Workshop: Advanced and Modern C++ Programming: The Tricky Parts

Whenever I give C++ trainings I run into the same topics of “half knowledge”. We use a lot of pretty complicated features (e.g., templates, move semantics, and smart pointers) in our day-to-day programming without full understanding. Most of the time this works fine, but sometimes not. Even vectors and strings may cause surprises (e.g., to understand when and how memory is allocated).

This tutorial will discuss all these “tricky fundamental” C++ features application programmers see and use day by day. We will motivate them, understand them, and see how they should be used in practice. As a result, you will understand C++ a lot better and advance to the next level of an experienced C++ programmer.


Students are expected to have a basic knowledge of C++ including C++11.

Computer Setup

Students are not required to bring any laptop. We will go through exercises together with the laptop of the presenter.

Course Topics

  • Strings (and the short string optimization)
  • When to use which container
  • Using templates in practice
  • The hidden penalty of using shared pointers
  • How to benefit from move semantics in basic C++ classes
  • When types decay
  • Value categories and materialization (and why I should care)
  • Disabling functions (SFINAE and requires)
  • Overloading right – Rules of special member functions
  • Exception handling in practice
  • The real way to initialize object (and why AAA is bad)
  • Returning values perfectly
  • Concurrency traps
  • Allocators (why, when, and how)


Nicolai Josuttis

Nicolai Josuttis is well known in the programming community because he not only speaks and writes with authority (being the (co-)author of the world-wide best sellers The C++ Standard Library (, C++ Templates (, C++17 - The Complete Guide (, and SOA in Practice), but is also an innovative presenter, having talked at various conferences and events. He is an independent system architect, technical manager, author, and consultant. He designs mid-sized and large software systems for the telecommunications, traffic, finance, and manufacturing industries.