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C++ Developer Career Guide

Do you have a keen analytical mind? Are you an excellent planner, and like to stick with projects from beginning to end? If so, a position as a C++ developer might be for you!

C++ developers work closely with various developers, analysts, project managers, and clients to determine business needs and provide potential software solutions.

Once a blueprint has been developed, they use their technical prowess to design, implement, and deploy these software solutions to business applications using the powerful C++ programming language. 

If you think you have what it takes to build and manage complex systems and cover all aspects of software deployment, and have ownership and responsibility for features and projects, you’ll love this job!

Sample job description

We’re expanding our development team responsible for creating cutting-edge applications. Right now, we need passionate and driven software engineers who can create excellent applications across multiple platforms. You’ll be part of a small team that’s looking to tackle the tough, technical challenges in a high-energy environment. You’ll be working with industry leaders, the best tech, and a highly collaborative team. You’ll design, implement, test, and deploy apps for multiple clients. If you’ve got a great team spirit, and you’re a sharp engineer familiar with C++ programming, we’d love to hear from you!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Contribute towards the general planning, sizing, and costing of software development projects
  • Produce feasibility studies and analytical documentation
  • Create and improve the architectural design of current applications
  • Take ownership of technical software design
  • Create the framework and implementation of databases
  • Contribute towards the acceptance phase of the software product cycle
  • Produce top-tier operational software and accompanying documentation
  • Cooperate with developers, management, and clients to better formulate and implement software needs

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or related IT field
  • Five years of related developer experience

Required skills and qualifications

  • Impeccable written and verbal communication skills
  • In-depth understanding of the software development cycle
  • Fluent in several programming languages and expert understanding of app development tools
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Great at working in a collaborative environment and working alone

Preferred qualifications

  • 8 years related C++ developer experience
  • Solid grasp of Java, J2EE, WebSphere, and WebLogic
  • Solid grasp of CMake, Ninja, Android Studio, Visual Studio, and Xcode
  • Proficiency with version control and CI/CD
  • Strong scripting skills
  • Knowledge of front end application design for Android, Apple, and Windows
  • Knowledge of cloud development, AWS

Typical work environment

C++ developers work in an office as part of a team. They will consult with project managers, other developer teams, clients, analysts, and others to ensure product integrity. Generally speaking, this is a job that can be done remotely, however, this will vary case by case. Additionally, this job can be done freelance, as part of an agency, or even self-employed, which all carry different expectations.

Typical hours

C++ developers usually keep regular office hours, like Monday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM. Occasionally, one might expect to work extra hours if a project reaches a crunch time, or if there’s an unusual amount of work to be done. Working as a freelance, agency, or self-employed developer can dramatically change your flexibility when working as well.

Available certifications

As C++ developers work in a variety of industries, there are many institutions that offer certifications, including:

  • The C++ Certified Associate Programmer Certification (CPA). This certification is an indication that you’re very familiar with the C++ language. It proves you’re competent enough to write programs independently and are well versed in the concepts of computer programming, OOPS, usage of libraries, data types, and basic code resolution. There are no prerequisites for this class, and the exam can be taken at your preference.
  • The Certified Professional Programmer Certification (CPP). This certification is the next level of the CPA course. This demonstrates you have more advanced knowledge of C++ concepts, like templates, template libraries, third-party templates, STL input/output, and more. This shows you are capable of creating and solving complex algorithms and advanced library techniques. The CPA is required before this exam can be taken, and if failed this test can be taken again after 15 days.
  • Star Certification. This certification approaches the basic concepts of OOPS at a very in-depth level. Afterwards, you’ll move on to concepts like data structures, pointers, input/output, exception handling, and much more. This is a globally accepted certification and is useful for beginners and intermediates alike.
  • edX Basic C++ Certification. This certification will provide a high-level overview of the basic concepts of C++. The course itself is free if you’re looking to learn, and if you’d like to obtain the certification you may pay to have instructor signed documentation provided to you for your resume.

Career path

The journey to becoming a C++ developer begins with obtaining a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in a relevant field. Although this isn’t mandatory, it’s highly recommended to help you remain competitive in the market.

After you’ve obtained a degree, gathering experience in a wide variety of programming languages and field-relevant tools is a great next step. This is what will truly matter when employers are looking to hire. Having the technical knowledge to complete the job is the most fundamental component required in the IT world.

If you decide to obtain certification either to teach yourself about the language or to make yourself more competitive, you can combine that with your understanding of the position and degree to land a job as a developer and begin gaining experience.

Either a front or back-end developer, web developer, or any other software development position will demonstrate you’re capable of handling the position.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1256

2020 Employment1,847,900
Projected Employment in 20301,888,553
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 22% Increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift409,500 Increase

From the phones we carry in our pockets to our home computers and tablets, to global business enterprises — everyone needs software. As long as we live in the digital age, we’ll need people willing and able to write software for our apps, programs, computers, and anything “smart” to function.

Additionally, companies spend billions of dollars on apps and programs, both for their employees and customers. These companies want a solid handle on the cost and timeline of projects, with increased functionality and streamlined code in every iteration. Being able to forecast these costs and provide these software needs is in huge demand. For these reasons, expect continued demand for this position well into the near future.