The modern languages all feature dramatically simplified tool chain. In contrast, c++ tool chain feels daunting to me, including profilers, static analyzers, binary file dumpers, linkers .. Just like manual cars, too complicated compared to newer languages like java. The dynamic scripting languages are even simpler.
This is one of the real obstacles to new entrants, young or old. This is also my (slowly growing) competitive advantage. I feel some people (like Kevin of Macq) know more, but most developers have a cursory working knowledge in this field. Just as I prefer command line, I often feel more confident (relative to my peers) with c++ tool chain
This learning curve, entry barrier … is a direct consequence to the c++ “sweet spot” as Stroustrup described — inherently complex codebase close to hardware.
.. Due to the bigger ecosystem needed to support c++, new features are added at a slower pace than languages having a central organization.
— personal xp:
In my early days using c++, I tried to set up eclipse CDT and spent lots of time on the tool chain. My goal was to set up similar convenience … Futile. Not worthwhile. java tools are miles ahead. Most c++ programmers don’t bother with such convenience and rely on command line tools.
I wrote dozens of blogposts about c++ build issues. For example, on windows, my strawberryPerl + git_bash + notepad++ setup is unknown to many. These fellow developers struggle with MSVS or Eclipse !
I was frustrated for years by the complex and messy build tools in c++. Same for the other new entrants — Rahul spent a month setting up Eclipse CDT…
— mileage as an entry barrier:
This toolchain is an entry barrier. Young people can take it up if determined, but majority of them are put off.
Q: A non-compSci graduate on a mid-career boot camp can take up programming in a scripting language or a simpler compiled language, but how many percent would take up c++?
There’s a minimum mileage required. Many young people don’t stay on it long enough.
My vi mileage is also too short.
Similarly, yoga is hard for most people but some individuals are determined and therefore able to overcome the initial hump (6-24M) and find joy and reward.