Introduction to C++

Microsoft built this edX course to help aspiring coders build a strong foundation in one of the fundamental languages. With roughly 20 hours of instruction and work, This course will take students through syntax and functions of C++, culminating in an optional certificate.

Created by: Gerry O'Brien

Produced in 2016

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Course Description

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C++ is a general purpose programming language that supports various computer programming models such as object-oriented programming and generic programming. It was created by Bjarne Stroustrup and, Its main purpose was to make writing good programs easier and more pleasant for the individual programmer. *
By learning C++, you can create applications that will run on a wide variety of hardware platforms such as personal computers running Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X, as well as small form factor hardware such as IoT devices like the Raspberry PI and Arduino-based boards.
(Bjarne Stroustrup, The C++ Programming Language, Third Edition. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1997).



    • Course comes with a Microsoft certification, which is valuable in the IT world.
    • Course focuses on building a coding foundation rather than dazzling newcomers with impractical lessons.
    • Course leads nicely into intermediate courses that are also taught and certified by Microsoft.
    • C++ is declining in popularity. Students who don’t have a particular need for C++ might be better off starting with Python or another language.
    • Despite the certification, this course does not go beyond beginner concepts.
    • Course might be too easy and set bad expectations for students who want to get deeper into C++ and coding.

Instructor Details

Gerry O'Brien

Gerry O'Brien is a Senior Content Development Manager at Microsoft Learning with a focus on software development and database platforms. He has over 18 years of industry experience in various roles including software development, consulting, and training. Gerry has experience programming with: C# Visual Basic Java Objective-C



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By Keshav G on 08/12/2016

Completed with final grade 100% and enjoyed the course. A must do course for beginners!

By Kristina on 05/26/2019

Not really useful, peer reviewed problems aren't useful as well, since there's no grading involved (everything gets a good mark).

By Anonymous on 06/05/2018

This is a good intro to intro C++. Material and presentation are well done and pretty much relevant. I think there are two downsides, well, three. The first is that there's not much material covered. I put this at at most 1/4 of a normal college Intro to C++ class. The second issue is reliance on peer reviews instead of automated grading. Most of the exceptional programming classes I've taken nowadays support submission and automated grading. Peer reviews can be helpful sometimes but, for coding classes, often don't provide useful feedback. The third issue is that the subsequent 'intermediate' and 'advanced' C++ classes in the sequence are not good.

By Luka Brkani? on 01/02/2016

The original quality of materials may not be bad, but they look like they were badly reused/recycled from some other Microsoft education thing. How can the first video in lession 1 start with "Lession 3: History of C++"? Open response assesment homeworks? Isn't this form of tasks designed for essays on some social courses? The deadlines are also not very clear, it looks like a self-paced course in form of a scheduled session.

By Manuel Rodriguez on 05/11/2017

The course is an excellent "introduction to C++", but I want to emphasise it is an introduction to another programming language, it is not a programming introduction nor an introduction to Object Oriented programming, if that is what you are looking for I'd recommend taking CS50x here on edx and other course for OOP. If you already know programming and just want to get yourself used to C++ syntax this is a quick and concise course that will do the job. If you are a C programmer and know some OOP you can skim through it very quickly I'd even suggest you not to take it since the syntax for C is practically the same for most of the basic stuff covered, you'll need to learn how to work with classes on C++.

By Donn Eddy on 03/18/2017

Great introduction to C++, but not programming. Some understanding of programming techniques is assumed. I have been learning C++ as a hobby off and on for a while, and this course taught me some neat tricks and other modern C++ standards.

By Not now on 02/22/2017

Its absolutely great for starting. You will eventually love C++

By Darius Anonuevo on 12/27/2016

The content is good for beginners and it will help the student to understand if he/she has a basic knowledge of c coding. In addition, beginners should have at least a reference material for searching keywords used by the instructors (e.g. auto) that uses the c++ 11 or 14 standard. The instructors are very good in delivering their lectures in an interesting fashion that there are a lot of tips and tricks on how to use the language and the visual studio environment (basic things).

By George B on 12/06/2016

This is a 5/5 course. There is everything on the very basics that gives you a suitable foundation of knowledge.

By Sergei Silnov on 09/21/2016

Good introductory course on C++. It's interesting, although course is really short. I covered all topics in 1 day.

By Anne Shi on 04/25/2016

This is a good introduction course to C++. But as a starter of C++, one needs some programming experiences in other languages to take this course. The lectures are not always easily understandable and memorable due to lack of requirements for hands-on from the students.

By Steven Frank on 01/05/2016

Will four learning modules, one of which is background material, make you a C++ programmer? Nope. But this short course offers a nice introduction, particularly if you already have some exposure to C. The course covers the basics of C++ data types, input/ouput, control statements, and simple classes. Written materials are provided and the lectures, which are very good, emphasize the practical points. Not everything is taught from first principles, though, so if you're new to C-style programming, you may find yourself facing unfamiliar terminology now and then; fortunately, there are plenty of tutorial resources on the web, including ebooks. The assignments could use some improvement: the quizzes are easy and the small amount of actual programming is unfortunately peer-reviewed, which is not well suited to the subject matter.