If you want to enter the world of programming, there are multiple different ways of how you could do so. Comparisons (such as this C# VS C++ one) are a great way to start – you don’t only learn a lot of new and interesting information about both of the programming languages, but you also get the chance to see how they fare against each other. Even if you’re not looking to learn either one of the languages, it’s still great general knowledge that may come in useful in the future, especially if you’re serious about programming.
Today, in this C Sharp VS C++ comparison article, we shall compare and contrast two of the more well-known coding languages out there. We’ll start by talking about programming in general and then move on to describe each of the two languages individually. Once you know the difference between C# and C++, we’ll be able to establish some comparison criteria and answer the question – which one should you learn?
Table of Contents
Before we start talking about the C# VS C++ comparison, there is one single question that we need to answer – why programming? Even though this question might sound odd for veterans who have already spent a few years in the field, it’s a common thing that people who are thinking about getting into programming are wondering. Since the field is complex and difficult and requires years of hard work to be truly understood, many people want to know whether or not it’s even worth to begin learning to program. And the short answer is yes.
Now, when it comes to a longer answer, there are a few great things that programming can give you. First of all, it’s a great tool to develop your discipline. Programming requires you to be able to work for long hours at a time, constantly changing and developing certain pieces of code. This can be a true test to your attention span, concentration, patience, and discipline, in general.
Furthermore, if you are looking for a long-term job, and are not sure which career path would guarantee you a safe spot for many years to come – look no further than programming! At this point, it is probably common knowledge that programming is one of the safest career options out there. Reliable and hard-working programmers are in constant demand – if you put in the effort and focus on your studies, you can be almost guaranteed that you’ll have multiple different choices career-vise after you’ve finished learning.
And, last but certainly not least, we have the programmer’s salary. Honestly, every single article that you read (whether it be a C# VS C++ comparison, a piece titled “why programming is awesome”, or anything in between) stresses this point to the furthest extent. This isn’t without a good reason, however – the field of programming is widely known to have some of the best salaries in the industry! According to Glassdoor.com, the average base salary of a program is around $68,500 per year or a little over $5700 per month. And that’s just the base salary – different programming languages offer different payloads, so you can expect that number to go up significantly, depending on the coding language of your choice.
So, with this brief introduction, you can now have a general idea of why people choose to learn to program and why it’s one of the most popular career paths of the 21st century. Now, for the next step in our C# VS C++ comparison article, let’s go over both of the languages in question.
C# is a high level of abstraction-possessing, general-purpose programming language. It was created in 2001, and the most recent stable version was released in March 2017. C# was created by a Danish software engineer Anders Hejlsberg and supports multiple different programming disciplines.
Many articles try to answer the question “what’s the difference between C# and C++?” by pointing to the performance of the two languages. C++ performs very similarly to C – both of these coding languages are considered to be on the top performance-wise. C#, however, offers standard levels of performance.
On the other hand, in any “C Sharp VS C++” discussion, it’s important to mention that both of these programming languages are designed for very different tasks. While we’ll go more in-depth on the purpose of C++ later on in the C# VS C++ comparison article, C# is intended to be used for mobile app and simple software (whether web or desktop) programming. Keeping this in mind, it is only natural that this programming language wouldn’t have the same performance requirements as its contenders.
Another great feature that C# possesses (although, admittedly, C++ also has this feature) is that its an object-oriented programming language. It is quite obvious that OOP (Object-Oriented Programming) languages have been “the way to go” for some time now – most of the top coding languages are either partially or fully object-oriented.
An object-oriented programming language focuses on objects and data instead of actions. To put it very simply, this means that C# is fast and efficient, since it puts its emphasis on the object, without focusing on the details (which makes the language adaptable). If nothing else, OOP allows you to reuse certain parts of your program in the future, which is a huge deal when you’re talking about large, corporation-size projects.
C++ is a general-purpose programming language that as created back in 1979, by a computer scientist Bjarne Stroustrup. It is one of the most commonly taught programming languages in colleges and universities and is considered to be among the hardest programming languages to master.
As I’ve mentioned previously in this C# VS C++ article, a huge difference between C# and C++ is their intended uses. While C# is used for simple app development, C++ can be used for anything from software development to game creation. Since it is a deviation from the C programming language, C++ has inherited many of its features – it has amazing performance, can be used on any platform (while C# is intended to be used on Windows), has manual memory management (while C# has automatic garbage collection). So, as you can see, even though both of the languages from the C++ VS C# debate share the same name, they are rather different in their functionality and performance.
Now that we’ve briefly covered both of the programming languages in question and talked about the difference between C# and C++, there is one final thing that we still need to do before the actual comparison. You can’t compare two programming languages without establishing proper evaluation criteria, now can you? So, that’s what we’re going to do.
Programming languages aren’t all that different from other job variables in the sense that many different points can be used to compare them. Efficiency, ease of use, type of syntax… The list can go on and on! However, for simplicities sake, I’ve chosen three big points that we’ll be using in this C# VS C++ comparison. These points are speed, salary, and popularity. Let’s quickly go through each of them.
Generally, when it comes to programming languages (this C Sharp VS C++ tutorial is no exception), speed almost always equals efficiency. The golden rule is that the faster the programming language is, the more work can be done in a short time, thus making the language (quote on quote) “good”. While that is true to an extent, there are critics of this point that say that speed in modern programming means nothing – the processors of the machine take care of that, even with slower programming languages. Logically, it makes sense, but if you take a look at some of the most popular programming languages out there, the list would be almost exclusively dominated by super-fast languages.
Probably the most self-explanatory point out of them all, the programmer’s salary is famous for being something to strive for. I’ve mentioned earlier in the C# VS C++ article that different programming languages yield different salaries – the difference is quite noticeable! There are many variables involved, though – it all depends on the complexity of the coding language, the skill level of the programmer him (or her)self, the needs and requirements of the company, etc.
If a programming language is popular, you can almost be certain that it will have dedicated communities that aim to not only preserve the language’s existence and philosophy but also further develop and advance that particular language, to keep it up to par and with the times. Furthermore, popular programming languages usually have multiple different online sources dedicated to their learning – industry newcomers could choose to learn from online courses, YouTube videos, various articles and so on.
C++ VS C#
So, we have finally reached the actual C# VS C++ comparison itself. Now, the way that we’ll go about this is by analyzing both of the programming languages of the C++ VS C# debate separately, according to each of the points mentioned above. To save time and make things as simple as possible, I’ll keep the comparisons short and to-the-point. Let’s start by talking about speed.
Which one is Faster?
Out of the comparison, speed-wise C++ is a clear winner. It’s light-weight when compared to C#, and is famous for being one of the fastest programming languages, overall. Although things have been evening out, C# is still far away from C++ when it comes to performance speed.
Which one offers a better Salary?
According to Payscale.com, a C# developer can expect to make an average of $68,600 per year, or almost $5720 per month. Glassdoor states that a C++ developer should make around $95,000 per year or close to $7920 per month. That more than a $2000 difference!
C++ programmers make a lot more money than their C# colleagues. But why is that the case? Well, one of the main reasons would have to be the difference in both of the language complexity. While C# is seen as rather simple, C++ is the complete polar opposite. This means that it takes a lot of time to truly learn and master C++. Furthermore, this programming language can be applied in many different, large-scale scenarios, while C# is aimed at smaller projects. Keeping this in mind, it becomes rather obvious why C++ takes this point over C# in the C# VS C++ comparison.
Which one is more Popular?
Even though both of these programming languages are rather popular, the point has to yet again go to C++. This programming language has been in the game for a much longer time than C# (for more than 22 years, to be exact), and has a much stronger community because of it. That being said, it does not mean that you shouldn’t learn C# – even though it might not be as popular as it was right after its inception, the language is still widely used for various small development projects, and has a lot of material about it online.
So, which one should you learn? Which one of the competitors is better? Well, C++ is more popular and more widely used – it offers a better salary, and has been in the game for more than two decades longer than C#. That being said, if you’re interested in smaller, mobile-level projects, C# can be super useful to learn and master. Whatever your choice might be, remember – if you want to reach all of the amazing benefits that programming has to offer, you have to put in the hard work! Whether it’s traditional education or self-teaching, the more effort that you put in, the better will be the reward.
Well, with that, we’ve reached the end of this C# VS C++ comparison article. I hope that you’ve found the information that you were looking for, and that you now know which of the two programming languages will suit you best. Best of luck in all of your programming ventures to come!