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How Hard Is It to Learn C++?

Medinah Aina - August 30, 2022


Many new coders know that C++ is a popular language, but is C++ hard to learn? While it can be one of the more challenging languages, putting in the time may be worth the effort. C++ remains one of the most influential and widely used programming languages today, majorly due to its fast performance.

This article will discuss the difficulty level of this powerful language. It will also include information on what C++ is used for, tips to make your learning journey more effortless, guidance on where to start learning C++, and jobs you can get with C++ skills.

​​What Is C++ Used For?

C++ is a popular language used to create high-performance applications. It has a variety of uses including the development of applications, games, animations, web browsers, database software, media, operating systems, and compilers. You can find more details about how C++ is used below.

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  • Develop operating systems. C++ has been used to develop some of the most used operating systems today, including Microsoft products and parts of the Apple operating system. It is widely used because of its low-level capabilities that make operating systems fast and efficient.
  • Web browser development. C++ allows web browsers to retrieve data from databases and render code into interactive pages via backend services. It is used in most web browsers, including Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, to perform functions quickly and without lag.
  • Create games. One of the most commonly known uses of C++ is game development, as it has been used to build many popular games, game engines, and game consoles. Some examples include  World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Unreal engine, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch.
  • Create animations. C++ can be used for 3D animation, motion graphics, virtual reality, and character creation. Most animations today are created using C++.
  • Databases. This programming language is also used to build databases to support effective data storage. It has been used to build popular databases like MySQL and MongoDB.

How Hard Is C++ to Learn?

C++ is one of the hardest programming languages to learn due to its wide range of paradigms. To learn C++ with less difficulty, you might first get familiar with other programming languages. This previous experience can help you understand its advanced syntax and scale through.

C++ is very versatile. To ease your learning journey, you may want to understand C and C#, which are easier programming languages to learn as a beginner programmer. The aim of C++ is to be efficient, not easy to learn, which is why many find it difficult to grasp advanced C++ concepts.

Is C++ Harder Than Java?

C++ is harder than Java due to its complexity and range of paradigms. Java is one of the easiest programming languages to learn and the go-to language for beginners in programming. Even experienced programmers may find C++ challenging. C++ is a versatile and complicated language, but may be worth studying as it has different strengths than Java.

Tips to Learn C++

  1. Install a C++ compiler. C++ is an object-oriented language that needs a compiler to run because the actual source code must be compiled into a file that your computer can use. Your computer operating system will determine the compiler that you use when you want to begin your C++ learning journey. You can find a list of free C++ compilers on Standard C++ Foundation.
  2. Choose your preferred learning platform and format. Some people learn better independently, while others prefer a classroom learning style. You should choose the learning path that best suits you and stick with it. It could be online courses, a coding bootcamp, or a college degree program.
  3. Start with C++ basics. C++ is a difficult language and the best way to prevent getting stuck is by starting with the basics or fundamentals of the language. These will help you understand the language and how to navigate it.
  4. Practice every new concept you learn. To avoid forgetting what you have learned or getting stuck, you should practice everything you learn. You can work on small projects to help you better understand the basic syntax and make it easier to remember, even as you learn more advanced concepts.
  5. Read other people’s code and projects. You look at expert developers’ code through C++ libraries and platforms like Github. Focus on the projects that have comments so you don’t get even more confused while learning.
  6. Leave comments in your code. To avoid getting stuck, you can leave comments in your code frequently. They will help you remember your thinking patterns and understand better how the language works.
  7. Get help when needed. If you feel stuck and can’t seem to go on, don’t hesitate to ask for help. You can reach out to experienced C++ developers who have sound knowledge of the program for help. This will help you avoid giving up on this advanced programming language.

How Long Does It Take to Learn C++?

It takes between three months to two years to learn C++, depending on your experience level. To learn the basics of this language as a complete beginner will take about three months, but as this is a complex language, it could take years to fully master it.

The learning time frame could also depend on your educational path. A coding bootcamp involves intensive learning, and can often be completed in only a few weeks, while universities require about four years. If you take the self-learning route, the time required will depend on your learning pace.

Where to Start Learning C++

Blocks of code on a computer screen. Is C++ Hard to Learn?
C++ is a high-level programming language, not usually considered an ideal language to start coding with as a beginner.

You can choose different learning paths to master the C++ programming language. If you are transitioning from another career or are an experienced programmer who wants to learn C++, you could join a coding bootcamp. As a high school graduate, you may want to enroll in a college degree program, but the coding bootcamp option could work for you, too.

C++ Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps are designed to teach students relevant, in-demand skills to make them ready for the job market and start a tech career. By joining a C++ coding bootcamp , you will be learning the technical and soft skills that employers need in developers. You will also work on C++ projects that will help you build a portfolio that can be showcased to potential employers.

C++ Online Courses

Online courses are offered through numerous online learning platforms to help you kickstart or advance in your career. You can register for any of the wide range of C++ online programs to gain skills in the field. You can limit yourself to beginner-level courses until you have a full understanding of the concepts and basics of the language.

C++ Degree Programs

College degree programs teach more than one programming language. To gain C++ skills, you will have to enroll for a degree in computer programming, game design, or computer science. There are other computer-related programs that can teach you the skills, but you will have to check the course curriculum before applying to be sure.

C++ Free Resources

There are numerous free resources on the internet that can help you learn any programming language. While it isn’t recommended to start learning C++ using these resources due to the language’s complexity, they can help you with your learning process. You can use books, online tutorials , awesome libraries, videos, and publications to increase your knowledge of the field.

Is It Hard to Get a Job with C++?

It isn’t hard to get a job with C++. This low-level language is one of the most widely used and in-demand programming languages in the world today due to its high-efficiency level. Being an expert at it will open numerous job opportunities for you. Many top tech companies today, like Google, Apple, and Microsoft, use this language and would be looking to hire people skilled in it.

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Jobs You Can Get with C++ Skills

  • Software engineer. Software engineers apply programming skills and principles of engineering to software development. They design, develop, test, and maintain software applications to meet user needs. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, they have a job growth rate of 22 percent .
  • Security solutions architect. Security solutions architects work to build security solutions and policies for organizations. They review organizations’ present security systems and recommend and develop enhancements for them. Security solutions architects earn an annual average salary of $145,753 according to Payscale.
  • Quality assurance analyst. A quality assurance analyst is a professional who works to test the quality of a project. They plan, design, and implement the testing process to ensure that the project meets up to industry standards. According to Payscale, they earn an annual average salary of $56,907 .
  • Game programmer. These experts write the code to convert game designs or concepts to be compatible with PCs, video game consoles, and mobile devices. They design, develop, and implement the features of video games. They earn an average annual salary of $64,188 , according to Payscale.
  • Programming/software architect. Programming architects plan, coordinate, and oversee the software design and development process. They work to determine the features of a program and integrate them into the system. They have an annual average salary of $126,769 , according to Payscale.

Is C++ Worth Learning?

C++ is a popular programming language that is worth learning. Despite its difficulty, it is efficient and reliable once you get familiar with it. However, it may be a bad idea to delve into it as a beginner in programming. It takes more experience to grasp its basic concepts than more basic programs like Python and JavaScript.

Once you become an expert in C++, you are looking at a rewarding coding career due to the high demand for professionals in the field. It also offers various career opportunities which will make it easy for you to work in the industry and field of your choice. You can work as a game developer, software developer, or web developer, and excel in each job role with C++ skills.

FAQ: Is C++ Hard to Learn?

Is C++ Harder Than Python?

Yes, C++ is harder to learn and work with than Python . The biggest difference is that C++ has a more complex syntax to work with and involves more memory management than Python, which is both simple to learn and use. Python is considered a better beginner programming language.

How Long Does it Take to Learn C++?

It takes between three months and a few years to learn C++, depending on the programming concepts you already know. It could take about three to four months for a beginner to learn the basics of C++ and about two years to fully understand and work with it. This is not a beginner language.

What’s The Hardest Programming Language?

C++ is often considered the hardest language, but it’s not the only challenging one. Other programming languages that are categorized as unusually difficult are Prolog, LISP, Haskell, and Rust.

Which is Faster C++ or Java?

C++ is faster than Java because it can run immediately, whereas Java must first be interpreted during runtime. There are lots of differences between C++ and Java.

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Medinah Aina

About the author: Medinah, a certified Career Coach by the International Association of Professions Career College, is an expert copywriter and web designer, helping people learn more about education and careers in technology. She values in-depth research and providing accurate, helpful information. Medinah holds a BSc in Social Work from the University of Lagos and an Eduonix Certification in copywriting.

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