What does a Web Engineer and C++ Have In Common?

Posted on Thursday, June 29th, 2017

I'm beginning to feel that itch again to immerse myself in something completely new (yet tangential to what I've already been doing). I'm a full-time software engineer, but I feel that it might be time to broaden beyond a specialization in web. So I'm going to try to pick up C++ and hopefully get a task at work that can exercise what I'm learning.

Having these feelings really puts me in a bind when it comes to being passionate about the work I need to do right now. I've consulted with some people that I would consider my mentors and I have been told that this feeling is normal. (It's always nice to hear your internal freakouts are completely normal.) It's been 2 years and 8 months now at the same company, same team, so I think it's probably about time for a change of some sort.

Whether that change actually happens, and happens in my favor, is yet to be seen. I am targeting some infra teams, but it's tricky tranferring internally with limited domain experience. It reminds me of all the times I used to hustle to learn something new for a client or a large project in a new domain. Happiest times of my life.

What's keeping me busy in the meantime besides my work are my two side projects: learning C++ and taking some drawing classes.

I am a self-taught engineer working almost exclusively in web, and more recently (past year and a half) in web infrastructure dealing more with the servers that serve our web requests. I have picked up Javascript client- and server-side, and have become well-versed in Python. These languages are considered still fairly high-level, with a lot of the lower-level manipulations abstracted away, which is why I'm told it will be difficult, but beneficial, for me to learn C++. I've bought the book Accelerated C++ and I've gotten myself setup with the Eclipse IDE. I plan to work through a few chapters, and then try to pick up a bug or task at my work that involves practicing with a C++ codebase. I'll try to document my journey -- hopefully that will keep me motivated.


I am using my personal computer (MacBook Air mid-2013) and found myself having to clear some disk space since I have the 128GB SSD model. I have Java 7, so I quickly downloaded the Eclipse Mars IDE and set up a new project. Voila, I'm able to compile and run the examples in the first couple of chapters of this book.