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

11 thoughts on “What most C++ programmers do

  1. 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.

  2. 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.


  3. Ibrahim M. Ghazal

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

  4. @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. :-)

  5. As a game programmer who started in Javascript (really wish i didn’t) then worked down to java, c++ c and eventually assembly i honestly like staying as low level as possible… but i think the reason that nearly any programmer would like c++ is that it does what higher languages can do while giving the option not to… so it’s like the bridge to do things the way you want… in other words perhaps most c++ programmers are more picky than most? or do most of us prefer ultimate flexibility and control?

    P.S. i fucking hate using the vector thing. i prefer to do all my memory by hand as i don’t find it one bit difficult to manage (and i can often do it better). anyone got a time machine so i can go back to the 80s where people supposedly appreciate the resources they were using?

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