How to build a C++ application in Visual Studio Code 

Getting started with C++

C++ is a general-purpose programming language that was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup in 1979 as an extension of the C programming language. It is a high-level language, which means that it is easier to read and write compared to low-level languages like assembly. C++ is used to develop a wide variety of applications, including operating systems, web browsers, games, and more.

C++ is known for its efficiency and flexibility. It allows programmers to write code that is close to the machine’s hardware, which can make it faster than other languages. However, this also means that C++ can be more complex to learn and use than some other languages. It is a compiled language, which means that the source code is transformed into machine code that can be executed directly by a computer.

C++ has a large and active community of users and developers, and there are many resources available for learning the language and using it effectively.

 C++ basic syntax

C++ has a specific syntax, or set of rules, that must be followed in order to write correct C++ code. Some of the basic syntax rules of C++ include:

  •     Case sensitivity: C++ is a case-sensitive language, which means that the capitalization of letters matters. For example, x and X are considered to be different variables.
  •     Semicolons: Semicolons (;) are used to mark the end of a statement in C++. Each statement must be followed by a semicolon.
  •     Curly braces: Curly braces ({ and }) are used to enclose blocks of code, such as the body of a function or the statements in an if statement.
  •     Indentation: Indentation is used to visually organize the code and make it easier to read. It is not required by the compiler, but it is a good practice to use consistent indentation to make your code more readable.
  •     Comments: Comments are used to add notes and explanations to the code. They are ignored by the compiler and are not executed as part of the program. In C++, comments can be added using either // for single-line comments or /* and */ for multi-line comments.

C++ basic instructions

C++ is a large and complex programming language, and there are many different instructions, or statements, that can be used to write C++ programs. Here are some common C++ statements:

  • #include: This statement is used to include header files in the program. Header files contain definitions for functions, variables, and other constructs that can be used in the program.
  • using namespace std;: This statement allows the use of functions and variables from the standard C++ library.
  • Variable declarations: Variables are used to store data in a program. To use a variable in C++, you must first declare it with a type and a name. For example:
int x;      // Declares an integer variable named "x"
double y;   // Declares a double-precision floating-point variable named "y"
char c;     // Declares a character variable named "c"

  • int main(): This is the main function of a C++ program. It is the starting point of the program, and all other functions and statements in the program are executed from within this function.
  • return 0;: This statement is used to exit the main function and end the program. It is usually the last statement in the main function.
  • cout << "Hello, world!";: This statement is used to output text to the console. It uses the cout object, which stands for “console output,” and the << operator to send text to the console.
  • cin >> variable;: This statement is used to input data from the console. It uses the cin object, which stands for “console input,” and the >> operator to read data from the console and store it in a variable.
  • if (condition) { statement; }: This statement is used to execute a block of code only if a certain condition is true. The condition is specified in parentheses, and the block of code is enclosed in curly braces.
if (x > 0) {
    // This code will be executed only if "x" is greater than 0
  • for (initialization; condition; update) { statement; }: This statement is used to repeat a block of code multiple times. It consists of three parts: an initialization statement, a condition, and an update statement. The initialization statement is executed first, then the condition is checked, and if it is true, the block of code is executed. After the block of code is executed, the update statement is executed, and the process repeats until the condition is false.For example:
for (int i = 1; i <= 10; i++) {
    cout << i << " ";
  •  <span style="font-weight: normal;">while</span> loop: The <span style="font-weight: normal;">while</span> loop is used to repeat a block of code an unknown number of times. It consists of a condition, and the block of code is executed as long as the condition is true. Here is and example of a <span style="font-weight: normal;">while</span> loop:

    int x;
    cin >> x;
    while (x != 0) {
        cout << x << " ";
        cin >> x;

  • do-while loop: The do-while loop is similar to the while loop, but the block of code is guaranteed to be executed at least once. The condition is checked after the block of code is executed, and the process repeats as long as the condition is true. Here is an example of a do-while loop that reads numbers from the console until the user enters 0:

int x;
do {
    cin >> x;
    cout << x << " ";
} while (x != 0);

OOP in C++

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm that is based on the concept of “objects”, which can contain data and code that manipulates that data. In C++, you can use OOP concepts to create classes, which are templates for objects. A class defines the data and behavior that an object of that class will have.

Here is an example of a simple class in C++:

class Student {
  // Data members (private)
  int id;
  string name;

  // Constructor
  Student(int id, string name) {
    this->id = id;
    this->name = name;

  // Member functions (public)
  int getId() { return id; }
  string getName() { return name; }

In this example, the Student class has two private data members: id and name. It also has a constructor that is used to initialize these data members when a new object of the Student class is created. The Student class also has two public member functions, getId and getName, which can be used to access the data members from outside the class.

To create an object of the Student class, you can use the following code:

Student s(123, "John Smith");
 You can then access the data members and member functions of the object using the . operator:

int id = s.getId();
string name = s.getName();

OOP allows you to create complex and modular programs by encapsulating data and behavior in classes and objects. It also allows you to create relationships between different classes, such as inheritance and composition, which can help you reuse and extend code more effectively.

 Installing and using Visual Studio Code

  • Install the C/C++ extension in Visual Studio Code. This extension provides IntelliSense, debugging, and code navigation support for C/C++ code.


  • Install MINGW MSYS2 > pacman -S --needed base-devel mingw-w64-x86_64-toolchain  > add  C:msys64mingw64bin   to System > About -> Advanced system settings > Environment variables > Path

    >g++ --version
    g++.exe (Rev6, Built by MSYS2 project) 12.2.0
    Copyright (C) 2022 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
    This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is NO
  • Create a new project by going to File > New > Project. Select “C++” from the list of project types, and then choose a project name and location

  • In the project window, create a new file by going to File > New > File. Name the file main.cpp, and then add the following code to it:

#include <iostream>
int main()
    std::cout << "Hello, world!" << std::endl;
    return 0;

  • Save the file and then build the project by going to Terminal > New Terminal. In the terminal window, navigate to the project directory and then type “Ctrl+Shift+B” and select the g++ compiler to build the project.


  • If the build is successful, you can run the application by typing “.helloCpp.exe” in the terminal window. This should print “Hello, world!” to the console.


  • Execute the application:


  • You can also debug the application by setting a breakpoint in the code and then going to Debug  F5 > Start Debugging. This will launch the debugger and allow you to step through the code, inspect variables, and so on.

 Enjoy C++ programming!

De Florin Simedru


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