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Have been using UE4 for years but need to learn C++ for work, where to start?

I’ve recently been made redundant from my job at a design agency and I’m looking for new work. I’ve been using UE4 for about 4 years now and I know my way around it well. I’m pretty confident in my ability with Blueprint to build just about anything a client is likely to ask for, but every job listing I find in the UK requires C++ for anyone using UE4. I seriously doubt it’s a necessity, especially for the visualisation positions I’m tending to apply for, but the second I have to say that I don’t use C++, that’s the end of the interview for me.

So, where should I look at learning C++, knowing that will be using it with UE4 primarily? I have seen some courses online but they tend to assume the opposite of my situation (that the student is familiar with C++ but has never used UE4).

Should I find a course that is solely C++ focused, and then expect that I will know how to use that with UE4 later?

Any suggestions or advice would be really appreciated

Sorry to hear ^ that ^… You can follow a path like this… However, note the cautionary warnings… Some of the Unity vs UE4 threads also offer insights. Anyway for now while you’re watching UE4-C++ tutorials, I recommend you go about solving the problem differently. A lot of job Ads are written by outsiders who ask for 4-10 years experience in tools that have only existed for 2! The tech media make fun of these Ads all the time. So instead, I would try to contact a recruiter directly, and get them to find out what the employer actually wants (they may know already). Of course you may need to phone / email / message quite a few before reaching any, just to find one friendly one. But it might be worth it, as your point about hiring requirements has merit.

As to whether you should take up C++ at all, that’s also an important question to ask yourself too. To be good at it, and you need to be to really progress in UE, you’ll really have to dedicate yourself. It isn’t just about doing a course or two, that’s just the beginning! Think life long discipline… So, you should ask yourself, do you actually want to become a programmer, or are you more naturally suited to working on the design side??? There are people on here from diverse backgrounds who have done it (conquered all worlds like gods). But the truth is, there’s not many, and its not typical.

The reason is… Most people who take up C++ don’t actually become good C++ programmers. Something like Unity C# / UDK Unrealscript is about a 3 out of 10 in terms of difficulty on a good day, and 5 out of 10 on a bad. Whereas even with all its simplification, UE4-C++ is still a 12 out of 10 on a bad day. :stuck_out_tongue: There is something else to consider too. There is a high probability (higher than ever), that Epic will reveal a scripting language in UE soon. If so, its likely to be a game changer. After that, UE4-C++ may be the forte of hardcore platform / engine programmers mostly.

Thank you for the advice EC, its proved to be very useful.

I’ve just had an pre-interview call with the head of a recruitment agency and I was able to bring up the ubiquity of C++ requirements for Unreal positions that don’t really need them with him. He was very grateful for the feedback. I only got this far because one of his employees was brutally honest with me about the fact she had no idea what any of the requirements they put on these positions actually mean, and could they submit my CV anyway as I was the best candidate they had found so far.

I’ve basically changed my approach to the offers I receive, and that is yielding more results then becoming a C++ beginner would have. It’s ironic that the take away from a thread asking where to start with C++ is, maybe you shouldn’t! :wink:

No worries, glad you’re getting somewhere. As regards learning UE4-C++ and maybe you shouldn’t… UE4 C++ is highly specialized and has no real role for beginners - its an all-in or nothing bet. So that brings added risks as regards finding work… Its been my experience that the market isn’t actually teaching C++ anymore. Its still a Top10 language though, so go figure. But go into unis and training firms and it isn’t reliably offered anymore (although some may offer to put a course together if there’s enough demand).

But most places only teach C# / Java / JS and other usual suspects. Its been like that for years. There are lots of courses with other languages in the Top10 / Top20, just not C++. So how many places actually teach UE4-C++??? Almost nobody (outside of a handful of game schools). Its almost universally all Unity3D / C#. That’s why Epic are pushing academic resources to try and stir demand. But they’re losing the battle and they know it… Personally, I hope more unis start to teach Godot anyway instead…

Something else to keep in mind. Job specs are sometimes deliberately designed to put people off during the hiring process. It happens when the key decision makers are bored with seeing too many Unity C# devs get sent their way. So they insist on more stringent requirements as a kind of ‘filter’. Try on an employers hat for a minute and imagine you’re on the receiving end of all of that. After a while, screening interviewees becomes real tiring from seeing the same ‘lightweight candidates’.

So its not that the key decision makers really expect to get talented artists that are also proficient in C++, its just that they want to reduce some of the C# bloat that’s getting sent their way. After all, the actual pool of UE4 devs versus Unity devs is heavily lob-sided, as is the amount of C++ devs versus C# devs. I don’t know why exactly, as C++ is critical for platform work including OS / Browsers / Game Engines. Maybe its just that C++ is harder and colleges are lazy… But its not like Rust or another viable alternative is ubiquitous yet either… Anyway, I’ve heard that there are quite a few UE4 jobs based in the UK, specifically around London if you’re anywhere near there.:wink:

Ok, how much time do you want to spend on C++? Do you only want to use it to fulfill the requirements of said job applications or do you intend to use it along blueprints from now on?

First you’ll have to learn C++ and then you’ll have to relearn UE4 for C++. Mixing it from start will frustrate you and you’ll never want to come back.

The problem that you’ll have with C++ is that it’s a programming language. You kind of have the logic part with blueprints, but you’ll have to learn a lot of other things too.

The problem with C++ in UE4 is that UE4 is a giant code monster and the documentation doesn’t help much. You need to swim to hundreds of lines of code to get what you need.