A Complete Guide to Hiring a C++ Developer

A Complete Guide to Hiring a C++ Developer

Published on
July 6, 2022
Updated on
September 26, 2022
Author
Luan Campos
Reading Time
Are you looking to hire a C++ developer for your software development team? Find out what you should look for and what role they can play on your team.

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C++ was created in 1979 as an extension of C. Bjarne Stroustrup wanted to improve the flexibility and functionality of C by adding classes. It's a general-purpose programming language that's still widely used today. C++ is a versatile language — almost any system can run and compile code in C++.

C++ provides great performance and speed. It's a low-level language, which means it's closer to writing actual machine instructions. This accounts for its speed and is why it's so widely used. No matter what development projects you're planning, a skilled C++ developer can probably handle it. It can be used to create games, machine learning tools, mobile apps, embedded software, and more.

Benefits of C++

The versatility of C++ makes it ideal for a wide range of software development purposes. Some of the benefits of C++ include:

  • Object-oriented programming language
  • Large function library
  • Allows exception handling
  • Allows function overloading
  • Great speed and performance
  • Ability to create applications for multiple devices and platforms with one language

What Does the Role of a C++ Developer Include?

Because of its versatility, C++ developers are hired to perform many roles. C++ is used in search engines, games, VR applications, movie production, and more. Some of the most common roles for C++ developers include:

Software Application Development

C++ can be used for a variety of software application developments such as:

Operating Systems

C++ is used in desktop and mobile operating systems, including iOS, macOS, and Windows. C++ is low-level, so it can be used in operating systems to perform functions quickly and efficiently.

Databases

Popular database tools like MySQL and MongoDB are built on C++. It's an ideal language for structuring databases for efficient storage.

Browsers

Browsers need to render quickly, so many use C++ for back-end services that quickly display webpages.

Games

Many popular games, game engines, and game consoles are built on C++ including:

  • World of Warcraft
  • Counter-Strike
  • StarCraft
  • Unreal Engine
  • Xbox
  • PlayStation
  • Nintendo Switch

Machine Learning

C++ has a large collection of libraries that help carry out the calculations involved in machine learning tools such as TensorFlow.

Enterprise Software

C++ has been used to develop many enterprise software systems, including:

  • Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Microsoft Office
  • Chrome
  • Bloomberg
  • Firefox
  • Amazon
  • YouTube
  • Spotify

Mobile Application Development

C++ is also extensively used in mobile applications. It can be used within Android Studio and iOS. Because it's cross-platform, you can write once and use your code on both platforms.

Embedded systems

Many embedded systems, such as medical devices, IoT (Internet of Things) devices, and even the Mars rover use C++.

The Hiring Process for a C++ Developer

Hiring C++ developers can be a challenge. Talented developers are in demand, so they might command high salaries and generous benefits. And even then, they could end up being someone who's unqualified or doesn't work well with your team.

It's important to screen applicants well so that this doesn't happen. When you're hiring a C++ developer, you want to look for specific skills, experience, and traits.

What to Look for in Your Ideal Candidate

C++ is a complex language that requires a lot of attention to detail. When you're hiring developers, you'll want to look for the following qualities:

Hands-on Experience in Programming

Look for a candidate with real-world experience. Even if you're hiring a junior C++ developer, you should ask to see projects they've created. These projects should include examples of writing programs, debugging programs, and working with data structures and loops.

Programming Skills

Obviously, you want software engineers with strong programming skills. The skills you're looking for will depend on whether you're hiring a junior or senior developer and what role you want them to play.

For a junior programmer, look for:

  • 0 to 3 years of experience
  • Good knowledge of writing code with C++
  • Understanding of data structures and algorithms
  • Basic understanding of RDBMS databases such as SQL Server and Oracle
  • Experience with modern software design and development methodologies
  • Understanding of software configuration management
  • Experience with database administration

For experienced developers, look for:

  • 4 to 6 years of experience
  • Highly experienced in writing code with C++
  • Strong understanding of data structures and algorithms
  • Ability to work with web development tools on new applications
  • Strong understanding of RDBMS databases such as SQL Server and Oracle
  • Advanced knowledge of modern software design and development methodologies
  • Strong understanding of software configuration management
  • Strong knowledge of database administration
  • Ability to define and implement quality and security standards

Understanding of the C++ Programming Language

Your ideal candidate will need at least a basic understanding of the C++ programming language, including:

  • Basic syntax
  • How input and output are performed
  • Documenting comments
  • Data types and modifiers
  • Uninitialized variables
  • Undefined behavior
  • Variables and types
  • Variable scope
  • Constants and literals
  • Types of literals
  • Access modifiers
  • Storage classes
  • Operators
  • Arrays
  • Strings
  • Functions
  • Pointers and referencers
  • Loops
  • Decision making
  • Forward declaration
  • Error handling

If you're hiring for a more advanced role, they'll need an excellent understanding of C++, which should include:

  • Inheritance and polymorphism
  • Inheritance hierarchies and multiple inheritances
  • Exception handling
  • Runtime type information
  • ANSI C++ library
  • Templates

Project Management Skills

With most development teams using an Agile approach to software development, all developers need to have at least rudimentary project management skills. Due to the complexity of most development projects, it's simply not possible for a non-technical person to work effectively as a project manager. While your team leader will need more experience, even junior developers need the following skills:

  • Estimation and scheduling
  • Technical documentation
  • Problem-solving
  • Risk management

Communication Skills

Although it can be tempting to focus primarily on technical skills, a programmer with poor communication skills won't be a valuable asset to your team. A candidate with good communication skills will be able to share their ideas and feedback with others in a constructive way. Some effective communication skills you should look for are:

  • Active listening
  • Clarity
  • Empathy
  • Responsiveness
  • Respect
  • Friendliness

Interview Questions for C++ Developer Key Skills

Successful C++ developers will have high-level technical skills and analytical problem-solving skills. They'll also be able to work independently or as part of a team. You'll want to look for someone with drive and self-motivation.

As part of your interviewing process, frame questions around this central theme: What does a C++ developer do? Make sure to also ask questions about technical and interpersonal skills.

What Are the Features and Concepts of Object-Oriented Programming?

C++ is an object-oriented programming language. Object-oriented programming combines a group of data attributes with functions or methods into a type of unit called an object. Objects can then interact with each other in complex ways. Every C++ programmer should understand what that means and how it's different from other types of languages.

A good answer to this question should include the four basic concepts of an object-oriented language:

  1. Encapsulation. This protects the information inside a class from the rest of the code. Encapsulation is performed by binding data and the function that operate on it into an individual unit known as a class.
  2. Abstraction. Abstraction separates the implementation of a class from its interface. This allows you to isolate the impact of code changes so that they only affect the implementation and not the outside code.
  3. Inheritance. In object-oriented programming, classes can be organized into hierarchies that support inheritance. If a class inherits from another class (such as a parent class), it automatically has the same functionality and properties as that class. This lets you reuse code because you don't have to redefine any functions in child classes if they're present in the parent class.
  4. Polymorphism. Polymorphism allows you to treat classes in a hierarchy uniformly. With polymorphism, calling code can be written to handle objects at the root of the hierarchy and any child class will be handled the same way.

What Is a Storage Class?

In C++, a storage class defines the features of a variable or function. The storage class lets you trace the existence of a variable during a program's runtime. The features include the scope, visibility, and lifetime of a function or variable. The five storage classes used in C++ are:

  • Auto
  • Register
  • Extern
  • Static
  • Mutable

What Are the Definitions of Class and Object?

Classes and objects are related in C++, but they have different functions. A class is a user-defined data type that holds its own data and data functions that can be accessed by creating an instance of the class. A class is like a blueprint.

An object is an instance of a class. Memory is only allocated when an object is created. To use the data and access the functions, you have to create an object.

What Are the Differences Between References and Pointers?

References and pointers are similar in that they both use one variable to access another. A pointer is a type of variable that contains the memory address of another variable. To access the memory location it points to, the operator needs to dereference with *.

A reference variable is another name for an existing variable. It's called an alias, and it's implemented by storing the address of an object. A reference is a constant pointer, and the compiler will automatically apply the * operator.

What Are the Differences Between C and C++?

C is a subset of C++. Some of the biggest differences are:

  • C is a procedure-oriented language; C++ is an object-oriented language
  • C doesn't support data hiding; C++ hides data by encapsulation
  • C doesn't support function and operator overloading; C++ does
  • C doesn't have namespace features; C++ does
  • C doesn't require functions to be defined inside structures; C++ does

What Is a Virtual Function?

A virtual function is declared using the virtual keyboard. It's found in the base class as a member function and redefined in a derived class. When you make a function virtual, C++ will decide which function should be invoked at runtime based on the type of object pointed to by the base class pointer.

Explain Friend Class and Friend Class Function.

When a class is declared as a friend, it can access the public, private, and protected members of those classes. Friend functions are not member functions, but they can access public, private, and protected members.

What Are Deconstructors?

When an object is first created, a constructor is automatically called. A deconstructor is automatically called when an object is destroyed. The deconstructor has the same name as the constructor but it has a tilde in front of it. It's also the same as the class name.

What Are Static Members and Static Member Functions?

When you declare a member static, there is space allocated for it for the lifetime of the program. There is only one copy of the static member regardless of how many other objects of that class are created. The same static member can be accessed by all of the objects of that class.

You can call a static member function even if no objects of the class exist. The static function can be accessed using the class name and the scope resolution operator ::.

Job Description for C++ Developers: What You Should Include

Your job description will be the first contact prospective candidates with your company. You want to provide an accurate impression of your company and give applicants a good idea of what their responsibilities will be. A job description for a C++ developer should include the following sections:

Job Title

Make your job title as specific as possible. Include C++ as well as the type of work they'll be doing. C++ Developer is a good title, but C++ Developer for Automated Guided Vehicle Applications is even better.

Use standard language when you're writing your job title. If your internal job titles use company lingo, avoid using it in the job title.

Job Summary

This section should start with a description of your company and how the C++ developer will fit into your company. Provide details about what makes your company different and why someone would want to work there. Qualified developers can afford to be choosy, so make sure you point out the benefits of working for your company.

Specify how the job fits into your organization. Use inclusive language throughout your job description. This is also the place to provide a specific location or let candidates know that your team is dispersed.

Job Responsibilities

In the job responsibility section, outline exactly what duties they'll be expected to perform. Be concise but comprehensive. You want to give applicants a good grasp of what their work days will entail. Make sure you include any responsibilities that are particular to your organization. The details will vary based on your particular company, but some common C++ developer responsibilities include:

  • Consult with internal stakeholders about the scope and schedule of software development projects
  • Collaborate with other members of the software team to design and develop applications
  • Design, build, deploy, and maintain efficient, reusable, and reliable C++ code
  • Test and debug software
  • Perform maintenance upgrades, and updates to existing software
  • Maintain software development records with technical documentation
  • Participate in continuing education to stay up-to-date on C++ standards and advancements

Qualifications and Skills

In this section of your job description, list the qualifications and skills your ideal candidate will have. You can divide this list into must-haves and nice-to-haves. Use a bullet list to make it easy for candidates to tell if they meet the requirements. Make sure you include soft skills as well as hard skills. You may want to include some of the following:

  • Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related technical field
  • Minimum of 2 years of experience as a C++ developer
  • Recent hands-on technical expertise
  • Understanding of code quality
  • Experience working on an agile DevOps team
  • Experience with templating in C++
  • Understanding of component data sheets and specification
  • Ability to deploy software across a variety of platforms and operating systems
  • Knowledge of SQL, JavaScript, and XML
  • Facility with code versioning tools
  • Desire to solve problems with software at scale
  • Strong ability to communicate with technical and non-technical audiences
  • Ability to work as part of a team and collaborate with stakeholders at all levels

Salary and Benefits

A quality software developer will want to know the salary and benefits you're offering. If you don't want to list an exact salary, at least list a range. You can also list the top benefits and perks your company offers. Some typical benefits include:

  • Unlimited PTO
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Matching 401(k)
  • Employee discount
  • Parental leave

Find Your Ideal Candidate With the Right Development Experience Today

Finding the right developer talent is imperative if you want to grow your development team. By carefully crafting a detailed job description and vetting candidates for both hard and soft skills, you'll have a headstart on finding the right C++ developer.

You may run into some challenges when you're trying to hire developers. Vetting and interviewing candidates for technical expertise is an expensive and time-consuming process. The current tech talent shortage can leave hiring managers scrambling to fill open positions for months. Working with a partner can make the process smoother and easier.

Exploring options beyond job boards and job listings by working with a talent marketplace such as Revelo will provide you with prescreened, talented developers who have exactly the skills you're looking for. You set your requirements, and Revelo matches you with top developers with those skills within three days.

You'll meet with your preselected candidates, and if they seem like a good fit, you can begin a free 14-day trial before you officially hire them. You can rest easy knowing you're getting high-quality developers who are ready to start working on day one. Reach out today to discuss building or expanding your software development team with Revelo.

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Full-Stack developer with 6 years of experience working with MERN stack. Worked for multiple transnational companies focused on web and cloud, technology services, and R&D. Major professional experience in Frontend with Javascript, Node.js, React.js, and Vue.js

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