C++ has come a long way and is now adopted in several contexts. Its key strengths are its software infrastructure and resource-constrained applications, including desktop applications, servers, and performance-critical applications, not to forget its importance in game programming. Despite its strengths in these areas, beginners usually tend to shy away from learning the language because of its steep learning curve.
The main mission of this book is to make you familiar and comfortable with C++. You will finish the book not only being able to write your own code, but more importantly, you will be able to read other projects. It is only by being able to read others’ code that you will progress from a beginner to an advanced programmer. This book is the first step in that progression.
The first task is to familiarize you with the structure of C++ projects so you will know how to start reading a project. Next, you will be able to identify the main structures in the language, functions, and classes, and feel confident being able to identify the execution flow through the code. You will then become aware of the facilities of the standard library and be able to determine whether you need to write a routine yourself, or use an existing routine in the standard library.
Table of Contents
- What you will learn
- Topics Covered in this Book
- Common Pitfalls and Troubleshooting Tips
- Our Conclusion about this book
- Frequently Ask Questions
- About the Author
Throughout the book, there is a big emphasis on memory and pointers. You will understand memory usage, allocation, and access, and be able to write code that does not leak memory. Finally, you will learn about C++ classes and get an introduction to object orientation and polymorphism.
What you will learn
- Get familiar with the structure of C++ projects
- Identify the main structures in the language: functions and classes
- Feel confident about being able to identify the execution flow through the code
- Be aware of the facilities of the standard library
- Gain insights into the basic concepts of object orientation
- Know how to debug your programs
- Get acquainted with the standard C++ library
Topics Covered in this Book
- Starting with C++
- Understanding Language Features
- Exploring C++ Types
- Working with Memory, Arrays, and Pointers
- Using Functions
- Introduction to Object-Orientated Programming
- Using the Standard Library Containers
- Using Strings
- Diagnostics and Debugging
Basic C++ and Programming Concepts
- Basic programming concepts: Basic programming concepts are introduced at the beginning of the book, such as variables, data types, and operators. It also covers control structures, such as if-else statements and loops.
- Functions: Function definitions and C++ usage are covered in the book. It explains how functions can be used to break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable tasks.
- Arrays and pointers: The Book provides an overview of how arrays and pointers are used in C++. It explains how to create arrays, access individual elements, and use pointers to manipulate data.
- Object-oriented programming: It introduces the concept of object-oriented programming (OOP) and explains how it is implemented in C++. It covers classes, objects, inheritance, and polymorphism.
- Input/output and file handling: It covers how to work with files and user input/output in C++. It explains how to read and write data to files, and how to interact with users through the command line.
- Exception handling: It covers how to deal with errors and exceptions. It explains how to use try-catch blocks to catch and handle exceptions, and how to define custom exceptions.
- Standard Template Library (STL): It includes a chapter on the STL, which is a collection of powerful C++ classes and functions. It covers containers, iterators, and algorithms provided by the STL.
Debugging Techniques and Best Practices
- Debugging tools: There are several debugging tools that can be used to identify and fix errors in C++ code. These include debuggers, profilers, and memory leak detectors.
- Code reviews: It emphasizes the importance of code reviews in identifying errors and improving code quality. It explains how to conduct effective code reviews and provides tips for giving and receiving feedback.
- Testing: There are various testing techniques that can be used to identify errors in code. It explains how to write effective unit tests and provides examples of common testing frameworks.
- Debugging strategies: There are several strategies for identifying and fixing errors in C++ code. These include using print statements, stepping through code with a debugger, and using tools to analyze program behavior.
- Best practices: It emphasizes the importance of following best practices to avoid errors in code. It covers topics such as code organization, naming conventions, and commenting.
Common Pitfalls and Troubleshooting Tips
- Syntax errors: The common syntax errors that can occur when writing C++ code, such as missing semicolons and incorrect variable names. It provides tips for identifying and fixing these errors.
- Logic errors: Logic errors can occur when the code does not produce the expected output or behavior. It provides tips for identifying and fixing these errors, such as using print statements to debug the code.
- Memory management: The common memory management issues, such as memory leaks and dangling pointers. It provides tips for identifying and fixing these issues, such as using smart pointers and deleting dynamically allocated memory.
- Compiler errors: Compiler errors can occur when the code does not follow the C++ language rules. It provides tips for identifying and fixing these errors, such as checking the compiler error messages and reviewing the code for syntax errors.
Library issues: The common issues that can occur when using C++ libraries, such as missing header files and linker errors. It provides tips for identifying and fixing these issues, such as ensuring that the correct libraries are included and linked.
Our Conclusion about this book
One of the strengths of this book is its approachable writing style. The authors explain complex topics in a clear and concise manner, making it easy for beginners to understand. Additionally, the book’s emphasis on best practices and troubleshooting tips is a valuable resource for those looking to improve their skills.
The book’s coverage of debugging techniques and common pitfalls is particularly useful for new programmers, as it provides practical tips for identifying and fixing errors in code. The authors also provide guidance on memory management, which is often a challenging topic for beginners.
Frequently Ask Questions
1. Is this book suitable for beginners?
Yes, this book is specifically designed for beginners who are new to the C++ programming language. The book covers essential topics in a clear and approachable manner, making it easy for beginners to understand.
2. Does this book cover advanced C++ concepts?
No, it is intended for beginners and focuses on essential topics such as basic programming concepts, functions, arrays and pointers, object-oriented programming, input/output and file handling, exception handling, and the Standard Template Library (STL). If you’re looking to learn advanced C++ concepts, you may need to look for more specialized resources.
3. Does this book include practical examples?
Yes, it includes practical examples and exercises that help reinforce the concepts covered. The book’s approachable writing style and practical examples make it an excellent resource for beginners who want to develop their programming skills.
4. Does this book cover debugging techniques and troubleshooting tips?
Yes, it includes a chapter on debugging techniques and covers common pitfalls and troubleshooting tips. The authors provide practical tips for identifying and fixing errors in code, making it a valuable resource for new programmers.
5. Are there any additional resources to accompany this book?
Yes, the book’s website includes additional resources such as source code examples, exercises, and solutions. Additionally, there are many online courses, tutorials, and reference materials available for those who want to further their learning.
About the Author
Richard Grimes has been programming in C++ for 25 years, working on projects as diverse as scientific control and analysis and finance analysis to remote objects for the automotive manufacturing industry. He has spoken at 70 international conferences on Microsoft technologies (including C++ and C#) and has written 8 books, 150 articles for programming journals, and 5 training courses for Microsoft. Richard was awarded Microsoft MVP for 10 years (1998-2007). He has a reputation for his deep understanding of the .NET framework and C++ and the frank way in which he assesses new technology.