Finding the Difference Between C# and C++ and C
To the untrained eye, there might not appear to be a difference between C and C sharp or C++ for that matter. However, each of them has its own specifics, as will be discussed later on. In this article, we will learn about C# and C++ so you can decide which one to use for your project. However, first, we need to take a look at the namesake of the C group of languages.
The Language that Started it All
C was developed way back in 1972 and published six years later in 1978. At first, the creator planned to use it to develop a new version of Unix. In the 1970s, Unix was still running on an assembly language, which is a subpar form of programming that a computer can understand. When C was first introduced, it changed the programming landscape. Some people would suggest that new programmers start learning C because more modern languages closely resemble it. However, since the language is more than 40 years old, it will be difficult to find people who still know how to use it proficiently. On the other hand, its age might make it less desirable for hackers to target since they also might know how to work with it.
What is C Sharp?
C sharp is advanced out of the three. Just like in music notation the sharp sign augments the pitch of a given note, C# increases the level of the very first C language. A Microsoft team introduced C# 17 years ago, and it has continued to increase in popularity. While more advanced software developers might notice that .NET is the base framework for this language, C has remained as the backbone. C# compiles into byte code instead of machine code, which means that it could be run on a virtual computer. All the code will be translated into machine code in real-time. C# can be frequently found inside enterprise applications and when developing for .NET frameworks. C# is the most technical of the C-family of languages, but it can still be learned relatively quickly, and it is more reliable.
What is C++?
C++ was the brainchild of the Danish doctoral student Bjarne Stroustrup in 1985. Basically, he was looking to build a better version of C. All of this had to be done while maintaining the speed and efficiency of C. It is perceived as intermediate in terms of difficulty, and it is widely used today, in conjunction with C, to create operating systems as well as PC software.
If you have studied C and managed to grasp the main concepts, you should be able to transition to C++ without difficulties. Now that we know the history and definition of the C# and C++, we can now proceed to the question of how they compare to each other.
Is C# Similar to C++?
When we compare C# vs. C++, there are, in fact, many similarities. They are both object-oriented, and they both were based on the original C language. Having said this, there are some big differences as well. Let’s take a closer look:
- C++ compiles into machine code while C# does so into CLR
- With C++, you will have to handle memory manually, while C# runs on a VM that can manage it automatically
- No pointers are used in C#
- C++ will work on any platform
How to Determine Which One to Use?
When faced with a decision between C Sharp vs. C++, a lot will depend on the current skills of the team members. If you have people who have many years of experience, you can start them off using C++ right away. If your project involves .NET frameworks and web-based development, C# is the way to go. You should not look at these languages from the standpoint of good or bad, but rather which one is more convenient.
Another factor to consider is the company that stands behind the language. For example, Golang was created and is being supported by Google, which means that it will attract a large following and user community. It has a large company dedicated to ensuring its success and will remediate any deficiencies making it difficult to use. The same is true with a language like C#. Since Microsoft created it, it is widely used and will continue to enjoy great popularity. It will also be easier to find new candidates for your projects since aspiring programmers will be eager to learn an in-demand language like C#.
A lot will depend on the project specifications and what you were hired to work on. For example, a lot of companies like to use C++ for server-side development and C# for the frontend. However, to make the proper decision, you will have to know the ins and outs of each language. By the way, it would not hurt to learn regular old C since it is the predecessor of C# and C++ and can give you some valuable insights. If you will be hiring a third-party contractor to handle all your development needs be sure to ask them about situations when C# and C++ will be most useful because they usually have extensive experience handling lots of various projects and can make the best decision to fit your needs.