Setting Up C++ Programming Environment in Windows 10 Is a Pain

programming c++ book and computer mouse

Yesterday I was excited and ready to start getting to programming with C++. I thought that it would be nice to learn and to refresh my memory. I have some years ago completed a programming basics course in C++. The idea of having an executable that could be run on a wide range of devices was the idea that was so fascinating to me. I use Windows 10 a lot. So I decided that it would be easiest to just install some IDE and also a compiler.

I was so wrong with my decision. I tried to install Cygwin. During the installation you would have to select all the components that you definitely need for C++ development. There are hundreds of them. If you would like to install all of them that would take days to download and install. So that basically wasn’t an option.

I have been around Java from 2010. I am very familiar with setting up programming environment for it. It is just way easier than with C++. I wanted to code in C++. I just think there are so many options if you learn and use this programming language. What was my solution?

While I was going through the material I found online I figured that it might be easier if I would start with Linux instead of keep hitting my forehead to Windows 10. I know that Microsoft has been trying to make it a bit easier to use Linux’s software on Windows. That however wasn’t the solution for me. So I swithched to my laptop that has a dualboot install of Windows 10 and Ubuntu.

I had already Visual Studio Code installed. All I had to do was to install the extension inside VS Code. That was almost it. I had to look up how to run build inside the IDE but that wasn’t a hard thing to do. So I got to programming quickly.

It was my goal to just write something that would work and refresh my memory on the programming language. As I got my programming environment to work I got to the actual programming. I had to look up some tips on how to present text and read it in online. I am serious as I say that any programming experience in any language makes it way easier to switch to a language that you aren’t already familiar.

C++ is used widely and still in 2022 for programming games and other software. Aside it being a tough to install in Windows it really is a dynamic programming language. There basically aren’t many limitations in what it can be used for. Even websites and desktop applications with a GUI can be build.

What I build yesterday was just a tiny application. Actually it is a personality test with a lot of humourous edges on it. You answer in five questions which give you points for a type of a person you are. There are three types. The personality type that you are is the one that gets most points based on your answers. Yes. And the types are (translated since the application is in Finnish) “a talented model citizen”, “an alcoholic” and “loser”. So you are one of these. I know, there aren’t much of a choice.

Anyways, I had fun all of the about three hours I spend developing this funny or stupid app.  I had fun. It was nice. The program managed to fit into about 150 lines of code. So you can imagine that it wasn’t so complex. It had some basic text that was read in and also printed out. It used different variable types, some loops and decision making with if-else structures and that was basically it.

If you would like to program with C++ yourself I highly recommend using a computer that has Linux installed. I also like Visual Studio Code which is a free text editor or even an IDE (which stands for Integrated Development Environment).

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