An Introduction to Modern C++, In Three Days


C++, as of its standard revision in 2003, has been the worst language in the world 1. Programmers were forced to write repetitive, clumsy, and error prone code - programming in it was far less than enjoyable.

That situation changed completely when the C++11 standard came out. Writing code is definitely fun again!


With many practical exercises and a great deal of trainer live hacking, this course gives a broad overview of the key language features.

  • Introductory Live Hacking A tour through many of the features that the new C++ brings.

  • Pythonicity Features Much of the new language looks like it has been greatly influenced by Python.

    • Range based for loops

    • auto: duck typing, only without ducks

    • Structured binding: the tuple unpacking in C++

  • Uniform Initialization

    • User’s view

      • Real initialization of STL containers

      • Many other consequences of the new initialization syntax

      • Not without pitfalls (this is C++)

    • Implementor’s view

  • New OO Features

    • overrride

    • final

    • = delete

    • = default

  • Smart Pointers

    Previously either self hacked (who ever wrote a refcounting pointer class?) or via the now-deprecated std::auto_ptr<>, C++ now contains two real first-class managing pointer implementations.

    • std::unique_ptr<>. Typically frowned upon because of the long and incomprehensible compiler errors that bad usage brings, this pointer class is definitely worth a look. Based upon the new move semantics, it defines compiler-checked ownership transfer.

    • std::shared_ptr<>. A reference-counting pointer class that is easier to use, but more expensive.

  • Moving, RValue References, And Perfect Forwarding

    Definitely the coolest C++ feature, albeit a bit hard to understand. With a great deal of live hacking and exercises, the audience will understand.

    In short: ownership transfer and cheap object copy, but not without its pitfalls.

  • Functions: std::function<>, And Lambda Expressions

    The second-coolest feature. Lambdas save you tons of writing (its capture syntax is a bit hard though), and std::function<> lets you use a polymorphism that is much more lightweight than pure OO. Both combined let you write very expressive code. If not overused, as always.

  • Multithreading

    Not cool, but rather dangerous, and everybody does it - so the language could not keep out of it any longer. Threads can now be started far too easily (in my optinion).

    On the other hand, the language now brings with it many cool multithreading tools like

    • Mutexes in varying forms (error checking, recursive, …), together with scoped locking in many forms

    • Oneshot communication primitives like std::future<>, std::promise<>

    • A communication swiss army knife, std::condition_variable, which allows to build any communiction mechanism you want on top of it

    • std::atomic<>, not to forget

  • Miscellaneous

    • constexpr

    • Strongly typed enum

    • Delegating constructor

    • nullptr



It is my mother tongue, though. Tried to unlearn it in favor of Python, that did not work.