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C++ Best Practices, Guidelines, and Resources for Your Web Development Career

Daisy Waithereo Wambua - October 01, 2022


If you want to become a web developer , it’s important to acquire in-demand skills and knowledge. Whether you have graduated from a university, community college, vocational training, or bootcamp program, you must familiarize yourself with C++ best practices and guidelines. This in-depth knowledge can easily impact your web development career.

To help you advance your web development career, we’ve compiled a concise guide to take you through C++ best practices and resources. Use this comprehensive guide to learn how to make reliable code in C++ and streamline your web development career. By the end of this guide, you should know the facets of beautiful code within C++.

What Is C++?

C++ is an object oriented programming language commonly used to develop large-scale applications. Bjarne Stroustrup developed this programming language in 1980. It’s a superset of another programming language known as C. Dennis Richie first developed the C programming language in the 1970s, which has since been used to achieve numerous broad goals within programming.

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This general-purpose programming language can develop operating systems, browsers, and video games. It facilitates different programming styles such as functional, object oriented, and procedural. Numerous online training experiences are available to learn more about this flexible programming language.

Often, professionals pit Java and C++ against each other. Java is a programming language based on C used to distribute objects on a network. Some developers say it’s easier to learn Java than C++.  It is also commonly compared to Python and Ruby. Some of the top companies that use C++ include Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Bloomberg.

Web Development Concepts You Need to Understand for C++ Best Practices

To become a well-rounded developer, you need to understand programming basics and comprehend certain web development concepts in C++. A good mastery of these concepts will help you generate reliable code and know how to troubleshoot bad code. We have compiled a list of major concepts you should know when learning C++ best practices, below.

  1. C++ Variables. Through variables, developers can ease the process of programming without writing the same lines of code. Developers first define the variable and then use it to store information for retrieval or further description. You can write the variable’s name in numbers or letters plus the underscore character.
  2. C++ Control Structures. There is a sequence structure, a selection structure, and a repetition structure. The sequence structure enables you to execute C++ statements and allows multiple actions in a sequence structure. The selection structure comprises three basic selection statements. C++ reserves these keywords to implement specific features.
  3. C++ Data Structures. Data structures are a group of data elements put together under one name. The data elements are often referred to as members, which feature different lengths and types. Through data structures, developers can combine different data items. They use the struct statement to define the structures.
  4. C++ Tools. Numerous C++ tools can be quite overwhelming for a novice web developer. However, the most popular integrated development environments are Visual Studio Code, Eclipse, and Netbeans. Additional popular C++ tools include software development kits, graphics GUI APIs, general libraries, documentation, and unit testing.
  5. C++ Syntax. Syntax refers to established rules, protocols, and processes developers should adhere to while building applications. The C++ syntax features classes, objects, methods, and instance variables. C++ class refers to the template describing the function of an object. The object shows the type of data and methods in C++. Instance variables refer to the unique values given for each object.

Web Development Common Challenges That C++ Guidelines Can Address

Professionals have utilized this general-purpose programming language for 40 years. Though it can take a bit of time going through these practices and understanding how to implement them within functional programming, it’s handy for developing browsers, operating systems, video games, and applications. Below are some of the common web development challenges that C++ guidelines address.

Efficiency

The low-level programming language features minimal abstraction to the general computer architecture. It also doesn’t change the processor’s structure. Therefore, it maintains the simplicity and straightforwardness of a low-level function. Computers can process code written in C++ without difficulty with efficient memory and performance.

Versatility

Many developers have created libraries, methodologies, and test cases to make C++ practical, current, and adaptable. Due to its longevity in the industry, C++ is one of the most compatible programming languages with the most emergent uses. You can use it for client-side infrastructure, networking communication, and inter-processor.

Portability

Developers rely on C++ to develop codes for any system. C++ is a compatible programming language. In that, you can use it to create a program on one platform and migrate it to another platform with ease. Additionally, C++ works with Windows and Linux.

Scalability

Developers rely on C++ for its highly scalable ability. The programming language can handle low scale and high scale applications. Whether you are building a resource-intensive application or not, C++ can give you the versatility you require to see it to completion.

Standard Library

C++ has many libraries. The language support, diagnostic, standard numeric, standard output, and algorithm client library are some of the libraries you can expect from C++. Since C++ has been in existence for 40 years, you can rely on its libraries to provide programming data structures and functions.

Top 10 C++ Best Practices and Guidelines

A laptop displaying multiple lines of codes next to a stack of coding books.
Learning C++ best practices will allow you to see practical examples, understand library features, and enhance your collective experience with the programming language.

If you want to become an exceptional C++ developer, these guidelines are in place to help you build effective and scalable applications. With such high competition in the tech industry, having cutting-edge knowledge and skills in C++ might be what you need to land a job position. Take a look at some of C++ best practices and guidelines to help you avoid common mistakes.

Clear And Consistent Coding

While coding using C++, you must employ a consistent coding style throughout your work. Mixing different coding styles will make it more challenging for other developers to read your code, especially if it’s a collaborative or paired project. It is also essential to avoid unnecessary parentheses and inconsistent indentation. These will affect your ability to provide cleaner code.

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Reasonable Lines of Code

Do not write long lines of code using C++. General coding standards stipulate that you should use 100 characters in each line of code. This rule makes it easier to read the lines of code. It’s a common code mistake to write more than 80 character lines.

Distinguish Parameters

When coding in C++, consistency is essential. You should make a habit of naming function parameters with a prefix to easily distinguish them from other variables. It is vital to maintain a consistent naming strategy to reduce confusion.

Headers

Always avoid using namespace in a header file. When you include a namespace, it pulls all the source files containing the header. Writing namespace should only be limited to implementation files. To avoid the collision of one header with headers from other coding projects, you should include guards. It prevents problems when you want to use the same header multiple times.

Proofread Your Code

Once you complete writing the code for the application, you should read through each line of code. You should ensure each line of code is safe, secure, and reliable. You can conduct code review or rely on software development tools to check your code for errors. Using automated advanced techniques and tools can help scan your code and detect if it aligns with your coding rules.

Memory Management

There are certain binary operators of C++ that are susceptible to memory leaks. Memory management allows you to distribute a variable’s memory or run time. By using smart pointers and standard library containers, you’ll realize that this code has a lot of time-saving potential.

Use of Smart Pointers

You can rely on C++ basic guidelines to get an in-depth view of using smart pointers. Often developers use smart pointers instead of using raw non-pointing pointers as alternatives. There is no need to use these basic pointers aimlessly in your lines of code.

Cryptic Abbreviations

Do not use your own abbreviations in your source code. Using your own abbreviations will result in misunderstandings, especially when working on a collaborative project. In addition, writing acronyms does not necessarily add to the performance of the systems.

Avoid C Arrays And Strings

Specific style arrays in C can be used in coding. However, you should not use these style arrays regardless of the marginal difference in performance. The modern data structures in C++ come with extra features that boost readability and safety.

Do Not Use Autos

Avoid repeating type names. However, if you have valid application programming interface (API) names, you can use auto to make your code understandable, safe, maintainable, and reliable.

How to Learn C++ Best Practices

One of the most popular ways to learn C++ is through online classes. Massive Open Online Courses are excellent for mastering the intricate details of C++. These convenient online courses are also relatively affordable compared to traditional education. You can also choose to read C++ books or attend coding bootcamps.

Can a Bootcamp Help You Learn C++ Best Practices?

Yes, a coding bootcamp can help you learn C++ best practices. Often C++ bootcamps revise their curriculum to keep up with the current needs of the industry. Therefore, coding courses are designed to address the immediate needs of employers.

Coding bootcamps employ experts in the field as instructors to help you master the basics of C++. Some platforms go a step further and ensure bootcamp students also receive mentors and career coaches who add to their body of knowledge.

In addition to expert instructors, coding bootcamp students must also complete C++ projects. These projects help them develop a real-world perspective of using the coding language. The projects act as proof of a newly attained relevant skill set in C++.

Best Courses and Training Programs to Learn C++ Best Practices

Provider Course Price
Udacity Become a C++ Developer $1,596
Udemy Practical C++ Programming Practices $84.99
LinkedIn Learning C++ Best Practices For Developers $34.99
Pluralsight Design Patterns in C++ $29 per month
Coursera Identifying Security Vulnerabilities in C/C++Programming N/A

Should You Learn C++ Best Practices?

Yes, you should learn C++ best practices. If you want to develop a cutting edge in the industry, you should acquire knowledge and skills that will give you an upper hand during job applications. The mentioned best practices in this technical reference guide will showcase your level of knowledge and commitment to keeping abreast of any developments in coding.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer programmers earn an average annual salary of $89,190 each year. If you want a higher salary potential, you should look into polishing your C++ skills. Having extensive knowledge of a complicated programming language will give you a professional advantage. Therefore, it is advisable to learn these practices to advance your career.

C++ Best Practices and Guidelines FAQ

What are the basic coding rules?

There are basic coding rules to uphold consistent, high-quality coding standards. These coding guidelines ensure the applications are secure, safe, reliable, testable, and portable. Developers use guidelines to test and maintain the application even as you add more lines of code. Users can safely and securely use it without harm and it functions as intended every time.

Are there books to help me learn C++ best practices?

Yes, there are books to help you learn C++ best practices. Some popular options include C++ Best Practices by Jason Turner, Game Development Patterns and Best Practices by John P. Doran, and C++ Coding Standards: 101 Rules, Guidelines, and Best Practices by Herb Sutter. There are many more C++ books available online to help you master the intricate details of coding. They offer an excellent alternative for learners who prefer self-taught learning styles.

What Are The Bad Coding Practices In C++?

Some of the bad coding practices using C++ are failure to indent code. Often Integrated Development Environments format the code. However, it is your responsibility to ensure your code is formatted correctly for easier understanding. Another bad standard of coding is failing to use standardized encryption to protect data.

Why Are Coding Standards Important?

The coding standards are essential to help ensure the quality of code is adhered to by all developers. The primary importance of using coding standards is to ensure compliance with the industry standard and production of consistent code quality. It also provides software security, allows easy portability, and minimizes development costs.

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Daisy Waithereo Wambua

About the author: Daisy, a certified Career Coach by the International Association of Professions Career College, is a seasoned writer with a decade of experience in writing, proofreading, and editing. She has spoken at Maseno University to help young women explore new careers and learn more about technology. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Public Relations, a Certificate in Web Development, and a Master's Degree in International Studies.

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