Microsoft Visual C++ at CppCon 2023 Trip Report
The Visual C++ team attended CppCon 2023, the largest in-person C++ conference, in Aurora, Colorado from October 2-6th. There were over 700 attendees from the C++ community, and we really enjoyed getting a chance to meet all of you and talk about your unique backgrounds and C++ experiences.
Some of our team member’s talks are now available to watch on YouTube so that you can watch them even if you missed CppCon to learn the latest for our tooling and more:
- How Visual Studio Code Helps You Develop More Efficiently in C++ – Alexandra Kemper and Sinem Akinci – YouTube
- New in Visual Studio: CMake Debugger, Better Diagnostics, and Video Games – David Li & Mryam Girmay – YouTube
- Lifetime Safety in C++: Past, Present and Future – Gabor Horvath – CppCon 2023 – YouTube
- Getting Started with C++ – Michael Price – CppCon 2023 – YouTube
The venue was at the Gaylord Rockies this year. The Gaylord Rockies is a resort with a massive convention center and many restaurants to go check out. Somehow, it still felt small, as we were constantly running into familiar C++ faces and meeting them in different areas in the convention center. There really is no experience like it.
The Microsoft Booth
We had a chance to talk to customers at our Microsoft booth we had during the week, and it was great to meet to you all. It was a great learning experience seeing, in real time, what was affecting our users across a wide area of use cases. For example, we will inform the public more about our Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) support in Visual Studio through online videos and documentation and improve our VS Code setup process. Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out our survey and talk to us.
What is a conference without the talks?
The Visual C++ team at Microsoft gave several talks, and we highly recommend checking them out when they are available on YouTube:
- Lifetime Safety in C++ – Gabor Horvath
- New in Visual Studio: CMake Debugger, Better Diagnostics, and Video Games – David Li & Mryam Girmay
- Cooperative C++ Evolution: Towards a Typescript for C++ – Herb Sutter (Keynote)
- How Visual Studio Code Can Help You Develop More Efficiently in C++ – Alexandra Kemper & Sinem Akinci
- Regular, Revisited – Victor Ciura
- Getting Started with C++ – Michael Price
[Herb Sutter’s Keynote on Cooperative C++ Evolution: Towards a Typescript for C++. Full house!]
[Michael Price on Getting Started with C++, discussing the tools beginners can use to get started on their C++ journey]
Mine and Alex’s joint talk on Visual Studio Code went great (despite slight technical difficulties 😊). The turnout was really strong, and it was empowering to see so many people interested to learn about the latest features in VS Code. In our talk, we covered a variety of enhancements that our teams working on the C++ Tools and CMake Tools extensions have developed over the past year to help you all the way from getting started with C++ for the first time to working in your large C++ repositories. Many C++ users came up to us after to ask more questions about what was presented, specifically to learn more about GitHub Copilot and GitHub Copilot Chat, our latest AI assistants.
Other Great Talks
I also really enjoyed learning more from other people’s talks. One talk that was well-praised throughout the week and super engaging for me was Laura Savino’s keynote on “Coping with Other People’s Code”. She touched on something for engineers at any point in their career and had a great stage presence. There was really something for everyone in that talk.
Another great talk our teammates enjoyed was “Powered by AI: A Cambrian Explosion for C++ Software Development tools” by Emery Berger. Emery is a great speaker, a successful researcher, and always presents top-notch content. This year, he presented how ChatGPT made most of his past research obsolete, and how he ended up power-charging 2 tools (a profiler and a debugger) with AI, and he created a new 3rd tool to help explain compiler error messages. He gave a nice recipe on how to think about integrating AI into classical tools.
Our colleagues David and Mryam had a very informative counterpart to our VS Code talk, but for the Visual Studio IDE. It similarly had a great attendance and covered a large range of topics from C++ standards and performance to new productivity features and Unreal Engine integrations. There were questions after about the full list of aka.ms links to learn more about each topic and learning more about the features presented such as vcpkg integration and the functionality of #include cleanup. Afterwards, some individuals continued the conversation with them at our booth, displaying their enthusiasm for the discussed subjects and posing questions.
Personally, one of my favorite parts of the conference was getting to meet all of you. I had a great time interacting with people from all over the world working with C++ at the Women’s Luncheon and Meet the Speakers’ Dinner. These were both great networking opportunities presented by CppCon and I hope they continue to facilitate these interactions.
Overall, CppCon 2023 was a great experience for our team. From presenting our talks to meeting C++ users in real-time to all the elevator conversations in between, our team really loved attending this conference. It was great to hear the latest in C++. We are excited to see you all there again in 2024!