What a C# developer needs to know about C++

Kate Gregory

C++ has existed for over a quarter of a century. Some people think it’s over and done with, but it’s not, it continues to grow and change. In fact, if you learned C++ more than 10 years ago, the language you learned is not the language C++ developers are using today. New language features like lambdas, new library features like smart pointers, and new ways of thinking about code mean that C++ can be every bit as easy to write and to read as C#. For some applications, C++ is a better choice than C#, Java, or other options because of its emphasis on performance, its cross-platform capabilities, and its access to open source libraries written over the decades to simplify particular tasks such as image processing. As well, C++ applications can move calculations to the GPU using C++ AMP for as much as 100x speedup. Being able to read or write a little (modern) C++ could be a very smart move indeed!