Why should children learn C++ ?

Children are usually introduced to programming through simple and easy to use programming languages. The first choice is usually Scratch, which is a block-based programming language. The second choice is usually python, which is a widely used language with a simple and friendly syntax. At the same time, the word around is that children should avoid learning languages such as C++, which are known to be “difficult languages”. Therefore very little, if any, focus is put on this language from an early age.

Today, we here at Hub21 will attempt to counteract these rumors and stereotypes and explain to you exactly why C++ is a highly recommended language to learn from an early age, both as a follow-up after python, as well as a starting point for students entering the world of text-based programming languages.

C++ was created by Bjarne Stroustrup and its first official release was in 1985. It is an extension of the language C, a low-level language developed years before C++.

C++ a desirable language to learn for many reasons, here we highlight some of its strong features:

  • Makes learning other languages easy.
  • Fast Execution and High Demand in Various Industries
  • Enormous Community and Built-in Support
  • Choice #1 for Competitive Programming


Makes Learning Other Languages Easy

C++ is a medium-level language. It is considered like this because it carries features from both low-level and high-level languages. Its syntax is similar to many other widely used languages, like Java, Matlab, C#, and many more. Above all, its syntax and supported statements provide the programmer with full control over the finest detail of the program. This feature is usually mistakenly interpreted as C++ being “complex” and “too difficult to learn”. But the reality is that the language is very simple and solidly follows the basic programming principles. This feature also means that in the long term, learning C++ makes learning other languages afterward like a walk in the park, because C++ already covers all details a programmer should know, from control statements to object-oriented programming to procedural programming.


Fast Execution and High Demand in Various Industries

What sets C++ apart from other languages is that its commands are executed very fast. Think about the daily programs that are running around us. Think about how you would feel if the apps in your phone took longer to launch, or if your computer takes too long to open a program. Creating fast programs is one of the most important features that companies in all types of industries try to provide users with. From creating games to social media apps to operating systems like windows, C++ forms the basic cornerstone in all of these large applications. Therefore, these companies always look for experienced C++ programmers in order to continuously improve their services with more optimized performance. This way, learning C++ opens a wide range of employment opportunities in the future. Here are some examples as the list is very long to cover:

Game Development: Creating games is a very huge industry. Companies try to create games that resemble our real world. They create characters and worlds with very complex movement and action options. Behind this complexity is an enormous amount of code that is executed to provide smoothness and a good gaming experience. C++ is one of the pioneering languages in this area because of its fast and robust performance.

Embedded Systems: Many of the daily objects that we use, such as washing machines, refrigerators, or cars, have small circuits inside them that are necessary for their functionality. These circuits are programmed to make the different parts of the machine work correctly and in harmony with each other. These are called embedded systems. C++ is the main language used to create embedded systems. This means that not only is it useful to create software, but also for hardware and machines that are essential to our daily lives as well.

Artificial Intelligence: Nowadays, Python is known as the most popular language used for creating artificial intelligence applications, but the truth is that some of the famous artificial intelligence libraries in python, like pytorch, are made on top of C++ code, but with python as an interface only. Artificial Intelligence requires a great amount of computations, therefore C++ takes the lead as an important choice given its speed and efficiency. This is true not for artificial intelligence only, but any area that requires heavy computations, like image and video processing.


Enormous Community and Built-in Support

Since its creation, C++ has been continuously updated and maintained by a large community of developers. Therefore, there are many resources available online that provide technical support and also share other programmers’ expertise. Due to this huge support, many C++ libraries have been developed to cover a wide range of needs and use cases, not only as 3rd party libraries (libraries that need to be installed separately), but also many of these features are integrated into the original C++ compiler, like the Standard Template Library, which provides optimized and error-free implementations of the most important Data Structures and Algorithms in Computer Science, something many other programming languages lack.

Choice #1 for Competitive Programming and Problem Solving

Competitive Programming is a well-known mind sport in which many students of different ages (12 to 18) from around the world compete in. Many competitions are held yearly and sponsored by big companies like Google, Facebook, and ACM, with the goal of finding and hiring talented programmers and problem solvers. In each of these competitions, participants have to solve a number of problems within a couple of hours. In each problem, competitors are required to use their knowledge of algorithms and data structures, to create programs that correctly solve the problems, and at the same time are capable of producing efficient solutions under a limited time constraint which is usually a couple of seconds. Given these requirements, C++ is the most used language among competitive programmers because it provides many ready-to-use data structures, is very fast to execute, and also provides the programmer with control of the finest details of the program, which if used cleverly, can allow for creating very creative and efficient solutions. These particular skills are what big companies search for and C++ is the best tool to demonstrate a programmer’s ability. For example, you can read about Gennady Korotkevich, a famous international competitive programmer who was able to win many international competitions using C++ as his main language.



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