challenges, including:

  • HackerRank
  • LeetCode
  • CodeWars

Step 4: Build projects

Building projects are a great way to apply what you have learned and gain practical experience with C++. Start with simple projects and work your way up to more complex ones.

Some project ideas for learning C++ include:

  • A calculator program
  • A text-based adventure game
  • A file manager application
  • A music player
  • A simple database program

Step 5: Read books on C++

Books on C++ help you better understand the language and its features. Many books are available in C++, including beginner-friendly and more advanced books for experienced programmers.

Some popular books on C++ include:

  • C++ Primer by Stanley B. Lippman, Josée Lajoie, and Barbara E. Moo
  • Effective C++ by Scott Meyers
  • The C++ Programming Language by Bjarne Stroustrup
  • Accelerated C++ by Andrew Koenig and Barbara E. Moo

Step 6: Join a C++ community

Joining a community of C++ programmers can help you learn from others and get feedback on your code. There are many online communities for C++ programmers, including forums, subreddits, and Discord servers.

Some popular C++ communities include:

  • r/cpp subreddit
  • C++ Discord server
  • Stack Overflow C++ community

C++ is a powerful and flexible programming language widely used in many applications. 

Learning C++ can be a challenging but rewarding experience, and there are many resources available to help you get started. 

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can gain a solid foundation in C++ and start building your projects in no time.


What is C++?

C++ is a high-level programming language that creates software applications, operating systems, video games, and more. It is an extension of the C programming language and supports object-oriented programming.

Why should I learn C++?

Learning C++ can open up many software development opportunities and help you become a more versatile programmer. It is widely used in the tech industry and is considered a valuable skill.

How long does it take to learn C++?

The amount of time it takes to learn C++ depends on your experience with programming and the resources you use to understand. Some people may be able to learn the basics in a few weeks, while others may take several months or even years to master the language.

What are some excellent resources for learning C++?

Many online resources for learning C++, including tutorials, courses, and books. Some popular resources include Codecademy, Udemy,, and C++ Primer by Stanley B. Lippman, Josée Lajoie, and Barbara E. Moo.

What are some typical applications of C++?

C++ is used in various applications, including software development, video game development, operating system development, and more. It is a universal language well-suited to many different types of programming tasks.

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