Course Overview

This 5-day course provides a thorough introduction to the C++ programming language. A complete sequence of working samples are used to demonstrate concepts presented in the course guide. Lab exercises are provided with detailed instructions and working solutions. If you are leveraging C++ to create applications on the job or on your own, this course will help you understand how C++ works, and immediately be more productive.

Key Learning Areas

  • Learn the basic structural elements of a C++ program
  • Learn a disciplined approach to program design
  • Learn to compose types and implement encapsulation
  • Learn the role of copy constructors
  • Learn techniques for handling memory allocation errors
  • Learn how to model your problem domain
  • Learn the features of virtual functions and dynamic binding
  • Learn the C++ exception mechanism
  • Learn the RTTI mechanism
  • Learn the principles behind generic programming
  • Learn how to write simple template functions and classes.
  • Use the iostream library for input and output

Course Outline


  • Learn how the object model provides the framework for abstraction, encapsulation, and instantiation

Classes in C++

  • Use member data to represent data encapsulated in a class
  • Use member functions to implement a class’s operations and provide access to its data
  • Use the 'this' pointer to refer to the invoking object
  • Implement an abstract data type using C++ classes
  • Organize code for C++ classes into code files and header files
  • Write simple test programs to exercise each member function of a class

Functions in C++

  • Use function prototypes in your code
  • Take advantage of C++ support for strong type checking
  • Make use of automatic conversion of parameters in function calls when there is a prototype
  • Use inline functions
  • Use default arguments
  • Learn the benefits of overloading
  • Learn the standard C/C++ call by value mechanism for passing parameters in functions calls

Constructors and Destructors

  • Learn the use and benefit of constructors
  • Use multiple constructors in a class, including the default constructor
  • Learn the use and benefit of destructors
  • Simplify a class by using default arguments in a constructor

Memory Management

  • Learn the use of static, automatic (stack) and heap memory
  • Use new and delete to manage memory
  • Provide constructors and destructors to support dynamic objects
  • Discuss techniques for handling memory allocation errors
  • Hide details of memory management in a class

Argument Passing

  • Use reference declarations to alias variables
  • Use references in argument passing
  • Learn the role of copy constructors
  • Use constant types in your programs

Operator Overloading

  • Use overloaded operators in your code
  • Learn the semantics of assignment
  • Distinguish between initialization and assignment
  • Overload the assignment operator
  • Implement type conversions by overloading cast operators and by constructors

Access Control

  • Use C++ scoping facilities
  • Use constants through enumeration types and through the const keyword
  • Define "static members" and use them in your code
  • Control access to member data and functions through public, private, and protected access specifiers
  • Define "friend" function and explain how a friend function differs from a member function


  • Use inheritance to model your problem domain and achieve greater code reuse
  • Use C++ class derivation to implement inheritance
  • Use public, protected and private to control access to class members
  • Use an initialization list for proper base class initialization and embedded member initialization
  • Determine order of invocation of constructors and destructors
  • Distinguish between use of inheritance and composition

Polymorphism and Virtual Functions

  • Learn the features of virtual functions and dynamic binding
  • Learn pointer conversion in C++ inheritance and use pointers in connection with virtual functions
  • Use polymorphism in C++ to write better structured, more maintainable code
  • Provide virtual destructors for classes using virtual functions
  • Specify abstract classes using pure virtual functions

Exception Handling

  • Learn the C++ exception mechanism and contrast it with handling errors by function return codes as in C
  • Learn the concepts of context and stack unwinding
  • Review the automatic cleanup process that occurs with C++ exception handling
  • Describe how matching of a thrown exception is done in the case of multiple catch handlers

Runtime Type Information

  • Learn the C++ runtime type information (RTTI) mechanism
  • Use RTTI for special purposes in programs where the standard virtual function mechanism is not adequate
  • Use dynamic cast to achieve type safety in working with pointer conversions
  • Describe the C++ cast notation and discuss its benefits


  • Review the C++ template mechanism and implement programs using templates
  • Learn how to write simple template functions and classes
  • Understand the principles behind generic programming
  • Implement a general array class in C++ using template
  • Review the basic elements of the Standard Template Library

File I/O

  • Use the iostream library for input and output
  • Use formatted I/O with iostreams
  • Outline the inheritance hierarchy of the principal streams classes
  • Overload operators >> and << to do I/O in your own classes

Who Benefits

To gain the most benefit from this course, students should have experience programming in C


Experience programming in a modern object-oriented language such as Java or C# is also sufficient