How to Learn C++ Programming: 6 Sites to Get Started
Learning to program can be difficult for many, even with relatively easy programming languages. C++ is one of the “bread and butter” coding languages, and there are plenty of programming websites that can help you learn C++ for free.
Let’s explore why you’d want to learn C++ programming and find out where you can learn it online.
Why Learn C++?
There are plenty of other easy programming languages for beginners to learn . Why choose C++ in particular?
C++ is a powerful programming language that uses a “trust the programmer” motto. This design increases the chance for errors to appear during compiling, but it also gives the programmer more flexibility in how they code.
Due to this, most programs use at least a little bit of C++ code, or its cousin C. Learning C++ is also beneficial in another way—as C++ is very similar to C, you can understand and (for the most part) code in C as well.
1. Udemy: The Best Way to Learn C++ for Beginners
If you want to be taught C++ instead of poring over websites, try Udemy. Udemy is different from studying from a website, as you’ll have an instructor who will help answer your questions and guide you. This is an excellent choice if you find yourself staring in confusion at walls of code and need someone to guide you through it.
You can take a look through Udemy’s catalog of courses to find the one best suited to you. If you want to see if C++ is right for you, we recommend the C++ Tutorial for Complete Beginners course. It’s free and will teach you how to program using C++.
If you want to try something more in-depth, we also recommend Beginning C++ Programming—From Beginner to Beyond. Over 70,000 people have taken this course, which holds a 4.5/5 rating at the time of writing, and is taught by someone with 25+ years of C++ experience. It covers everything you need to know about C++, from comments and variables to input-output streams. There’s even a section dedicated to setting up C++ and making sense of the compiler errors you’ll find during your coding experience.
Do you want a course with the best content, but you don’t want to pay the costs that come with such high esteem? Try edX for your learning needs. edX was set up by Harvard and MIT to provide free lessons for the public, with no need for entry fees or qualifications.
edX offers the Introduction to C++ course. The professor’s credentials don’t get much higher; your tutors for this course are Microsoft employees. Despite their high rank, they’ll help you learn C++ programming for free, with the potential to move onto Microsoft’s Intermediate and Advanced courses if you enjoy it.
The course is a little small on content; you’ll only learn C++ syntax and how to create functions. However, it is an excellent taster session for anyone unsure if they want to learn C++ thoroughly. If you do wish to continue, you can use this course as a stepping stone for Microsoft’s advanced classes.
LearnCpp is an excellent place for both beginners and experienced programmers to get started with C++. The author of the site has well written, thorough tutorials that cover every basic lesson to some pretty advanced stuff.
This website is practically an entire C++ course in itself. There’s a lot of content on this website—18 chapters in total. The first 15 chapters all feature a quiz at the end, allowing you to grade your knowledge after each chapter.
Each lesson also has a comment section where fellow learners can ask questions and share knowledge. It’s also a great place to leave a comment if something has left you scratching your head.
CPlusPlus is another excellent website for learning C++. Although this website also has some tutorials, its true potential shines as a reference. There are multitudes of programming concepts explained, which is helpful if a specific element is confusing you.
This site may not be the absolute best for beginners, as its referential nature includes more jargon than LearnCpp does. However, the information contained on the website is still excellent for anyone who knows the lingo.
In case the above websites aren’t for you, you might instead like Cprogramming. This website also includes a well-written tutorial and other goodies you can use. While this website’s tutorial isn’t as in-depth as the above examples, they are arranged in an easy-to-navigate way. If you took one look at LearnCpp’s wall of tutorials and shied away, you may find luck on this site instead.
This website also has some challenges for you to try. The basic challenges have you code a Celcius to Fahrenheit converter, while the advanced ones include coding a program which prints and runs itself.
The good thing about Cprogramming.com is the fact that it includes both tutorials for C++ as well as C. This means you can learn to code C through tutorials written by the same author.
Ready to put your new-found skills to the test? Edabit is a useful website for testing your C++ knowledge. It will give you a series of challenges to solve using C++, ranging from simple addition and division tasks to very hard challenges. Just be sure that C++ is selected in the drop-down at the top left before you start.
If a challenge stumps you, don’t worry. You can use the resource tab to find some useful tips on how to beat the test. If you get very stuck, you can view the solution to get a better understanding of how C++ can solve the challenge.
What makes Edabit so useful is the way it presents tests. Edabit has its own code compiler so you can write your code into the website as you would any other IDE. When you think you’ve solved the challenge with your code, the website will compile it and run a few tests on it. If you get the results it’s looking for, you pass!
Because Edabit grades you based on raw results, it won’t give you any direct advice on how to make your code cleaner. However, you can see how everyone else solved the puzzle, with an upvote option that puts the more elegant solutions at the top. You can use these upvoted solutions to better understand how to make your own code concise and straightforward.
If you love the feel of solving puzzles with your code, why not use that passion to fuel your career? Some coding challenges and competitions may lead to money or a job , so you can practice your craft and build your portfolio simultaneously.
Getting to Know the C++ Programming Language
Hopefully, armed with these six sites, you’ll be able to get a grasp on C/C++ and start writing your programs. Just remember that when you start, the functionality should be the priority over appearance. Don’t feel dejected if your program doesn’t have a flashy UI or buttons to click; as long as you code well and make a robust program, you’re doing fine.
If you prefer to use a video as a reference, try the best code-along YouTube videos to learn programming .
Image credit: iunewind/Depositphotos