C++ learning resources from the past months

A selection of articles I’ve read and videos I’ve watched in the past months

I’m constantly learning and relearning new and old topics and I enjoy saving some resources so I can see them again later. I’m the understand-by-use type, but I can’t use everything I learn in my projects. And I want to keep some things in the back of my mind for when the moment comes, just to remember the keywords that I need.

Understanding is the key to knowledge. If I don’t understand something, I will at most get things to work, but there are many cases when it’s not enough for things to just work. And I don’t understand a lot of subjects. So I come to them again and again, maybe months or years after I have studied or worked with them, including the most basic ones.


    • An easy start with how templates generate code. You’ll see how templates can save you time writing code, but also how a lot of code can be used in your applications without you really being aware.
    • Diving into the details of how C++ resolves a function call. Names, templates, overloads.
    • C++11 introduced a lot of new language and standard library features. The very long story is in the bible, but you can read a short practical guide of what the language came up with 10 years ago.
    • And if you want even a shorter and more concise list of features including C++11, C++14, C++17, C++20, here you have a cheatsheet of modern C++ language and library features.
    • Getting from short sources to a little longer ones, you can read about all C++ core language features.
    • I really enjoy reading about good design. Although this topic has its subjective and context-dependent corners, there are some known API design mistakes.
    • I’ve read multiple times about the Rule of Five and it’s a subject I’m sure I will come back to again.

Continue reading C++ learning resources from the past months

The C++ Programming Language (4th Edition)

by Bjarne Stroustrup

About a week ago I finished reading The C++ Programming Language (4th Edition), a book on C++11. It enlightened me in some ways, by understanding how and why some things are done, and I got to know about a big part of the language.

Why did I read about an almost 10 years old C++ standard? I didn’t know where to start and I didn’t want to lose too much time thinking about the best way to learn the language. I wanted to know about the language and start writing code; this is what works for me. In the past, with other languages, I started by writing code and left reading for a later time, but I wasn’t that happy with the result. Moreover, I knew who the author of the book is, I trusted him, so I just started reading.

The 2011 standard is still relevant today as it brought major changes to the language. On the other hand, newer standards brought fewer changes, but very important. But this was going to be the next step after reading the book, which I also did. I got up to date with C++14 and 17 (I’ve seen things about C++20, but I didn’t want to get into details yet).

What did I gain? The most important gain is understanding some aspects of how the language works. As I write code, I remember some things I should pay attention to, some techniques that could help me, some ideas and keywords that I should be looking for, and where to go next. Now I know what the language offers, even if there are a lot of parts and important details that I don’t remember or understand.

How was my reading process? It was a lot about writing. I didn’t just read the book like a story. I actually wrote almost all of the code that was presented to get used to the syntax, to fill in where parts were missing, to practice. After every chapter, I wrote the code, changed it, ran the debugger, ran Valgrind to see if I have leaks. And all along I implemented various little things like queues, stacks, and other exercises.

Do I know C++? Of course not. I know ABOUT C++ and some of its components that can help me write better code. Only practical experience actually teaches me. While I write code, I have many hints in my mind about how to use the language.

I did this once before with Go and it really, really helped me to know my tool. It opened my eyes and my mind. It’s something I strongly recommend. Get your hands dirty with code while knowing what you got your hands on.

My learning process

In the 7th grade I got my first PC. I’ve immediately embraced everything I could, I was curious about all the things. I’m talking about advanced, scientific things like changing the wallpaper, running the defragmenter, formating a partition, using music applications, installing games and software for friends, knowing what RAM, ROM, HDD and others are.

And in the 9th grade I had my first encounter with programming. It was Turbo Pascal. Then, I don’t remember why and how, I ran into the web world. First, it was HTML and CSS, which I wrote in Notepad, of course. Then started with PHP and MySQL, and probably in the same period I met JavaScript.

Along the years I peeked at Visual Fox Pro, C, C#, Python, Visual Basic, Java, and maybe other languages, too. Small stuff, nothing important. I was just curious.

I guess web programming was easier to get started with and that’s why I insisted on it. And I liked it. A lot. Continue reading My learning process