C++ Best Practices
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C++ Best Practices

45ish Simple Rules with Specific Action Items for Better C++

About the Book

Note that this book is also available on Amazon in both color and black and white editions if you prefer a printed version.

As a C++ developer and trainer for 20 years, I have learned that there are many common mistakes that C++ developers of all experience levels make. This book distills that experience down into the most important things to address to make your code faster, easier to maintain, and more portable.

Most sections have one or more exercises that help you apply what is discussed in a practical way in the code you are currently working on

This book is intentionally concise! Expect short sections for each item! I use as few words as possible to get across the point and get you applying what you learned to your code.

If you follow me and watch all of my talks this book will present little new information to you. Why should you buy it then? Because I've consolidated the most important items and given you exercises to apply the rules in your code.

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About the Author

Jason Turner
Jason Turner

Jason has been using and teaching C++ for over 20 years now. He is host of C++Weekly https://www.youtube.com/c/JasonTurner-lefticus and author of many C++ projects designed to help others learn and explore C++ https://github.com/lefticus/.


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C++ Best Practices Team Edition (5 copies)

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Reader Testimonials


I finished it yesterday and loved it. I almost wished it was longer but at the same time, I realize I’m able to remember every actionable piece of advice within. With so many styles and conflicting “best practices” out there, it’s helpful to a have a rigid set of techniques to just default to. I will recommend this book to future interns or other folks I get to work with in the future.


Thanks for the great final version of the book. It's clear, concise and the references are a great way to expand on everything.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 About Best Practices
  • 3 Use the Tools: Automated Tests
  • 4 Use the Tools: Continuous Builds
  • 5 Use the Tools: Compiler Warnings
  • 6 Use the Tools: Static Analysis
  • 7 Use the Tools: Sanitizers
  • 8 Slow Down
  • 9 C++ Is Not Magic
  • 10 C++ Is Not Object-Oriented
  • 11 Learn Another Language
  • 12 const Everything That’s Not constexpr
  • 13 constexpr Everything Known at Compile Time
  • 14 Prefer auto in Many Cases.
  • 15 Prefer ranged-for Loop Syntax Over Old Loops
  • 16 Use auto in ranged for loops
  • 17 Prefer Algorithms Over Loops
  • 18 Don’t Be Afraid of Templates
  • 19 Don’t Copy and Paste Code
  • 20 Follow the Rule of 0
  • 21 If You Must Do Manual Resource Management, Follow the Rule of 5
  • 22 Don’t Invoke Undefined Behavior
  • 23 Never Test for this To Be nullptr, It’s UB
  • 24 Never Test for A Reference To Be nullptr, It’s UB
  • 25 Avoid default In switch Statements
  • 26 Prefer Scoped enums
  • 27 Prefer if constexpr over SFINAE
  • 28 Constrain Your Template Parameters With Concepts (C++20)
  • 29 De-template-ize Your Generic Code
  • 30 Use Lippincott Functions
  • 31 Be Afraid of Global State
  • 32 Make your interfaces hard to use wrong.
  • 33 Consider If Using the API Wrong Invokes Undefined Behavior
  • 34 Use [[nodiscard]] Liberally
  • 35 Use Stronger Types
  • 36 Don’t return raw pointers
  • 37 Prefer Stack Over Heap
  • 38 No More new!
  • 39 Know Your Containers
  • 40 Avoid std::bind and std::function
  • 41 Skip C++11
  • 42 Don’t Use initializer_list For Non-Trivial Types
  • 43 Use the Tools: Build Generators
  • 44 Use the Tools: Package Managers
  • 45 Improving Build Time
  • 46 Use the Tools: Multiple Compilers
  • 47 Fuzzing and Mutating
  • 48 Continue Your C++ Education
  • 49 Always Initialize Your Values
  • 50 Prefer Spaceships (C++20)
  • 51 Understand consteval and constinit (C++20)
  • 52 Be Aware of Custom Allocation And PMR
  • 53 Consider Designated Initializers (C++20)
  • 54 Thank You
  • 55 Bonus: Understand The Lambda

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