Back to Basics at CppCon 2020

A version of this post has also been posted on the CppCon blog (2020-08-11).

CppCon 2020 update: The Early Bird registration deadline has passed, and submission acceptance notifications have been sent out. This is all happening much later than last year, but that’s okay, because CppCon 2020 will be taking place entirely online.

In 2020, as in 2019, I’m the chair of CppCon’s “Back to Basics” track. The Back to Basics track’s mission is to cover all the essentials of modern C++. Each session in the track is about a single concrete topic, often expressible in just one or two words: Templates. Exception-safety. Move semantics. Our goal is to fit these sessions together like jigsaw pieces to produce a track that covers “everything you need to know” to be a working programmer in today’s C++ community.

Each session aims to present time-tested guidelines that are aligned with mainstream C++ and broadly useful across many industries. This accounts for the lack of any Back to Basics sessions on Concepts, Coroutines, or Modules — all big topics in the zeitgeist this year, but also topics where best practices are still hazy and implementations are still immature. Attendees seeking information on cutting-edge features of C++20 will find plenty of what they seek in CppCon 2020’s main conference program.

Each session in the track is presented by an expert instructor. We aim to get presenters who are not only experts on the technical material, but also experts at presentation and instruction. I think we’ve succeeded — and I hope that after looking at the names below, you’ll agree!

The Back to Basics track is part of the main conference program. You don’t need any special ticket to attend any of the track’s talks. You can freely mix B2B talks with non-B2B talks in your schedule. Finally, the B2B track will be recorded and captioned and put up on YouTube with the rest of the main program.

Here’s a sneak peek at this year’s Back to Basics lineup. The precise order of these sessions hasn’t been determined as of 2020-08-11; we may shuffle them up a bit. We’ve also reserved space on Friday for a “closing track keynote” which has yet to be announced.

Monday, 2020-09-14

10:30 am. Bob Steagall: “The Abstract Machine.”

12:00 pm. Bob Steagall: “The Structure of a Program.”

1:30 pm. Steve Dewhurst: “Class Layout.”

Tuesday, 2020-09-15

9:00 am. Ben Saks: “Pointers and Memory.”

12:00 pm. Andreas Fertig: “Templates, Part 1.”

1:30 pm. Andreas Fertig: “Templates, Part 2.”

Wednesday, 2020-09-16

9:00 am. Barbara Geller and Ansel Sermersheim: “Lambda Expressions.”

12:00 pm. Ben Saks: “Unit Tests.”

1:30 pm. Arthur O’Dwyer: “Algebraic Data Types.”

Thursday, 2020-09-17

9:00 am. Rainer Grimm: “Smart Pointers.”

12:00 pm. Mike Shah: “Design Patterns.”

1:30 pm. David Olsen: “Move Semantics.”

Friday, 2020-09-18

9:00 am. Klaus Iglberger: “Exceptions.”

10:30 am. Arthur O’Dwyer: “Concurrency.”


For CppCon 2019’s lineup, with links to all the videos, see “Back to Basics at CppCon 2019” (2019-09-12).

You can register for CppCon 2020 here. Registration for this year (only) has been lowered to $300 for the whole week. Pre-conference and post-conference training classes have been extended from the usual 2×8 hours to 3×6 hours, and remain at their old price ($1100). I’m teaching a new training class this year! For more information on that class, see “Classic STL at CppCon 2020” (2020-09-12).

Posted 2020-08-11