All of my friends who have younger siblings, who are going to college or high school-my number one piece of advice is: You should learn how to program. - Mark Zuckerberg
Computer programming and scripting language have risen in their value as essential computer skills in the 21st century. If you do not learn a new program every now and then, there is a risk of your computing memory fading away, leaving you redundant in the digital and professional world.
C++ is a very popular programming language used to design and write computer programs. Although this programming language is not new, it has significantly surpassed other languages in its use and the application is designing a computer program.
What is C++?
Bjarne Stroustrup developed this programming language at Bell Labs in 1979. C++ is usually termed a mid-level computing language since it possesses features of other high-end and low-level languages. C++ is an evolved version of C. C++ is supported by an array of platforms including Windows, Mac OS, etc.
Key Features of C++
As a programming language, C++ has some important functions and features:
- It uses static typing. This means that C++ performs type checking during compile time, rather than run time.
- It is a compiled language, which is implemented by compilers, and not interpreters. The former are translators concerned with generating machine code from source code, while the latter executes a source code in a sequential manner without any pre-runtime translation.
- It can be applied across any application domain. This makes it a general-purpose programming language, without niche option for any specific domain. This puts it in sharp contrast to a DSL or Domain Specific Language, which is a specialized language for a specific application domain.
- C++ is case-sensitive. This means that the identifiers, keywords, etc. will be interpreted differently depending upon the use of case.
- C++ is marked by insignificant positioning of program text characters. This feature is called free form programming language.
- C++ is a procedural programming language. Its programs can be put into a structure using reusable procedures. For example, it can use subroutines or functions in its programs.
- C++ is object-oriented, which means that it contains data in the form of attributes. C++ codes appear in the form of procedures, which are also called methods.
- C++ uses generic programming. In this type of programming, you have to write algorithms in the form of types, which are instantiated later based on specific types that are provided as parameters.
Find out how to use an online compiler in C++.
Key Terms and Concepts in C++ Programming
Before anyone can become a professional developer or programmer, or even learn new programming skills, you need to lay a strong foundation of learning. You must value the importance of learning the basic concepts and key terms associated with C++ and its use as a programming language. It is very different from HTML as a programming language.
In simple terms, a function can be defined as a group of statements that are put together to execute a programming code. All C++ programs have at least one main function. There are trivial programs that can define additional functions beyond the main function.
When you are writing code, make sure that you use some logic to divide the functions. This can be your prerogative, but remember to assign a specific task to each function. You will find the name of a function, the return type, and its parameters in the function declaration to the compiler. A function definition, on the other hand, contains the main content of the function. A function has various names. For example, a function may be a procedure function or a sub-routine function.
Parts of a C++ Function
Apart from the function header and body, there are other important parts of a function:
- Function Return: A function may return a data type, while other functions may execute the desired program without returning the data type of the value. In the latter case, the return type is represented by the keyword void.
- Function Name: The function name, along with the function parameter list, make up the function signature.
- Function Parameter: You have to invoke a function to pass a value to a parameter, which acts as the holder of data. The value in question is called an argument. Note that a parameter is an optional feature in a function, which may or may not contain it.
A C++ pointer makes the execution of programs easier. In fact, some C++ tasks like dynamic memory allocation are not possible without pointers.
A C++ pointer may be defined as a variable whose value is synonymous with the address of another variable. A pointer declaration requires you to share this value before you can perform any task with it. A pointer variable can be represented in the following way,
A reference is another name for a variable that already exists. In practice, either the reference name or the variable name is used.
Differences Between C++ Reference and C++ Pointer
References are often used interchangeably with pointers. But there are some critical differences between the two concepts:
- There cannot be any NULL references, and references work on the assumption of being connected to a proper piece of storage.
- Unlike pointers that can be initialized at any time, you have to initialize a reference at the start.
- Once you have initialized a reference to an object, you cannot change this reference. Pointers, however, are flexible in this aspect and you can change the object to be pointed at.
An array is a data structure that stores a sequential collection of elements belonging to the same type and are of fixed size. It might be useful to think of an array as a collection of variables that are of the same type. An index can access a specific element in an array.
You will find a contiguous memory location in any array that you work with, in C++ programming. In this collection, the lowest address denotes the first element, while the highest address represents the last element.
C++ Data Types
In order to restrict the type of data for storage, all variables need to use data-type during variable declaration. In C++, the compiler is responsible for allocating memory for any variable, depending on the data type. Note that different types of data require different amounts of memory storage.
Data Types in C++
C++ programming language primarily deals with three types of data:
- Primitive Data Type: These are predefined to allow the user to use it directly for variable declaration. An example of a primitive data type in C++ is integer, denoted by the keyword int.
- Derived Data Type: As the name suggests, you have to derive this data type from the primitive data type. In C++, a function, an array, a pointer, and a reference, all fall under this category.
- Abstract Data Type: This data type is usually defined by the user. This includes class, structure, union, and enumeration.
You can find all these data types on any version of C++ software. But for the best experience, try the new, upgraded Turbo C++.
A C++ download on the internet will give you access to a number of programming options. As a professional developer, you must be well aware of the common and most widely used C++ programs that are industry endorsed and recommended by experts. Here is a curated list for you, to help start off things:
- Fibonacci Series.
- Prime Number Series.
- Palindrome Number Series.
- Factorial of a Number.
- Armstrong Number.
- Sum of Digits.
- Reverse Numbers.
- Number Swapping.
- Matrix Multiplication.
- Decimal to Binary Conversion.
If you want to get ahead in your learning and expertise, and also engage in some self-learning, you can enroll in any of these C++ courses for beginners:
- Beginning C++ Programming.
- C++ Tutorial for Beginners.
- Flappy Bird Clone- The Complete SFML C++ Game Course.
- Introduction to Algorithms and Data Structures in C++.
So, what are you waiting for? You have too many good reasons to start off with your learning process in the C++ programming language. And if you still feel unsure, feel free to get in touch with the expert Superprof tutors to clear your doubts.