Despite C++’s on the TIOBE Programming Community index since 2001, the language’s fall from the in 2020, loud and persistent claims that C++ is “,” and the in developer circles – C++ is still viable, vital and relevant as ever.
There’s no arguing with the language’s ongoing popularity. The numbers are apparent in the index – C++ is the fourth most popular programming language on the planet, grabbing almost 7.5% on the index and nipping at the heels of C, Java, and Python. While it’s true that this is a drop from the language’s TIOBE peak of nearly 18% in 2003, C++’s undeniable.
How and why can a programming language standardized nearly a decade before the relevant in the cloud and high-performance computing age? Let’s take a look…
Still popular, still relevant
What are the core C++’s continuing mass-market relevance? Performance, speed, maturity, and more:
- Performance – C++ remains the for high-performance software. Adobe uses it, the is based on it, and so are Chrome and Firefox.
- Speed – When processing speed remains a bottleneck, C++ is still used to create some of the fastest software on the market.
- Maturity – Although this may seem obvious, C++ has been around for , so most software problems have already been addressed.
- Ecosystem – C++ is a core part of most programming curricula and boasts a vast collection of dev tools, third-party components, libraries, manuals, and more.
- Embedded – Most embedded systems, not to mention IoT devices, are powered by firmware written in C/C++.
Not just legacy
Indeed, there is also a vital element of legacy usage relevance of C++. Many C++ projects that started decades ago (or projects that began in C++ precursors like C) are still running today. And we’re not talking about trivial stuff. For example, UNIX, Oracle’s MySQL, the Linux Kernel, , and even some of Apple’s OS X were written in C++.
C++ is the predominant gaming language – powering the Unreal Engine and many of today’s biggest and most popular games. C++ also dominates IoT, defense software, and manufacturing applications – pretty much everything considered real-time is in C++. Yet beyond legacy projects, C++ dominates much of today’s greenfields (new development projects), as well.
C++ is also used for new or compute-intensive server-based applications like high-frequency trading. It’s used for , device drivers, runtime interpreters, and tooling. C++ also does the heavy lifting in developing AI-driven applications and remains a core part of OS. And the list goes on…
C++, in its fourth decade, is only gaining in popularity. Newer languages like C# and Java will continue to lead the , yet C++ will remain right alongside.
C++ is a powerful and continuously-evolving language that helped and continues to help as we know it. With its next for 2023, a massive developer community, and an immense knowledge base – not to mention best practices, external libraries, components, and tools that would take decades to mature in newer languages – C++ is too entrenched in modern computing to fade away.