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· 6 min read
Christopher McArthur

C++ developers often approach DevOps with a reasonable degree of skepticism, and it's not without reason. Their top five challenges revolve around build scripts, dependency management, and setting up CI pipelines—areas traditionally associated with DevOps responsibilities. Michael Xymitoulias articulated this sentiment well in a recent LinkedIn post writing:

Right now, it feels that C++ developers have to deal with way more than just writing business logic code. [...] Allowing devs to focus more on coding rather than trying to solve problems of the ecosystem would probably be liberating

Xymitoulias suggestion that allowing developers to focus more on coding, rather than grappling with ecosystem problems, would be liberating. He's not alone, Bill Hoffman, CTO behind CMake supports this ideal of simplifying the developer workflows, something we've seen put in place with recent improvements to the popular build system.

While building in C++ certainly comes with its challenges, streamlining this process is our collective goal. So, let's delve into the core focus as it relates to C++ and dispel some common misconceptions.

· 11 min read
Christopher McArthur

C++'s journey with dependency management has seen numerous transformations. Early years were marked by manual library integration and complex build scripts, presenting significant challenges. However, the landscape has since evolved, offering an array of sophisticated package managers designed to streamline workflows but most of all reduce the burden on developers.

Join in and delve into the strengths and weaknesses of these diverse solutions, empowering you to make informed choices and conquer the challenge of dependency management in your C++ endeavors.

· 3 min read
Christopher McArthur

Feeling lost in the jungle of C++ package managers? You're not alone. Wrangling dependencies in the C++ world can feel like navigating a tangled mess of vines, with cryptic tools and endless options leaving you frustrated. But fear not, intrepid C++ developer! This guide will cut through the undergrowth and help you get on the right path.

First things first: Let's dispel a common misconception. System package managers like rpm and apt are great for keeping your operating system humming, but they're not designed for the unique challenges of C++ development. That's where C++ specific package managers like vcpkg, Conan, and Xrepo come in.

· 4 min read
Christopher McArthur

In the steadily evolving landscape of C++, where incremental improvements shape the tools we use, it can quickly become a challenge to stay up to date with the latest technologies while still supporting the code already in production. If you're apart of the 61% of C++ developers, the concept of building more configurations might initially seem counterintuitive. However, it's precisely under such circumstances that this approach serves as a solution to the challenge of limited access to new features and tools within the C++ ecosystem.

By prioritizing testing a comprehensive list of configuration during CI, your team can unleash access to new features and tools, boosting productivity and ensuring project longevity and compatibility in a competitive landscape by establishing guardrails for the project.

Let's delve deeper into the compelling reasons why this DevOps approach, centered around building more configurations, deserves widespread adoption in C++ environments.

· 7 min read
Christopher McArthur

Managing build scripts, especially in C++, can be a daunting task for development teams. CMake, with its powerful toolkit, offers a solution to this challenge. In this blog, we'll delve into the world of CMake presets and explore how they can significantly reduce CI build script complexity, leading to a more efficient and enjoyable development experience.

The Challenge of Build Scripts in C++

C++ teams often struggle with an extensive list of build systems, introducing layers of complexity. CMake, when mastered, becomes a game-changer. This blog focuses on CMake's key pillars: toolchains, presets, and build scripts. Understanding their roles and interactions is crucial for achieving a streamlined developer experience and unambiguous CI workflows.

Join us on a journey where we'll:

  • Empower developers with effortless configuration and cross-platform builds.
  • Simplify CI pipelines for efficient testing.
  • Elevate project maintainability and collaboration across diverse environments.

· 10 min read
Christopher McArthur

One of the biggest challenges in C++ is setting up CI from scratch and of that, the biggest pain point is the system administration which can be very disconnected from the development tools. In order to bridge this gap we can leverage Infrastructure as Code (IaC) targeting existing machines, locally in our network or in the cloud, is an excellent enhancement to ensure consistent reproducible builds. Having version controlled configuration management tied to the codebase is key, this will allow us to deterministically install all the tools required with confidence even in the far far future.

Let's walk through adding Ansible to handle configuring a Windows virtual machine. These ideas apply to Unix environments as well but we can tackle those in a future post. Once we've gained control over our build environments, we can tackle availability and scalability by introducing Terraform to help provision and initialize new Windows instances in Azure. This two prong solution enables both a path for migrating to the cloud and establishing a hybrid setup.

· 4 min read
Christopher McArthur

In the ever-evolving landscape of C++ development, challenges abound, but the journey to overcome them has a powerful ally: DevOps. The annual ISO committee's survey paints a vivid picture of the hurdles faced by C++ developers, but within these challenges lie opportunities for transformation through DevOps principles and cutting-edge technologies like Artifact Management, Infrastructure as Code (IaC), and Platforms as a Service (PaaS).

Unveiling the Challenges

The 2023 ISOCPP Survey echoes the sentiments of C++ developers grappling with key issues:

  1. Managing libraries my application depends on: 83%
  2. Build times: 81%
  3. Setting up a continuous integration pipeline from scratch: 72%
  4. Managing CMake projects: 67% (MakeFiles MSBuild)
  5. Setting up a development environment from scratch: 67%

· 4 min read
Christopher McArthur

In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, the transformative influence of DevOps cannot be overstated. It has reshaped how teams collaborate, develop, build, test, and ultimately deliver applications. DevOps is more than a mere collection of practices or tools; it embodies a cultural shift, fostering collaboration and communication among software developers, QA professionals, and IT operations.

Today, we navigate the intricate landscape of C++, delving into how the DevOps approach aligns seamlessly with both historical and contemporary roles within the ecosystem. It becomes apparent that DevOps best practices hold the key to unlocking solutions for some of the most prevalent challenges faced by C++ developers.

· One min read
Christopher McArthur

Welcome to our inaugural blog post, where we embark on a journey at the intersection of DevOps and Modern C++. In the fast-paced world of software development, the marriage of these two powerful domains is becoming increasingly essential for crafting robust, scalable, and efficient applications.

In this blog series, we will explore the seamless integration of DevOps practices with the elegance and performance enhancements offered by Modern C++. From automating deployment pipelines to leveraging advanced C++ features, we will uncover the synergies that can propel your development workflows to new heights.

Whether you're a seasoned C++ developer seeking to optimize your processes or a DevOps enthusiast eager to delve into the intricacies of this versatile programming language, join us on this enlightening expedition. Together, let's unravel the secrets of achieving harmony between DevOps principles and the cutting-edge capabilities of Modern C++. Get ready to embark on a transformation journey that promises to elevate your skills as a software engineer.