What most C++ programmers do

“Nobody knows what most C++ programmers do.” — Bjarne Stroustrup

The quote above came up in a discussion of C++ by Scott Meyers, Andrei Alexandrescu, and Herb Sutter. They argue that C++ is used in so many diverse applications that if someone starts a sentence with “Most C++ programmers …” he probably doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Related post:

The dark matter of programmers

13 thoughts on “What most C++ programmers do

  1. The underlying problem is that C++ is so incredibly difficult to parse that researchers who analyse large code bases work with either C or Java.

  2. Eric: The speakers mentioned C along with C++ in their discussion. Both are used all over the place: embedded devices, games, operating systems, scientific computing, …

    They didn’t say this, but I imagine it would be easier, for example, to say what most VB developers do. Or PHP. If you’re writing PHP, there’s a very good chance you’re making web pages.

  3. John,

    A coworker and I were at that conference. That comment brought some chuckles. It was a good conference in a great location. Learned a lot.

    DB

  4. I think the only accurate sentence that starts like that is “Most C++ programmers only use a subset of C++”.

  5. @Sixing Huang

    Those of us doing Windows development often write some other entry point function such as WinMain() or DllMain() instead of main(). You see how unreliable most C++ programmers are, when it comes to doing what someone thinks most of us are doing. :-)

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