I made mention of my foray into the world of C++, and was asked why I was interested in doing so given all the Java work I do. The best answer I can give is based on a comment which I think was made by Bjarne Stroustrup himself when asked about the advantages of C++ or why people should learn it. He said (paraphrasing) that C++ is the best language to represent the machine and maps closest to the hardware.

The current trends are to write code or scripts that are whisked away into the cloud to be interpreted or executed remotely on a garbage collected virtual machine, often through virtual containers on some kind of virtual computing instance.

For me, computing has always been personal, writing code that runs on a box that sits on, or below your desk. Writing something in C++ takes me back to those times, and reminds me of the metal that all our code runs on eventually.

It’s like taking a stroll through woodlands and getting back to basics in nature, taking a break from the smog filled hustle and bustle of the city.

Don’t get me wrong, all those high level abstractions have their place and purpose, especially when considering some of the gotchas of C++, but sometimes its nice to pack a bag, and go camp in the woods. It may be harder, but it’s a pleasant challenge.