What is C++ Used For: Top 5 Cool Use Cases

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What is C++ used for? The answer is virtually anything. It’s is one of the world’s oldest programming languages but also one of the most versatile. It has applications in many industries, ranging from game design to finance. 

If you’re thinking about learning to code, you may be wondering why you should consider C++. Take a look at it’s benefits and a few of its coolest use cases. 

Benefits of C++

C++ or is one of many object-oriented programming languages, meaning it’s designed to work with chunks of data called “objects”. This design makes object oriented programming languages more approachable and accessible. In fact, many of today’s most popular coding languages are object oriented, including Java and Python. 

Why should you consider coding with C++? It has a few distinct advantages, even compared to other object oriented languages. 

For example, C++ is considered a general purpose coding language, meaning that developers can easily use it for a variety of applications. It isn’t designed for one specific niche. So, when people ask, “what is C++ used for” there are a dozen possible answers. Nearly every industry has some use for the programming language. 

Firstly, it’s fast and scalable. This is great for developers, especially in the early stages of prototyping and experimenting, because it can compile and execute faster than most comparable languages. The easy memory management features of C++ make it fairly straightforward to scale programs up or adapt them to larger data sets. 

C++ is also a very popular programming language, so it has a large community of other developers using it, from hobbyist beginners to seasoned professionals. Surveys show 22.4% of developers are using C++ as of 2023, which is about 1 in every 5 programmers. This means it’s relatively easy to get help with your code if you need it. 

Top 5 Cool Uses Cases for C++

Choosing the right programming language is crucial for getting a project off to the right start. Luckily, there are a lot of great applications for C++. For example, C++ plays a huge role in programming autonomous vehicles and web browsers. Five are particularly cool and worth checking out, whether you’re a beginner or planning your next project. 

1. Video Games

Arguably the flashiest use for C++ is game design. C++ has long been a popular programming language for developing video games. This is mainly because it operates close to computing hardware, resulting in better efficiency. By operating directly on a computer’s hardware, the programming language can make full use of the device’s capabilities and maximize game performance. 

Specifically, game engines themselves are often written in C++, especially for PC games. The game engine forms the main framework for a game, including its physics, graphics, animations, audio and more. It has been used for many hit titles like Unreal Engine, Jedi: Fallen Order, Sea of Thieves and even Fortnite

So, if you want to create your own video games, it’s a good idea to learn the programming language. At minimum, it will likely be the foundation of the engine you will use for your game. It’s set to stay in gaming for the foreseeable future, too, with many VR games using it. 

2. Fintech

C++ is frequently used for finance applications due to its high performance and ability for concurrent computing. This means C++ programs can execute different sections of code at the same time. 

These features allow the program language to keep up with numerous transactions at once and deliver reliable speed for users. It’s also great for building databases, which are often used in fintech. C++ can handle large amounts of data while maintaining swift execution speeds, a vital combination for programs like banking apps. 

As of 2023, C++ is the 2nd most popular language for finance applications and the 3rd most popular for fintech specifically. It may be an old programming language, but it’s still in very high demand among finance sector businesses and developers. 

3. Operating Systems

Both Windows and MacOS are written in part with C++. Windows uses more of it than Mac does, but it’s an important part of both operating systems. Even iOS includes some of the programming language. 

Like video games, operating systems benefit from the fact that C++ runs directly on hardware; it’s designed to communicate closely with a computer’s machine code which is the foundational code running the device. 

This close relationship between the code and the computer results in fast execution and effective resource management, which is essential for an operating system. It also allows OS programs to be relatively energy efficient. Additionally, the low-level nature of C++ allows it to help with one of the most important tasks for an OS, acting as a platform for other apps to run off of, much like a translator between app and device. 

4. Databases

Databases might not sound as exciting as video games, but the applications for them can be. For instance, major streaming sites like Netflix and YouTube are built on databases. A database is a structured collection of information or code, much like a spreadsheet but a bit more complicated. 

In addition to organizing data, databases also manage who can access what data and how. While databases themselves are often written in SQL, database management systems are frequently written in C++. In fact, the most popular database management system in the world, MySQL, is a C++ program. 

A database management system acts as an intermediary between the database and the user or administrator. It creates a user-friendly interface for managing, accessing, organizing and editing the information in a database. 

5. Healthcare Technology

Many healthcare technologies like MRI machines, lab equipment and numerous software programs rely on C++ programming to operate . 

C++ is also crucial for modeling and simulations, which are vital for predicting symptoms and outcomes in healthcare. For example, if a doctor is developing a new treatment, they typically model the possible side effects of that treatment in a simulation program before giving the treatment to real patients. 

What is C++ Used For?

There are dozens of programming languages out there today and countless ways to use them. So, what is C++ used for? Everything from gaming to healthcare. Some programming languages are limited to specific niches or platforms. In contrast, it’s one of the most versatile coding languages out there, despite also being one of the oldest. If you’re thinking about learning to code, C++ remains an exciting and valuable skill to pick up. 

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