I’ve been asked to give the opening “Welcome, Everyone!” talk at C&B 2011, and it’s time to cover an increasingly open secret: After a decade-long affair with managed languages where it became unfashionable to be interested in C++, C++’s power and efficiency are now getting very fashionable again. At the same time, C++ has been getting easier to use; key productivity features from the C++0x standard (aka C++11), like auto and lambdas, are increasingly widely available in commercial compilers and making using C++ easier than ever before without sacrificing its cornerstone — efficiency.

This opening 40-minute talk covers the reasons why C++ is now enjoying a major renaissance, and why that will continue to grow over the next few years because of industry trends from processor design to mobile computing to cloud and datacenter environments.

We already know that C++ is “the” language of choice for demanding applications. Here, we’ll cover why “demanding applications” increasingly means “most applications” and will be the bread and butter of our industry for the foreseeable future. We’ll see why and where other languages are still appropriate, but why C++’s applicability and demand is now again on an upswing more so than it has been for over a decade.