Those new to coding or computer programming might confuse the various “C” family program languages. It’s easy to do — there are dozens of them. When it comes to comparing C# to C++, it’s important to remember that each is a language useful in its own regard, and each has strengths over the other depending on the needs of the programmer. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. Programmers use both C++ and C# for a variety of different tasks.

What are C# and C++?

Let’s begin with C#. Pronounced “See sharp,” it is a widely used coding language that allows software developers to create secure and user-friendly applications that run on the .NET Framework. C# is used to create Windows client applications, XML Web services, distributed components, client-server, database applications and more.

The language is actually a hybrid taken from C and C++. Comparable to Java, C# is an object-based language that is designed to help coders improve productivity when developing web applications. Seasoned programmers will tell new programming students that C# is an incredibly useful language capable of garbage collection, type safety, simplified type declarations, versioning and scalability support. These features make arriving at solutions to application and software issues faster and easier.

History of C#

A man named Anders Hejlsberg is largely credited for the creation of C#. In 1999, he built a team to develop a new language they initially named “Cool.” The project was finalized and announced in July 2000 at the Professional Developers Conference, and the language was renamed C#.

C++ on the other hand, is an older, high-level programming language that adds object-oriented features to its base language: C. When it comes to graphical applications that run in Windows and Mac, C++ is one of the most widely used languages. It’s also used often in embedded systems software engineering, communications and videogames. The healthcare and finance industries are heavy users of C++.

History of C++

Although it isn’t the oldest of the computer languages, the origins of C++ can be traced back more than 30 years. This is a strong indication that it will be around for many years to come — and thus worth learning! Its history is a nod to the language’s adaptability as technology has evolved.

First called “C with Classes,” C++ was developed over the course of several years by a man named Bjarne Stroustup. Stroustup created the language as a solution for the lack of languages available for large-scale projects. C++ was standardized in 1998 and is currently maintained by ISO (a large standards committee). The current version is C++11.

One of the major differences that programmers cite between C# and C++ is that C++ interfaces better with other computer languages. Additionally, features like multiple inheritance from classes, declaring objects on the stack, deterministic destruction and allowing default arguments to function as parameters are not available in versions of C# prior to version C#4.

A new student of programming will learn that both C# and C++ are worthwhile languages to add to their coding repertoire. Real-world examples of companies that require job candidates to have knowledge of C++, specifically, include Facebook, Verizon Wireless, WSFS Bank and Lord and Taylor. Undoubtedly, having C# and C++ under a developer’s belt will make him or her more employable, and will lead to more lucrative job opportunities.