Introduction to C++

Level : Beginner
Mentor: Shailendra Chauhan
Duration : 00:08:00

What is C++ Language?

C++ is a middle-level programming language created by Bjarne Stroustrup in 1979 at Bell Labs. This case-sensitive programming language can be used for object-oriented, procedural, or generic programming. It has both high and low-level language features. It is used to create operating systems, browsers, games, and more. 

History of C++ language

Features of C++ language

  • Simple: C++ uses a structural technique to break programs into portions with different data types and library functions.
  • Abstract Data Type (ADT): C++ supports complicated data types utilized in classes.
  • Machine-independent and Portable: C++ is platform-independent, requiring only modest changes for different platforms.
  • Mid-level Language: C++ is a mid-level language that may be used at both the highest and lowest levels.
  • Structured Programming: C++ allows programs to be divided into sections via functions.
  • Rich Library: Contains built-in functions and libraries such as <iostream>, <cmath>, <cstdlib>, and <fstream>.
  • Memory Management: Uses operators such as new and delete to allocate and deallocate memory more efficiently.
  • Quick Compilation: Short compilation and execution times.
  • Pointers: Pointers provide direct interaction with memory, structures, functions, and arrays.
  • Recursion: Allows function calls within functions, improving code reuse.
  • Extensible: Easily incorporates additional features.
  • Object-oriented: Encapsulates, abstracts, and hides data using access specifiers such as private, public, and protected.
  • Compiler-based: Programmes must be compiled before execution, and compilers are commonly available.
  • Reusability: Supports inheritance, allowing program components to be reused across several programs.
  • Error Detection: Exception handling allows for quick error detection.

Uses of C++ Language 

  • Programmers use this to create computer software.
  • Used to develop system software.
  • Developed drivers for multiple computer devices.
  • There are server and application-specific software.
  • Used to create video games.

System Requirements for C++ Programming

  • A text editor such as Notepad, Notepad++, or Sublime Text.
  • Download any compiler, such as Turbo C++, to your PC.
  • You can also use an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to develop and compile code.
  • There are numerous open-source IDEs, including Eclipse and Visual Studio Code.

Why should you learn C++?

  • C++ is a widely used and popular programming language.
  • C++ is used to develop operating systems, embedded systems, and graphical user interfaces.
  • It is an object-oriented programming language that incorporates all of the OOP concepts such as Abstraction, Encapsulation, and Inheritance, giving programs a clear structure and allowing code to be reused, reducing development costs and increasing security.
  • It is platform-neutral and can be used to develop programs that are cross-platform compatible.
  • C++ is simple to learn, so you may use it as your first programming language.
  • It makes it simple for programmers to transition to C++ because its syntax is similar to C, Java, and C#.

Advantages of C++

  • PerformanceC++ is a compiled language that generates machine-readable code for efficient execution, making it one of the quickest programming languages.
  • Object-oriented ProgrammingSupports OOP, which makes it easier to write and maintain big, complicated programs.
  • Standard Template LibraryProvides a diverse variety of algorithms and data structures to help developers create efficient and effective programs.
  • Machine IndependenceCode is not limited to certain hardware or processors; it can execute on any machine that has a suitable compiler.
  • Large CommunityA large, active community provides numerous resources and support for learning and utilizing C++.

Disadvantages of C++

  • Steep Learning Curve: The complexity and number of topics make it difficult for novices.
  • Verbose Syntax: Code can be long and difficult to read and maintain.
  • Error-Prone: Low-level access to system resources can produce subtle, difficult-to-detect faults.

Interesting C++ Facts

  • The term C++ represents evolutionary modifications from C, with "++" denoting the C increment operator.
  • C++ is a popular language for producing both technical and commercial software.
  • In contrast to C, it introduces Object-Oriented Programming (OOP).
  • Supports OOP characteristics such as encapsulation, polymorphism, abstraction, and inheritance.
  • Simula67 inspired the development of OOP features.
  • A function is necessary for a C++ program to execute.
  • C and C++ were created at AT&T Bell Laboratories in the United States.
  • C++ is not fully object-oriented; it may compile code without classes.
  • Extends C to make OOP and generic programming easier.
  • Many languages were influenced, including C#, Java, and subsequent versions of C.
  • Concepts like reference variables and operator overloading were borrowed from Algol 68.

Setting Up Environment

Select a Compiler

Decide on a C++ compiler. Popular options include GCC (GNU Compiler Collection), Clang, and Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler.

Install Compiler

Download and install the appropriate compiler for your operating system. Make sure it's configured correctly and added to your system's PATH environment variable so you may run it from any directory.

Select an Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

IDEs offer a complete environment for developing, debugging, and managing projects. Visual Studio, Code::Blocks, and CLion are among the most popular C++ development environments. Download and install your preferred IDE. Configure it to your preferences.

Create a New Project

Open your IDE and create a new C++ project. Configure project parameters such as project type (console application, library, etc.), target platform, and compiler settings.

Structure of C++ Program


  • Preprocessor Directives: These lines begin with the # symbol and include preprocessor commands. Common directives include #include for header files and #define for constants.
  • Namespace Declaration: Namespaces are used to group code logically. The using keyword, often known as the namespace declaration, indicates which namespaces are utilized.
  • Main Function: Every C++ program must include a main() function that serves as the program's entry point. The execution of the program begins here.
  • Variable Declarations: Variables are declared to hold data. Declarations define the data type & name of the variable.
  • Executable Statements: These are the actual instructions or operations that the program executes. They may include assignments, calculations, control flow expressions like as if-else, loops such as for and while, and function calls.
  • Function Definitions: Functions are chunks of code that execute certain tasks. Functions may be defined either before or after the main() function.
  • Return Statement: The return statement exits a function and, optionally, returns a value to the caller.
  • Comments: Comments are used to document code and improve clarity and understanding. They may be single-line (//) or multi-line (/* */) remarks.
  • Header Files: Header files include function, class, and variable declarations that are repeated in numerous source files. They are included with the #include directive.
  • Classes and Objects: C++ provides support for object-oriented programming through classes and objects. Classes specify data structures and behavior, whereas objects are instances of those classes.
  • Libraries: External libraries can be used to extend the capability of C++ programs. Libraries are included via the #include directive and linked during compilation.
  • Error Handling: C++ includes error and exception handling features including try, catch, and throw statements.
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