Advanced C++ Programming


This course is for experienced C++ programmers who wish to deepen their understanding of the language and learn advanced techniques. The course consists of three modules.

A preliminary module reviews topics, including inheritance, the ANSI C++ Standard Library, templates. I/O streams, and practical issues of C++ programming, such as reliability, testing, efficiency and interfacing to C. This material is covered as needed if the students are missing the proper background for the course. If a student has suitable experience, this section can be skipped.

The second module covers more advanced topics. Advanced issues of inheritance and polymorphism are covered. Principles of effective class design, including the orthodox canonical form, use of composition, templates and interface inheritance. The course covers exception handling and runtime type information (RTTI). Multiple inheritance is covered, including the complications that are introduced by this powerful feature. Advanced applications of C++ concepts are studied, including smart pointers and reference counting.

The third module introduces the Standard Template Library (STL). The main components of data structures, algorithms and iterators are covered. Illustrations are provided of a number of important containers, such as vectors, stacks, queues, lists and sets.

Extensive programming examples and exercises are provided. A number of larger scale case studies are used to illustrate object oriented programming techniques and to give the student practical experience in putting together features of C++ learned in the course. A file is provided containing all the examples and laboratory exercises in the course.

C++ programming experience

Course Objectives
On completion of this course, the student should be able to
  • Review intermediate features of C++ such as inheritance and templates
  • Gain a more complete understanding of the issues involved in effective class design
  • Learn important features of C++ such as exception handling, RTTI and multiple inheritance
  • Learn advanced techniques such as smart pointers and reference counting
  • Gain a working knowledge of the Standard Template Library
5 Days

Instructor-led course, with practical computer-based exercises.

Course Outline

  • Module 0: Intermediate C++ Topics
    • 1. Inheritance and Polymorphism
      • Class Derivation
      • Access Control
      • Base Class Initialization
      • Initializing Class Type Members
      • Polymorphism and Virtual Functions
      • Pointer Conversion
      • Virtual Destructors
      • Abstract Classes and Pure Virtual Functions
    • 2. ANSI C++ Library
      • New Header Files
      • Namespaces in the Standard Library
      • ANSI C++ String Classes
      • Templates in the Standard Library
    • 3. Templates
      • C++ Template Mechanism
      • Function Templates
      • Class Templates
      • Generic Programming
      • Implementing a General Array Class
      • Standard Template Library
    • 4. Input/Output in C++
      • Streams I/O Library
      • Formatted Stream I/O
      • File I/O
      • I/O in User Defined Classes
    • 5. Practical Aspects of C++ Programming
      • Interfacing C and C++
      • Namespaces
      • Reliability in C++ Programs
      • Testing Considerations
      • Efficiency Considerations

  • Module 1: Advanced C++ Topics
    • 1. Advanced Polymorphism and Inheritance
      • Orthodox Canonical Form
      • Public, Private and Protected Inheritance
      • Composition vs. Inheritance
      • Templates vs. Inheritance
      • Interface Encapsulation
    • 2. Exception Handling
      • C++ Exception Mechanism
      • Exceptions Compared to Other Error Handling Techniques
      • throw, try and catch
      • Exception Context and Stack Unwinding
      • Uncaught Exceptions
      • Automatic Cleanup in Exception Handling
    • 3. Runtime Type Information
      • Runtime Type Information (RTTI) Mechanism
      • type_info Class and typeid Operator
      • Type Safe Pointer Conversion
      • New C++ Cast Syntax
    • 4. Inheritance Hierarchies and Multiple Inheritance
      • Smalltalk Style Class Hierarchies
      • Collection Classes in Object-Based Hierarchies
      • Independent Class Hierarchies in C++
      • Multiple Inheritance
      • Resolving Ambiguities
      • Duplicate Subobjects
      • Virtual Base Classes
      • RTTI in Multiple Inheritance
    • 5. Applications of C++ Concepts
      • Object Validation
      • Smart Pointers
      • Reference Counting
      • Generic Smart Pointers

  • Module 2: Fundamentals of STL
    • 1. An Overview of Templates
      • Templates
      • Overloading functions
      • Template functions
      • Specializing a template function
      • Disambiguation under specialization
      • Template classes
      • An array template class
      • Instantiating a template class object
      • Rules for templates
      • Non member function with a template argument
      • Friends of template classes
      • Templates with multiple type parameters
      • Non type parameters for template classes
      • Comments regarding templates
    • 2. Overview of the Standard Template Library
      • Perspective
      • History and evolution
      • New features in C++
      • The Standard Template Library
      • Design goals
      • Header files
      • STL components
      • Containers
      • Algorithms
      • Iterators
    • 3. Examples from STL
      • Example: vectors, lists
      • Example: maps
      • Example: sets
      • Example: multiset
      • Example: find with a vector
      • Example: find with a list
      • Example: merge
      • Iterators
      • Function objects
      • Adaptors
    • 4. STL Containers
      • Vector
      • Deque
      • List
      • The beauty of STL
      • Associative Containers
      • Set
      • Multiset
      • Map
      • Multimap
    • 5. STL Iterators
      • Input iterators
      • Output iterators
      • Forward iterators
      • Backward iterators

Hardware and Software Requirements

The course is designed to be delivered in any environment supporting a C/C++ compiler.

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