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C++ and Beyond 2011: Sean Gibb - C++ and Hardware, C++11, C++ Renaissance

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While attending C++ and Beyond 2011, I was able to convince a few fellow attendees to get in front of the camera and talk about C++, how they use the language, and what they think of C++11 and C++ and Beyond.

Here, we meet Sean Gibb, Director of Software at Rad3 Communications, a company that builds hardware and software for wired and wireless communication products. Sean is a both a hardware and software guy. He's an expert C++ developer (and human template debugger, it turns out Smiley). We talk about modern C++ (C++11), the ways in which his company uses C++ (and why it makes sense in this context), template debugging fun and his perspective on the C++ Renaissance.

Thank you Sean for taking the time to chat and sharing your insights and wisdom with us. Keep pushing the envelope.

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  • ZyZZyZ

    haha I might be labeled as uber geek after this post but is it spock saying Live long and prosper on Sean buckle ? 

  • DanDan

    As another guy who does a lot of low-level embedded stuff, I'm really happy to see a "close to the metal" guy talk about C++. In fact, I've never written a C++ program under Visual Studio - all work is on cross-development platforms for custom hardware.

    The hardware platforms and the cross-development toolsets that I work with tend to be a bit more limited, so adoption of C++ isn't as high as on some "big iron" platforms, but I've been trying to convince many people that C++ doesn't mean big, bloated code - you just have to know what you're doing, and what the cost of each feature is. In my work, exceptions are usually disabled, RTTI / dynamic casting is off-limits, standard library usage is limited (avoid dynamic allocation), often times new & delete are overloaded for certain classes for performance, etc. When I write C++ on a host platform (usually Linux), it's fun to use all the language's functionality.

    I love C, I use it a lot, but when I have the option, C++ is my weapon of choice. But I have to admit, if the team I'm working with is new to C++, C is still sometimes a better way to go. Cliche as it is, there really are lots of ways to blow your leg off with C++. Education is the best way to combat this, but often times development schedules are so tight, there just really isn't time for people to get their "Sea (++?) Legs". Kind of a Catch-22, Chicken & Egg, etc.

    I was fortunate to learn C++ quite a while ago (around the same time as Sean), on the job, from a bunch of smart people who could explain things well. But I've also made a big effort to grow & stay current, otherwise I'd still be writing C++ code like it was the early 90s.

    Thanks again for the interview. I wasn't sure if C++ and Beyond was just for Google heads working with 2TB maps of data & people making thousands of connections to databases. It really does reinforce the fact that C++ is a very broadly-applicable systems programming language with tremendous range.

  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change

    ...
    Thanks again for the interview. I wasn't sure if C++ and Beyond was just for Google heads working with 2TB maps of data & people making thousands of connections to databases. It really does reinforce the fact that C++ is a very broadly-applicable systems programming language with tremendous range.



    You're most welcome, Dan! You are also most correct in this statement.

    C

  • YacineYacine

    Theses videos are awesome, hearing true C++ developers (not C with classes impersonators) is really refreshing.

    If people could see more of this, maybe C++ would have a better name.

  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change

    @ZyZ: You may be right! Smiley

    C

  • Peter JonasPeter Jonas

    Thank you so much Charles for another excellent and very interesting interview with a developer which is so close to the "metal".
    Sean Gibb has some very interesting perspective about the language and the day to day usage of it.
    Please keep the good work up.

  • hermanherman

    It's not surprising the hardware guy stays with C++, rather than specialized hardware description languages. It turns out that C++ is the best ESL language for hardware simulation: the highest abstraction level, the best performance; there are very successful examples like SystemC and GBL C++ libraries.

  • Hey Sean how about making public that "c++ standard for performance on embedded hardware", it would be a valuable document on forcing c++ in other companies.

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