Arne Mertz Blogs About C++ and Clean Code

Written By John Sonmez

I have been exchanging emails with Arne Mertz for a long time. I’ve seen his progress, especially how he grew his C++ specialized blog. I was really glad he decided to do this. Doing an interview on video is not easy to do, and I really appreciate his courage.

My plan is to get Arne's interview out and hopefully help all of you who are trying to make a decision. Seeing his success, it is very encouraging to see what can happen in just one year. It’s so amazing to see the growth of Arne’s blog so I thought I would share that with you guys out there. I think hearing someone who has become succesful will inspire you to create your own blog. Check out my video interview with Arne and check out the Q&A below.

Arne Mertz currently lives in Hamburg, Germany. He is an advocate of clean code.
Arne Mertz is a Software Engineer from Hamburg, Germany. He is a C++ and clean code enthusiast.

Why a blog about clean code and C++? Don't they predict each other?

Of course not. Clean code matters, especially in a language like C++ where some really nasty things can compile, but result in crashes. Especially with the 2011, 2014, and 2017 standards, we got features that allow us to write even cleaner code. So, the often cited “it's C++ -> it's complicated” fallacy is not true. There's much more to say about this; so there's a whole page “Why simplify C++?” on my homepage.

How do you know what to write about?

I have a backlog with topics. It's a simple Trello board, and I have the app on my smart phone, so I can add topics whenever I come up with one. I don't necessarily write about the exact topics I have in there, they rather serve as inspiration. And if I really have nothing I'd like to write about, I look back at past posts and write about another aspect of something I have already written about. Or I contribute my view on a topic I have read about on other blogs, etc. The important part is taking note of anything that could be worth writing about, even if you can't imagine writing a whole post about it just now.

Do you have any other projects besides the blog?

No big ones. For my job, I am currently not programming C++. Instead, I have to learn about Java and JavaScript for web development, requirements engineering, and other stuff. At home, I learn a bit about Unity3d and a bit of C#, I try to keep up with my Feedly, and there are always books that want to be read :-)

What books do you recommend to read?

I am a clean code zealot – so obviously:

  1. Uncle Bob's “Clean Code” and “The Clean Coder
  2. John's “Soft Skills” – it's the book that finally got me blogging
  3. For C++, I strongly recommend Herb Sutter's “Exceptional C++” books

Those were the books that boosted my understanding of how the language works beyond the obvious syntactic stuff you can read in a good text book.