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Why C++ is best for Competitive Programming?
  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 07 Apr, 2021

C++ is the most preferred language for competitive programming. In this article, some features of C++ are discussed that make it best for competitive programming.

STL (Standard Template Library): C++ has a vast library called STL which is a collection of C++ templates to provide common programming data structures and functions such as lists, stacks, arrays, etc. that makes the code very short and increases the speed of coding. It is a library of container classes, algorithms, and iterators. For example, std::min is used to find out the smallest of the number passed to it. It returns the first of them if there is more than one.

Program 1:

C++




// C++ program to demonstrate the
// use of min() function
  
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
  
// Driver Code
int main()
{
    double a = 12.123;
    double b = 12.456;
  
    // Print the minimum of the
    // two numbers
    cout << min(a, b);
  
    return 0;
}
Output:
12.123

Faster: C/C++ is faster than any other programming language in terms of speed. The C++ source code needs to become machine code. Whereas, python follows a different tactic as it is interpreted. The compilation of code is always faster than the interpretation.



Program 2:

Below program to demonstrate how to measure execution time using the clock() function:

C++




// C++ program to measure execution
// time using clock() function
  
#include <bits/stdc++.h>
using namespace std;
  
// Function whose time taken to
// be measured
void fun()
{
    for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
    }
}
  
// Driver Code
int main()
{
    // clock_t clock(void) returns the
    // number of clock ticks elapsed
    // after program was launched.
    clock_t start, end;
  
    // Recording the starting
    // clock tick
    start = clock();
  
    fun();
  
    // Recording the end clock tick
    end = clock();
  
    // Calculating total time taken
    // by the program
    double time_taken
        = double(end - start)
          / double(CLOCKS_PER_SEC);
  
    cout << "Time taken by program is: "
         << fixed
         << time_taken
         << setprecision(5);
  
    cout << " sec " << endl;
  
    return 0;
}
Output:
Time taken by program is: 0.000001 sec

Simple Constructs: C++ is a simple language i.e., much closer to a low-level language, therefore it’s much easier to write codes in C++ than in Java. Also, this makes the code-generation process simpler, optimized, and fast in C++ (i.e., like in Java no conversion of code to byte code first and then to machine code).

Widely used: C++ is considered to be the best choice for competitive programming by 75% of the programmers across the world, as it is usually faster than Java and Python and most of the resources are available in C++.

Templates: A template is a simple and yet very powerful tool in C++. The simple idea is to pass data type as a parameter so that we don’t need to write the same code for different data types.

Program 3:

Below is the program to demonstrate templates:

C++




// C++ program to demonstate template
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
  
// Generic function to find minimum
// of 2 data types
template <typename T>
T Min(T x, T y)
{
    return (x < y) ? x : y;
}
  
// Driver Code
int main()
{
    cout << Min(7, 3) << endl;
    cout << Min('z', 'a') << endl;
  
    return 0;
}
Output:
3
a

Snippets: Snippets provide an easy way to implement commonly used code or functions into a larger section of code. Instead of rewriting the same code over and over again, a programmer can save the code as a snippet and simply drag and drop the snippet wherever it is needed. By using snippets, programmers and web developers can also organize common code sections into categories, creating a cleaner development environment. It also increases the coding speed, helps in coding contests, etc.

Program 4:

Below is an example of a sample snippet that can be used in competitive programming:

C++




// C++ program to demonstrate snippets
#include <bits/stdc++.h>
using namespace std;
  
#define MOD 1000000007
#define endl "\n"
#define lli long long int
#define ll long long
#define mp make_pair
#define pb push_back
  
void solve()
{
    // Write down your desired
    // code here
    cout << "Write your code here";
}
  
// Driver Code
int main()
{
    // Handle t number of testcases
    int t = 1;
    while (t--) {
        solve();
    }
    return 0;
}
Output:
Write your code here
Want to learn from the best curated videos and practice problems, check out the C++ Foundation Course for Basic to Advanced C++ and C++ STL Course for foundation plus STL.  To complete your preparation from learning a language to DS Algo and many more,  please refer Complete Interview Preparation Course.
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