The Ins and Outs of Learning C++ for Game Development

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The rapid development of technology increases the demand for IT professionals. The C++ developer profession is no exception due to the widespread use of this programming language. Many developers of popular games fundamentally use C++ algorithms. This blog will tell you about the specifics of being a C++ programmer. You will learn about the role of a C++ specialist in the game development industry (GameDev), how to gain the required qualifications, and the salary levels of this position on the market.

C++ developers in the world of GameDev

A C++ developer is a specialist who thoroughly knows the intricacies of the C++ programming language. Many programs, virtual machines, and computer games are created using the system’s algorithms. This language is widely used in the industry due to its versatility.

GameDev is a future-oriented direction, and the popularity of the C ++ developer profession continues to grow. C++ programmers write code for a lot of popular games today.

C++ development is a well-known profession in GameDev, and C++ is the industry’s most widely used programming language. The most experienced programmers have identified the following key features of game development in C++:

  • Maximum performance
  • Controllability of the language
  • System flexibility

Without deep knowledge of the programming language, it’s impossible to become a C++ developer. A high level of discipline will also help you create games without spending much time and effort. Developing a game as a C++ programmer requires using as many skills as possible, and you will have to acquire them in practice.

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There are three main C++ developer categories in GameDev.

  1. Junior. Developers in this category must strictly comply with the development task. It’s not uncommon for programmers of this level to make mistakes, which results in constant corrections of the program code.
  2. Middle. The specialist can set tasks according to the preferences of the customer. Strong analytical thinking is a must – otherwise, your program might not work.
  3. Senior. The senior developer can set tasks for specialists based on their acquired skills and knowledge gained in practice. With their help, specialists find optimal solutions to current technical problems. Experts work in multitasking mode and communicate with several customers, switching from one task to another.

The salary of a C++ developer is directly proportional to the specialist’s knowledge level, and you need to raise your status in C++ GameDev constantly.

The pros and cons of working as a C++ developer in GameDev 

Before choosing the C++ developer profession, you should consider its advantages and disadvantages. Developing in this direction is an independent decision people make for various reasons, but there are common grounds. 

The pros of the C++ developer profession:

  • It is one of the popular programming systems, and knowledge of C++ allows you to master other languages.
  • Developers can choose the optimal format of work, and many educational institutions provide knowledge about the field of C++ GameDev.
  • The language will improve memory, help to concentrate on completing tasks, and guarantee the emergence of analytical thinking.
  • Most games based on speed are created using C++ algorithms.
  • C++ GameDev specialists earn high salaries for their work.

Many programmers also note the disadvantages of the C++ developer profession:

  • The algorithms of the programming system are more complex – Java or Python is much easier.
  • Writing code in C++ for a game is a much more complex task, which takes more time than Java or Python.
  • You have to spend a lot of time at the computer due to the peculiarities of working in C++, but many developers take care of their health to prevent diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
  • You need to have a high level of knowledge of the English language.
  • Fixing errors in someone else’s code is a requirement, but it does allow you to understand earlier development of the game.
  • C++ developers should update their knowledge along with the rapid development of technology. This will allow them to become sought-after specialists in the industry.

Studying the ins and outs of the C++ developer profession will help you understand the specialty’s fundamental principles and choose the best way to train and develop your programming skills.

The GitHub portal published the results of a study conducted in 2019. According to the report, C++ ranks second in popularity among programming languages.

Salary of a C++ developer in GameDev 

A significant advantage for the C++ developer profession is high wages. Programmers working for GameDev receive good income. Most Ukrainian companies operating in the field of game development pay their specialists in a foreign currency.

C++ GameDev programmers are paid well due to industry and language specifics. This, of course, depends on the specialist’s level of knowledge and the company’s status. Also, you should consider the required amount of work. The average market salary of a C++ game development specialist is quite high, so it’s worth gaining knowledge that ensures that you have promising qualifications.

The professional knowledge of a C++ developer 

Getting a job as a C++ developer depends on several factors and the fulfillment of specific terms of reference in the C++ GameDev industry:

  • High knowledge of the programming language algorithms
  • Ability to develop games, administer various operating systems, and knowledge of standard network protocols
  • Knowledge of the structure of algorithmic data
  • Efficient use of memory, ensuring the speed of the program 
  • Ability to handle any compiler and design the body of any program
  • Ability to make adjustments to any foreign code
  • Ability to create any scripts
  • Ability to work with WinAPI, STL/ATL/MFC. Sometimes you will have to work on several projects simultaneously with mandatory compliance with the time requirements. It’s also possible that you will have to draw up project documentation or develop user agreements.

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The listed features are typical for remote work, office, and outsourcing. A future C++ developer chooses their position independently.

Useful information for those who want to study C++ 

A novice C++ developer will have to spend a lot of time learning modern technological tools and libraries used in programming. In particular, experienced experts advise mastering Boost. Many C++ developers widely use this library.

You should constantly learn, as you will often find some tasks difficult to solve without self-education. Without advanced technical knowledge, starting a career as a young C++ specialist is hardly possible, and it’s a good idea to work on your own project at home and gain individual experience in programming in C++.

On the home platform, a programmer can try out all technologies, from requirements to implementing functionality and testing. Any novice C++ developer should be able to find a personal approach to the task. In the company’s projects, there’s practically no freedom of action, while in home development, a beginner will gain tremendous value from disciplined work and individual self-education.

This list of useful literature will help you get into and master your future profession faster: 

  • “Exceptional C++,” “More Exceptional C++,” and “Exceptional C++ Style” by Herb Sutter
  • “Modern C++ Design: Generic Programming and Design Patterns Applied” by Debbie Lafferty and Andrei Alexandrescu, and “C++ Coding Standards: 101 Rules, Guidelines, and Best Practices” by Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu
  • All books by Scott Myers on C++ programming

A novice C++ developer shouldn’t take on obscure tasks. This is more about the requirements regarding the task provided to the junior specialist. It’s better to ask your manager for clarification. Otherwise, the program would be of poor quality, the allocated time would be wasted, and you might simply lose your salary.

Experienced C++ developers advise taking a responsible approach to finding a job. You shouldn’t go for projects that have lost their relevance or aren’t interesting to you. These factors will help you develop professional skills in C++ GameDev.

Advanced programmers recommend allocating more time for work. Studying others’ code, finding errors, and choosing the best solution in development will come in handy. Remember, a beginner doesn’t simply become an expert after graduating. Professionalism is acquired through steady individual work and self-improvement, using the experience of senior specialists, and consolidating practical skills.