This article digs into those differences. But first, let’s explain the basics of each language.
What Is C++?
C++ was born out of one man’s desire to create an extension of the popular C programming language that allowed the utilization of classes. Bjarne Stroustrup’s efforts resulted in the creation of an object-oriented evolution of C that can be used for a wide variety of programming tasks.
With C++, coders can create programs intended to run directly alongside hardware. Even though the language has existed for nearly 40 years, it’s still commonly used in the creation of operating systems, video games, and other hardware-adjacent applications.
The Language Level
C++ is considered an intermediate high-level programming language. That means it’s only a few steps up from pure machine code. Any code created in C++ is compiled into the binary files your system needs to execute the program.
Normally, a key difference between intermediate and high-level programming languages is how they’re compiled. As mentioned, intermediate languages have a single compiling step that turns the code into machine code.
With high-level languages, this is usually a two-step process that requires more time, as the code must be turned into an intermediate language before being compiled into machine code.
C++ is much more flexible, meaning it can be used to create a wider variety of software. It’s typically used for any programs that need to communicate directly with a system’s hardware. The result is that C++ is used in everything from databases and operating systems to video games, financial technology, and compilers.
Static vs. Dynamic Typing
Variables are a big issue when coding in C++. You have to declare every variable in your code as you type, allowing you to call on each variable when it’s needed. Declaring variables requires extra lines of code and means you have to keep track of more information.
Speed of Execution
However, inputs and outputs, such as those related to graphics and storage, are handled by whatever engine runs the code.
C++ is an object-oriented language that more closely resembles machine code. While this makes it rigid in the sense of how you write your code, C++ is more versatile in terms of what you can do. Just know that even a small mistake, such as missing a semicolon, will disrupt C++ code.
Resource Requirements on the Backend
Video games are a good example, as user inputs need to be processed in milliseconds.
Though you won’t use C++ to create websites or similar applications, you can use it to create almost anything else. It’s particularly important for programs that need to execute calculations quickly.