Modern Cpp Programming

Modern C++ Programming Course (C++11/14/17/20)
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Modern C++ Programming

C++11 / C++14 / C++17 / C++20 / (C++23)

This open-access course is directed at those who are already familiar with C and object-oriented programming towards a proficiency level of C++ programming. The course covers the basics of C++ programming and moves on to advanced C++ semantics and concepts.

Key features:

  • Free and frequently updated
  • Include the last language standard concepts and features
  • Practical teaching: small structured descriptions associated to code
  • Minimal code examples for showing just a specific feature or issue without digressing
  • Complementary language aspects: tools, coding conventions, project organization, and code optimization
  • Experience-based: many aspects, examples, and problems come from real-world cases faced during my work as software engineer

If you enjoy the course or you find it useful, please add a Star

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1 Introduction History of C/C++, Areas of Applications, Course introduction
2 Basic Concepts I - Fundamental Types Integral data types, floating-point, operators, and conversion
3 Basic Concepts II - Entities and Control Flow Enumerators, structures, control flow statements
4 Basic Concepts III - Memory Management Heap, Stack, pointers, references, const properties, conversion operators
5 Basic Concepts IV - Functions and Preprocessing Functions, lambda expressions, preprocessing directives
6 C++ Object Oriented Programming I - Class Concepts Class hierarchy, constructor, destructor, class keywords
7 C++ Object Oriented Programming II - Polymorphism and Operator Overloading Polymorphism, operators overloading
8 C++ Templates and Meta-programming I - Function Templates and Compile-Time Utilities Function template, type traits
9 C++ Templates and Meta-programming II - Class Templates and SFINAE Class template, SFINAE
10 Translation Units I Linkage and One Definition Rule
11 Translation Units II Dealing with multiple translation units and files,  #include, and modules
12 Code Conventions Project organization and main code conventions
13 Ecosystem I Debugging, and testing
14 Ecosystem II Cmake, documenting, and other Tools
15 Utilities Main std libraries
16 Containers, Iterators, and Algorithms Containers, iterators, algorithms, ranges
17 Advanced Topics I Move semantics, universal reference, type deduction
18 Advanced Topics II Error handling, C++ idioms, smart pointers
19 Optimization I - Basic Concepts Ahmdal Law, performance bounds, architecture concepts (ILP, SIMD, etc.), memory hierarchy
20 Optimization II - Code Optimization Arithmetic optimizations, memory optimizations, etc.
21 Optimization III - Non-Coding Optimizations and Benchmarking Compiler optimizations, profiling and benchmarking tools


1. Introduction

  • A Little History of C/C++ Programming Languages
  • Areas of Application and Popularity
  • C++ Philosophy
  • C++ Weakness
  • Books and References
  • The Course

2. Basic Concepts I - Fundamental Types

  • Preparation: What compiler should I use?, What editor/IDE compiler should I use?, How to compile?
  • Hello World: I/O Stream
  • C++ Fundamental Types Overview: Arithmetic types, Non-standard arithmetic types, void type, Pointer type and nullptr
  • Conversion Rules
  • auto declaration
  • C++ Operators: Operators precedence, Prefix/Postfix increment/decrement, Assignment, Compound , and comma operators, Spaceship operator <=> , Safe Comparison Operators
  • Integral Data Types: Fixed width integers and size_t, When use signed/unsigned integer? Promotion, Truncation, Undefined behavior
  • Floating-point Types and Arithmetic: Normal/Denormal values, Infinity, Not a Number (NaN), Summary, Properties
  • Floating-point Issues: Catastrophic cancellation, Floating-point comparison

3. Basic Concepts II - Entities and Control Flow

  • Enumerators
  • struct, Bitfield, union
  • Control Flow: if Statement, for Loop, Range-base for loop, switch, goto

4. Basic Concepts III - Memory Management

  • Heap and Stack: Stack Memory, new, delete, Non-allocating placement allocation, Non-throwing allocation, Memory leak
  • Initialization: Variable initialization, Uniform initialization, Fixed-size array initialization, Structure initialization, Dynamic array initialization
  • Pointers and References: Pointer Operations, Address-of operator &, Reference
  • Constant and Literals, const, constexpr, consteval, constinit
  • Explicit Type Conversion: static_cast, const_cast, reinterpret_cast, Type punning
  • sizeof Operator

5. Basic Concepts IV - Functions and Preprocessing

  • Declaration and Definition
  • Functions: Pass by-value, Pass by-pointer, Pass by-reference, Function signature and Overloading, Default parameters, Attributes
  • Function Objects and Lambda Expressions: Function pointer, Function object (or Functor), Capture list, Other features, Capture list and classes
  • Preprocessing: Preprocessors, Common errors, Useful macro, Stringizing operator (#), #pragma and #error, Token-Pasting Operator (##), Variadic Macro

6. C++ Object-Oriented Programming I - Class Concepts

  • C++ Classes: RAII Idiom
  • Class Hierarchy: Access specifiers, Inheritance access specifiers
  • Class Constructor: Default constructor, Class initialization, Uniform initialization, Delegate constructor, explicit keyword
  • Copy Constructor
  • Class Destructor
  • Defaulted Members (= default)
  • Class Keywords: this, static, const, mutable, using, friend, delete

7. C++ Object-Oriented Programming II - Polymorphism and Operator Overloading

  • Polymorphism: virtual methods, Virtual table, override keyword, final keyword, Common errors, Pure virtual method, Abstract class and interface
  • Inheritance Casting and Run-time Type Identification
  • Operator Overloading: Overview, Subscript operator [], Comparison operator <, Spaceship operator <=>, Function call operator (), Conversion operator T(), Return type overloading resolution, Increment and decrement operators ++/--, Assignment operator =, Stream operator <<, Operator Notes
  • C++ Special Objects: Aggregate, Trivial class, Standard-layout class, Plain old data (POD), Hierarchy

8. C++ Templates and Meta-programming I - Function Templates and Compile-Time Utilities

  • Function Template: Overview, Template parameters, Template parameter - default value, Specialization, Overloading
  • Template Variable
  • Template Parameter Types: Template Parameter Types, Generic Type Notes, auto Placeholder, Class template parameter type, Array and pointer types, Function type
  • Compile-Time Utilities: static_assert, decltype Keyword, using Keyword
  • Type Traits: Overview, Type traits library, Type manipulation

9. C++ Templates and Meta-programming II -  - Class Templates and SFINAE

  • Class Template: Class specialization
  • Class Template - Advanced Concepts: Class + Function - Specialization, Dependent Names - typename and template Keywords, friend Keyword, Template Template Arguments
  • Template Meta-Programming
  • SFINAE: Substitution Failure Is Not An Error: Function SFINAE, Class SFINAE, Class + Function SFINAE
  • Variadic Template: Folding Expression, Variadic class template
  • C++20 Concepts: Overview, concept Keyword, requires Clause, requires Expression, requires Expression + Clause, requires Clause + Expression, requires and constexpr, Nested requires

10. Translation Units I

  • Basic Concepts: Translation unit, Local and global scope, Linkage
  • Storage Class and Duration: Storage duration, Storage class, static and extern keywords, Internal/External linkage examples
  • Linkage of const and constexpr: Static Initialization Order Fiasco
  • Linkage Summary
  • Dealing with Multiple Translation Units: Class in multiple translation units
  • One Definition Rule (ODR): Global variable issues, ODR - Point 3, inline functions/variables, constexpr and inline
  • ODR - Function Template: Cases, extern keyword
  • ODR - Class Template: Cases, extern keyword
  • ODR Undefined Behavior and Summary

11. Translation Units II

  • #include Issues: Forward declaration, Include guard, Circular dependencies, Common linking errors
  • C++20 Modules: Overview, Terminology, Visibility and Reachability, Module unit types, Keywords, Global module fragment, Private module gragment, Header module unit, Module partitions
  • Namespace: Namespace functions vs. static methods, Namespace alias, Anonymous namespace, inline namespace, Attributes and namespace
  • Compiling Multiple Translation Units: Fundamental compiler flags, Compile Methods, Deal with libraries, Build static/dynamic libraries, Find dynamic library dependencies, Analyze object/executable symbols

12. Code Conventions

  • C++ Project Organization: Project directories, Project files, src/include directories
  • Coding Styles and Conventions
  • #include
  • Macro and Preprocessing
  • Namespace
  • Variables
  • Functions
  • Structs and Classes
  • Control Flow
  • Modern C++ Features
  • Maintainability
  • Naming and Formatting
  • Code Documentation

13. Ecosystem I

  • Debugging
  • Assertion
  • Execution debugging
  • Memory Debugging: valgrind, Stack protection
  • Sanitizers: Address sanitizer, Leak sanitizer, Memory sanitizers, Undefined behavior sanitizer
  • Debugging Summary
  • Code Checking and Analysis: Compiler warnings, Static analyzers
  • Code Testing: Unit test, Code coverage, Fuzz testing
  • Code Quality: clang-tidy

14. Ecosystem II

  • CMake: cmake and ctest
  • Code Documentation: doxygen
  • Code Statistics: Count lines of code, Cyclomatic complexity analyzer
  • Other Tools: Code formatting - clang-format, Compiler Explorer, Code transformation - CppInsights, Code autocompletion - GitHub Co-Pilot/TabNine/Kite, Local code search - ripgrep, Code search engine - searchcode/, Code benchmarking - Quick-Bench, Font for Coding

15. Utilities

  • I/O Stream: Manipulator, ofstream/ifstream
  • Math Libraries
  • Strings: std::string, Conversion from/to numeric balues, std::string_view, std::format
  • Random Number: Basic Concepts, C++ <random>, Seed, PRNG period and quality, Distribution, Quasi-random
  • Time Measuring: Wall-Clock time, User time, System time
  • Std Template Classes: std::byte std::pair, std::tuple, std::variant, std::optional, std::any
  • Filesystem Library: Query methods, Modify methods

16. Containers, Iterators, and Algorithms

  • Containers and Iterators
  • Sequence Containers: std::array, std::vector, std::list, std::deque, std::forward_list
  • Associative Containers: std::set, std::map, std::multiset
  • Container Adaptors: std::stack, std::queue, std::priority_queue
  • View: std::span
  • Implement a Custom Iterator: Semantic, Implement a simple Iterator
  • Iterator Utility Methods: std::advance, std::next, std::prev, std::distance, Container access methods, Iterator traits
  • Algorithms Library: std::find_if, std::sort, std::accumulate, std::generate, std::remove_if
  • C++20 Ranges: Key concepts, Range view, Range adaptor, Range factory, Range algorithms, Range actions

17. Advanced Topics I

  • Move Semantic: lvalues and rvalues references, Move semantic, Compiler implicitly declared, std::move
  • Universal Reference and Perfect Forwarding: Universal reference, Reference collapsing rules, Perfect forwarding
  • Value Categories
  • &, && Overloading - Ref-qualifiers
  • Copy Elision and RVO
  • Type Deduction: Pass by-reference, Pass by-pointer, Pass by-value, auto deduction
  • const Correctness

18. Advanced Topics II

  • Undefined Behavior
  • Error Handling: C++ Exceptions, Defining custom exceptions, noexcept keyword, Memory allocation issues, Alternative error handling approaches
  • C++ Idioms: Rule of zero/three/five, Singleton, PIMPL, CRTP, Template Virtual Functions
  • Smart pointers: std::unique_ptr, std::shared_ptr, std::weak_ptr
  • Concurrency: Thread Methods, Mutex, Atomic, Task-based parallelism

19. Optimization I - Basic Concepts

  • Overview
  • Basic Concepts: Asymptotic complexity, Time-Memory Trade-off, Developing Cycle, Ahmdal's law, Throughput, Bandwidth, Latency, Performance bounds, Arithmetic intensity
  • Basic Architecture Concepts: Instruction-level parallelism, Little’s law, Data-level parallelism, Thread-level parallelism, RISC, CISC Instruction sets
  • Memory Hierarchy: Memory hierarchy concepts, Memory locality

20. Optimization II - Code Optmization

  • I/O Operations: printf, Memory mapped I/O, Speed up raw data loading
  • Memory Optimizations: Heap memory, Stack memory, Cache utilization, data alignment
  • Arithmetic: Data types, Operations, Conversion, Floating-point, Compiler intrinsic functions, Value in a range, Lookup table
  • Control Flow: Loop hoisting, Loop unrolling, Branch hints, Compiler hints, Recursion
  • Functions: Function call cost, Argument passing, Function optimizations, Function inlining, Pointers aliasing
  • C++ Objects: Object RAII optimizations

21. Optimization III - Non-Coding Optimizations and Benchmarking

  • Compiler Optimizations: About the compiler, Architecture flags, Optimization flags, Help the Compiler to produce better code, Profile guided optimization (PGO), Post-Processing Binary Optimizer
  • Compiler Transformation Techniques
  • Libraries and Data Structures: External libraries, Std library
  • Performance Benchmarking: What to test?, Workload/Dataset quality, Cache behavior, Stable CPU performance, Program memory layout, Measurement overhead and compiler Optimizations, Metric evaluation
  • Profiling: gprof, uftrace, callgrind, cachegrind, perf Linux profiler
  • Parallel Computing: Concurrency vs. Parallelism, Performance scaling, Gustafson’s Law, Parallel programming languages


  1. Software Design Chapter
  2. Build Aspects Chapter (e.g. reducing build time)

Essential Tool

Online compiler and execution: CompilerExplorer

  • for code execution: [Add new..] -> [execution only]

Reporting bugs and contributing

If you find any typo, conceptual error, or section to improve, please report them by writing directly to me or by using the issue panel


Federico Busato

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