C++ Basics

C++ Basics

7 min read Jun 23, 2024
C++ Basics

C++ Basics

C++ is a powerful, general-purpose programming language that is widely used for a variety of applications, including:

  • System programming: Operating systems, device drivers, embedded systems
  • Game development: High-performance graphics and game engines
  • Desktop applications: Cross-platform applications with native performance
  • Web development: Server-side web applications and high-performance web services

C++ is a compiled language, which means that source code must be translated into machine code before it can be executed. This process is done by a compiler, which takes the source code and produces an executable file.

Key Concepts

Here are some key concepts in C++ programming:

1. Variables:

  • Variables are used to store data in a program.
  • Each variable has a name, a data type, and a value.
  • Data types define the kind of data that a variable can hold (e.g., int, float, char, string).


int age = 25; // Declares an integer variable named "age" and assigns it the value 25.
float height = 1.75; // Declares a floating-point variable named "height" and assigns it the value 1.75.
char initial = 'A'; // Declares a character variable named "initial" and assigns it the value 'A'.
string name = "John Doe"; // Declares a string variable named "name" and assigns it the value "John Doe".

2. Operators:

  • Operators perform operations on variables and values.
  • C++ supports various operators, including arithmetic operators (e.g., +, -, *, /), relational operators (e.g., ==, !=, >, <), and logical operators (e.g., &&, ||, !).


int sum = 10 + 5; // Adds 10 and 5 and assigns the result to the variable "sum".
bool isGreaterThan = 10 > 5; // Checks if 10 is greater than 5 and assigns the result to the variable "isGreaterThan".
bool isEqualTo = 10 == 5; // Checks if 10 is equal to 5 and assigns the result to the variable "isEqualTo".

3. Control Flow:

  • Control flow statements determine the order in which statements are executed in a program.
  • Common control flow statements include:
    • if-else: Executes different blocks of code based on a condition.
    • for loop: Executes a block of code a specified number of times.
    • while loop: Executes a block of code as long as a condition is true.
    • switch-case: Executes a specific block of code based on the value of a variable.


if (age >= 18) {
  cout << "You are an adult.";
} else {
  cout << "You are not an adult.";

for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
  cout << i << endl;

while (count < 10) {
  cout << "Count: " << count << endl;

switch (grade) {
  case 'A':
    cout << "Excellent";
  case 'B':
    cout << "Good";
    cout << "Not applicable";

4. Functions:

  • Functions are blocks of code that perform a specific task.
  • They can be reused in different parts of a program.
  • Functions can take arguments and return values.


int sum(int a, int b) {
  return a + b;

int main() {
  int result = sum(10, 5);
  cout << "Sum: " << result << endl;
  return 0;

5. Classes and Objects:

  • Classes are blueprints for creating objects.
  • Objects are instances of classes.
  • Classes define data members (variables) and member functions (methods) that operate on the data.


class Car {
    string model;
    int year;

    void drive() {
      cout << "Driving the " << model << endl;

int main() {
  Car myCar;
  myCar.model = "Toyota Camry";
  myCar.year = 2023;
  return 0;

Getting Started

  • Download and install a C++ compiler: Popular compilers include g++ (GCC) and clang.
  • Create a simple C++ program: Open a text editor and create a file with the following code:

using namespace std;

int main() {
  cout << "Hello, world!" << endl;
  return 0;
  • Compile and run the program: Use the compiler to compile the code (e.g., g++ hello.cpp -o hello). Then run the executable (e.g., ./hello).

This will print "Hello, world!" to the console.

Further Learning

  • C++ tutorials: There are numerous online tutorials and resources available to help you learn C++.
  • C++ books: Several excellent books cover C++ programming in depth.
  • Practice: The best way to learn C++ is to practice by writing code and experimenting with different concepts.

This is just a brief overview of C++ basics. There are many other features and concepts to explore as you delve deeper into the language.