The pool of talented C++ developers is running dry
Software companies have a problem. There’s not enough candidates that can code C++.
This was the consensus in a webinar from ProfitView, a crypto trading tools developer, on high frequency trading using C++. Anthony Peacock, formerly a quant at both Citi and Citadel said “it’s impossible to find people with a really high level of C++ skills which is exactly what every trading company wants.”
This isn’t just a British or American issue, nor is it one specific to high frequency trading. Rainer Grimm, who has been a professional C++ trainer since 2008, affirmed that C++ education in Germany is equally “terrible” and added that “there’s a big demand for C++ not only in this domain but also the automotive” industry.
Where are all the C++ programmers? People are seemingly scared away from the language by a terrible stigma: the notion that it is a legacy program. With big names in tech such as Microsoft Azure CEO Mark Russinovich calling people to “deprecate” C++ “for the sake of security and reliability,” in favour of Rust, this is hardly surprising.
However, reports of C++'s death may be premature. ProfitView CEO Richard Hickling, a former software engineer at Barclays and Bank of America, said “the death of C++ has been reported many times.” Hickling pointed to Java, which has long “seemed to be replacing C++ itself,” but hasn't.
So where have all the C++ developers gone? The Stack Overflow Survey 2022 reported almost a drop of almost two percentage points in respondents this past year using C++ (from 24.3% to 22.5%), even while the percentage of professional developers using it rose. The good news, though, is that 34.7% of respondents learning to code are using C++, placing it in the top 6 programming languages of that category.
The real problem is that C++ is neither easy nor loved. Rust got an 87% approval rate in the "most loved" category of the Stack Overflow Survey. However, only 9.3% of respondents used Rust at all and only 8.8% did so professionally. C++, meanwhile, languished at 48%.
Even so, C++ regularly appears in the top 4 of the TIOBE index, earning it a place in their “big 4.”
The reality is that there are plenty of C++ jobs available in finance, and that compared to other languages there are comparatively few people to fill them. The language may be hard. But it's also worth it.
Click here to create a profile on eFinancialCareers. Make yourself visible to recruiters and find a company hiring C++ afficionados like you.
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