Born in 1985, the C++ programming language is still very popular and widely used today. C++ programmers are in demand across almost all fields and niches of software development, from business and consumer apps to databases and operating systems. Being a relatively simple but powerful programming language, and thanks to high demand for C++ programmers, C++ has always been quite popular among beginner programmers.
Adopting the right C++ IDE or C++ editor for Windows or Mac OS is a common first challenge in a C++ beginner’s programming career. On the bright side, at least C++ programmers have the choice: there are dozens of C++ IDEs and editors available today.
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C++ editor vs. C++ IDE — which is better for a beginner?
Whether a C++ programming beginner should use an IDE or C++ code editor, is a bit of a nuanced question as well. Many experienced programmers argue that it’s better not to use IDE as a beginner, relying on a simple C++ editor. And this is a valid point for those who are really looking to master all the aspects of С++ coding and object oriented programming as a whole.
In such a case, using a basic C++ editor for Windows or Mac may be a better choice. This would allow you to learn and understand every line of code in C++ programs, having no IDE with frameworks and features aimed to expedite and simplify the development process.
However, if the outcome of the development process is your primary goal, choosing a C++ IDE to program in as C++ beginner would clearly be a more efficient and productive solution.
An IDE, especially if it’s a modern and advanced one, is a combination of multiple development tools. Besides the source code writing and editing features, IDEs typically include C++ code libraries and various tools to simplify different aspects of software development, debugging and deployment.
How to choose the best C++ IDE when beginning to write C++ software?
Let’s discuss some of the most important criteria for modern-day C++ IDEs to identify the best one.
Your C++ IDE should have a good selection of in-built features
Clearly, if speed and high development productivity is your goal, the selection of features will be the priority. In addition to basic C++ code editor features, a modern C++ IDE should have a number of components. Frameworks and rapid development solutions, auto code completion and analysis tools, and multi-platform deployment are some of the most important ones. All these components can provide great value for C++ beginners, helping them to deliver results fast.
Does your chosen C++ IDE have visual development features and a selection of designs and UI templates?
Visual development capabilities and design templates as part of C++ IDE is another way to boost productivity. Having access to a visual programming environment and a library of premade UI components, C++ beginners can build even complex solutions. Such as business apps with integrated AI/ML and latest web technologies.
What are the debugging capabilities of the C++ IDE?
Best C++ IDEs also include powerful code debugging tools. Debugging is one of the most time- and energy-consuming parts of C++ programmer’s work. Advanced IDEs are able to automate this process as much as possible, allowing developers to minimize time spent on debugging across all deployment platforms.
The C++ IDE software needs to support a broad range of APIs and the latest mobile technologies
Today, APIs already are one of the essential software development technologies. Which is why a modern C++ IDE should support quick integration of APIs into the code of C++ software. The ability to use APIs is another way to significantly reduce time it takes to design and develop a C++ application.
Why C++ beginners should use RAD Studio instead of another C++ IDE
Embarcadero’s RAD Studio is a leading object-oriented multi-platform IDE for modern C++ and Delphi programming. RAD Studio is not only free to use, which is a crucial advantage for most C++ programming beginners. This IDE also supports the latest C++ version innovations, allowing users to build native Windows C++ and iOS apps up to 10 times faster with less code compared to alternative tools.
Rapid C++ app development in a visual programming environment
RAD Studio provides developers with a visual programming environment for rapid development of modern business applications. This C++ IDE provides developers with a combination of an easy to use C++ editor capabilities, integrated toolchains; low-code technologies; and multi-platform deployment. All of this allows it to be able to fuel a developer productivity boost up to X5.
The RAD Studio C++ IDE has comprehensive API support and expandability
This IDE supports the latest Android 30 API and Billing APIs, and enables simple migration to use the AndroidX libraries. Programmers can develop and expand this IDE with their own components and IDE plugins.
Features boosting development productivity for C++ beginners
- C++ Code Formatter: automate the layout of your C++ code using clang-format,
- Customization of the IDE for Delphi and enhanced C++,
- Faster compiles with highly optimized compilers for every platform,
- Native, high-speed direct access to InterBase, SQLite, MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, DB2, SQL Anywhere, Advantage DB, Firebird, Access, Informix, MongoDB, and more.
- Support of popular libraries such as Boost, Eigen, and ZeroMQ plus leverage a broad range of community tools and libraries
- Integration with version control systems including Git, Subversion and Mercurial.
RAD Studio supports advanced debugging in the C++ IDE
- Integrated cross-platform native debugging on Windows and iOS,
- Integrated toolchain bringing the designer, compiler, and debugger together into a single development environment,
- Conditional breakpoints to quickly pause program execution at a specified location or when a particular condition occurs,
- Breakpoints, stack exploration, tool tips and expression evaluation on local and remote machines with live debugging across all deployment platforms.
There a wide selection of professionally created app design templates
- Visual UI components from multiple certified partners,
- Support of using FMX to create cross-platform apps using the same code base,
- User interface elements can be connected to data sources using the LiveBindings Designer,
- Designs can be validated in real time using Live On-Device Preview to broadcast the active form to multiple devices simultaneously,
- Resolution-aware components allow to build fully responsive designs for desktop, tablets, and smartphones.
Learn more about this C++ programming language and all similar techniques in this article.
Do you want to see why RAD Studio is the best C++ IDE for a new programmer?
In case you are ready to try and test all the features and capabilities of RAD Studio first-hand, a free full-featured version of this C++ IDE can be downloaded here.
If you‘d like to learn more on how RAD Studio’s capabilities can be utilized for rapid business apps development by C++ beginners, fill this form to request a more detailed demonstration of this product.