A computer’s memory is a sequence of bytes. We can number the bytes from 0 to the last one. Each number, known as an address, represents a location in the memory.

Everything we put into memory has an address. For example, when we declare and initialize an int variable named power:

int power = 9000;

This will set aside an int-size piece of memory for the variable power somewhere and put the value 9000 into that memory. But where is “somewhere”? How is it useful?

In this lesson, we will answer these questions by learning about:

  • References
  • Pointers

These are some of the most powerful features in C++; they allow programmers to directly manipulate memory – the most critical and scarce resource in computer – in order to optimize performance.

However, references and pointers are also sometimes considered two of the most complex and difficult features in C++.

So let’s get started.


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