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C++ Tutorial – 01 – Introduction

C++ is a general purpose multi-paradigm programming language. It is an extension of the C language and as such most C code can easily be made to compile in C++. Some of the major additions to C include object-orientated programming, operator overloading, multiple inheritance and exception handling.

The development of C++ began in 1979, seven years after C first made its appearance. Despite being what many consider legacy languages, C and C++ are still the most widely used languages in the software industry. They are used in creating everything from operating systems and embedded software to desktop applications, games and so on.

Compared with newer languages, C++ applications are often more complex and take longer to develop. In return, C++ gives the programmer a tremendous amount of control in that the language provides both high-level and low-level abstractions from the hardware. It is also designed to give the programmer a lot of freedom by supporting many different programming styles or paradigms, such as procedural, object-oriented or generic programming.

The compiler used in this tutorial is the Microsoft C++ compiler. Some other common ones include Borland, Intel and GNU C++ compilers. Despite C++ being standardized in 1998, these compilers still support slightly different features. Therefore, when something applies specifically to the Microsoft compiler this will be pointed out.

Recommended additional reading:
Sams - Teach Yourself C++ in One Hour a Day