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Which Is Better to Learn First – C++ or C#?

The world of programmers is a dynamic one. Good programmers can create wonders with the right kind of language used for the appropriate application. C++ and C# are two such languages that are used by programmers extensively.

What to learn first between C++ and C#, as a programming language is not an easy question to answer. The reason is simple. Both C# and C++ have brilliant uses. They both are in demand. Both of them have specific uses that the other cannot fulfill in totality.

Here’s what we will do. We will understand these two programming languages individually to assess what should be your starting point. Deal?

About C++

We are looking at C++ first as it came much before C#. The C++ as a programming language was introduced in the early 1980’s. It’s been around for more than two decades now. Naturally, it has a lot of visibility in the programming world. The C++ has also been a foundational language for many others.It is widely used in the development of lot of applications.

Learning C++ definitely takes a lot of effort. Even in comparison with C#, it is more effort centric. An in depth understanding of programming, memory allocation and pointers is a must to learn C++. Some experts say that people with a mathematical mind can grasp this language with less effort. Mastery in C++ helps develop high-performing applications.

C++ is a good choice if the coding is for the purpose of hardware control like device drivers. It works across platforms. It is best suited for developing games and operating systems.

About C#

C#, pronounced as ‘See Sharp’ was introduced in 2000’s. Microsoft introduced it as a Java competitor. It is a hybrid of Java and C as a language. It carries similar syntax like C. Brackets are used to differentiate between coding structures. It is an object oriented language that includes dependencies and libraries.

Learning C# , according to many experts, is not a tough job. If you already know Java, then learning C# will be a cake walk for you. Unlike C++, you do not necessarily have to know about memory allocation.

C# is also the most natural choice for web development and desktop applications. It is widely used to develop secure applications that can be easily run on the .NET framework.However, C# also can be used to work with Windows based programs. The way it is designed, C# helps developers improve productivity when designing web applications.

C++ and C# - Commonalities

C++ and C# do have some commonalities. The very first on is that they both have a similar code. The second one is that they are both object oriented languages. Third and an important commonality is that they are both compiled languages. This means that both of them convert your code into binary files before execution. Though there are some commonalities, one cannot be replaced with the other in a particular situation.

C++ and C# - Differences

Both C++ and C# have their base in the programing language C. Yet they differ a lot. Let’s look at a few key differences.


C++ and C# are both compiled languages. As a definition compiled languages turn code into binaries. The difference however is the volume of these binaries. C++ is light weight, whereas C# creates a lot of overhead in terms of binaries.

2. Garbage

You have to worry about garbage collection if you are using C++. You have to actively and manually allocate and deallocate memory. This is not the same case with C#.

3. Projects

C++ projects involve working with applications that directly work with the hardware. C# projects involve working with web based applications.

4. Platforms

C++ is cross platform whereas C# isn’t. With a C++ you can work with a Mac, Linux and Windows. With a C# you typically work with Windows.

5. Performance

C++ is performance friendly compared to C#. The former is highly suitable where all other high level languages don’t fit. The code in C++ is whole lot faster than C#.

Important Notes:

If you know Java or C++, it is a lot easier to move to C#. On the contrary, moving from C# to C++ is not that easy. It is best to choose which ever works best for the product to be developed.

Learn C++ or C# languages based on the requirements of the environment you are in.

Another thumb rule is to pick between these two choices based on your career orientation. If you want to be a web developer, then definitely go for C#. If you want to be a person who wants to work on multiple platforms, then definitely learn C++.

It all boils down to choosing what fits your career aspirations and your aptitude. No matter what you choose, learn from the best and put it to test!

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