How would you recommend staying up to date on new C++ features? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by David Vandevoorde, Author of C++ Templates: The Complete Guide, on Quora:

I suspect that “staying up to date” means different things to different people.

If it just means “know about what’s being added”, you might just want to watch the Wikipedia pages on the topic (including those for C++17 and C++20). If you want to delve a little deeper, look at the documents referenced on those Wikipedia pages; several of those are committee papers proposing the new features. Of course, you can also look around Quora’s C++ pages and ask questions if needed.

The next level up might be to poke around isocpp.org, and even participate in the forums. That web-site is closely associated with activities in the C++ standardization committee, and is quickly growing to be a central resource for our community (material ranges from an intro to the C++ Core Guidelines to forums that discuss potential future language additions).

Joining projects that make use of modern C++ is a great way of gaining experience with the new language features. Some such projects are referenced in the Standard C++forums I mentioned earlier.

If you have a chance to attend a C++ standardization committee meeting, I highly recommend doing so. Many first-time attendees report on how instructive their experience was. Several decide to become regular members and get to help shape the future of the language. And of course, it’s another way to stay on top of what’s happening in C++-land.

Finally, if you don’t just want to say up-to-date with the feature, but want to know every nook and cranny of those features, consider becoming an implementer (of a compiler front end and/or the standard library). That’s a tongue-in-cheek suggestion, but there is no doubt that spending considerable time at that level provides entirely different insights into the language.

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