What Can You Do With C++?

The C++ programming language is one of the most versatile ones out there, meaning that there are a huge variety of different things you can do once you have mastered writing the code.

All kinds of programmers use C++ to write code and build programs, whether it’s part of a work project or just as a hobby. Because the language is so versatile, you can use it for tasks that range from the very simple to the incredibly complex.

No matter what stage of understanding and experience you’re at, here are some of the best things you can do using C++.

What is C++?

C++ is a high-level programming language that is so widely used, it is often referred to as the ‘swiss pocket knife’ of coding languages. It was first designed as an extension of the C language, but is now a standalone language that is one of the most popular styles of programming for graphical applications.

C++ was also originally developed for coding operating systems by a man called Bjarne Stroustrup working at Bell Labs in the United States. It is now a general-purpose, cross-platform language that is one of the most flexible programming options out there and used across the world for everything from basic code to complex computer programs.

What is C++ Used For?

C++ is used for writing code in a huge variety of different contexts, supporting object-oriented, procedural and generic programming. The language lets the user write code in a format that they can understand and then the coding platform or compiler translates all of this into instructions that a computer or device can follow.

One of the main reasons why C++ is used as a programming language is because it allows users to reuse code instructions that they have already written, saving a lot of time having to write out identical functions. It also lets users combine data and instructions into ‘classes’ which can then be built out from one another to perform very complex functions that other coding languages can’t facilitate.

This versatility means that C++ can be used to write almost anything that runs on a computer, as long as the programmer knows what they are working towards and has a platform or device that the finished program can run on.

Nighttime Coding

Examples of What You Can Do With C++

As you can see from the list below, the breadth of projects and programs that can be built using C++ is massive. Here are some of the most common examples.


Animation has come a really long way in the past few decades, which is mostly down to the complexity and versatility of the programming languages that are used. What used to be basic 2D manipulation now uses 3D technology, rendering, simulation technology and modelling to make graphical animation look as realistic as possible.

A lot of animation software is built by programming in C++ at the backend to support more complex functions and also so that animation programs can run on computers that may not be as advanced or have a lot of power.

Billing Systems

Nowadays, very few regular billing systems still operate by sending paper copies of payment requests or confirmations. Instead, e-billing systems have been set up to automate the process and make paying for everything from heating to subscription boxes a lot easier.

Many of these billing systems are created using source codes written in C++ that sync user’s online payment details to the accounts they are paying, as well as sending notifications when a payment is requested or received.

Cloud Storage Systems

Cloud storage systems are used by some of the biggest companies in the world, and almost everyone will come into contact with a device that connects to a cloud at some point when it is used. C++ is used a lot when building these kinds of systems because it is such a versatile language, which means that it is compatible with multiple kinds of devices and hardware.

Libraries and databases that are cloud-based are also a popular choice because they have high concurrency and load tolerance; essential features of a system that deals with a lot of different data.


The compilers for a range of different programming languages are usually built using C or C++ as their backend languages. This is because they are both relatively simple, lower-level languages that tend to be closer to the hardware that is running them, and therefore they work better than others and can more easily work with underlying hardware resources in compilation systems.


The C++ programming language is commonly chosen to develop general database software and open-source databases. Databases are used in almost all of the programs, online platforms and channels that we use in our day-to-day lives, and the majority have their backend written in C or C++.

The reason that C++ is often chosen is that it is relatively simple, meaning that the databases coded with it are fast, efficient and easy to access.

Dating Apps

A variety of applications are written using C++, but an excellent example that a large majority of the population use is dating apps. These kinds of applications require a huge amount of data to be stored, sorted through and accessed by a large number of users, so having the software foundations written in a simple language like C++ means that they effectively run and can handle a large number of users online at a time.

Embedded Systems

Embedded software engineers and developers work with a huge array of different devices, from medical machinery to smart devices and home appliances. Inside these devices are microprocessors that perform multiple calculations and functions whenever they are used and require a simple and fast language to run on.

C++ is commonly used when writing programs for an embedded system because it is a language that is very similar to the hardware level and can perform a lot of low-level functions quickly and without taking up a lot of system space.

Game Development

Just like C++ is a common part of animation technology, it is also becoming very popular as the programming language used to build game design programs and run digital games themselves. Because of features like the language’s closeness to the hardware it runs on, its fast speed and the range of functions that it can perform, C++ works well alongside all of the complexities of a 3D game and can carry out multilayer networking.

Graphic Design

Graphic design is used by artists, designers and creatives worldwide for everything from company logos and official infographics to fanart and doodles. Programs used for graphic design perform a huge range of different functions that require speed and versatility from the software they run on, which is why C++ was used to develop software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Media Libraries

Despite the renewed popularity of analogue forms of media like vinyl, cassettes and film cameras, the majority of people still rely on media libraries to access audible and visual content. Platforms like Netflix and Spotify require a large number of video and audio files to be shared and accessed by users in a wide geographic area, and use C++ to code and store all of these files so that they can deliver media quickly and easily to their users.

Management Systems

Many companies use online systems and platforms to manage their employees, keep data together in one place and automate internal processes to help their business run more efficiently. These systems can be built using C++ source code and all the different functions and blocks available in the IDE libraries to personalise what needs to be managed and what you would like to have access to easily.

C++ can also be used as the backend language to build employee management portals used for tasks like booking holiday, checking availability and viewing multiple calendars and to-do lists.

Operating Systems

One of the best-known uses for C++ is programming operating systems. Well-known systems like Microsoft and Linux are all developed in C++ because it is a language that is strong and fast to code in, making it ideal for building an operating system right from scratch.

Programming in C++ is also used when developing mobile software, with the most notable example being Apple who use the language to write some of the iOS system.

Rental Systems

Libraries and databases written in C++ can cover a huge geographic area and connect a vast number of users at once, making the programming language the ideal choice when developing applications or platforms that deal with rentals or transportation like taxis.

Security Systems

Security systems using features like facial recognition and biometric authentication are growing in popularity with places like airports, and C++ can be used to develop this kind of technology. The huge libraries that the programming language can access and work from is ideal for quickly accessing information or finding matches, and a lot of the systems developed in the future will likely use C++ in their backend.

Smart Technology

One of the key benefits of using C++ is that it is a language that works really well with hardware because of the similarities between the two. It’s a really good language for combining hardware devices that work with IoT to software that helps this smart technology run efficiently, as well as being a great language to use to create more features in the embedded systems that things like smartwatches use.

Web Browsers

C++ is frequently used to build operating systems, and it is the same features of the language that also make it a really popular choice for developing web browsers. The rendering engines of famous browsers like Chrome and Firefox require really fast speed to deliver the information users are searching for in an instant, which is why low-latency C++ is used.

3D Visuals

3D animation used in films, games and television is often created with applications that are primarily written in C++. These programs need to handle huge amounts of data at a time and run multiple functions at once, so a language like C++ saves time by helping the whole program to run as efficiently as possible.


C++ is a coding language that takes a while to get your head around, but once you are confident programming with it then a range of different possibilities open up as to what you can build. Having experience with a range of different C++ projects will be very beneficial if you are looking to work as a programmer, software developer or software engineer, and the above list is a good place to start if you’re looking for the different things you can do using C++.

If you’re looking for a recruitment partner who knows the industry inside-out and can help find people with the skills and knowledge of programming languages like C++, get in touch and find out more about what our team can do for you.

Chris Oddy

Chris Oddy

About the Author

Chris is an award-winning recruitment consultant who has specialised in the electronics and embedded systems sector since 2008. Chris is passionate about technology and customer service.


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