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A company is hiring C++ software engineers. When I go to the company's website, they provide a web applications written in python. (At least that's what I see from the outside.)

What kind of responsibilities can I expect? Does this sound like server and back end coding? What else?

At which point would a python web application most likely switch to C++?

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A web application propably never switches to C++. At least not for anything except the heavy lifting at the very back of the backend, provided this work exists. –  delnan Apr 21 '11 at 16:17
    
@delnan didn't facebook write something to run their php as C++ ? I think it is used when performance is critical. –  RYFN Apr 21 '11 at 16:21
    
@Zeus: That's why there's a "propably". Facebook (along with Google and a few others) are an exception in that they have extraordinarily much work to do, so much that it's worth the extra work. Also note that writing a PHP to C++ compiler (which by the way can't perform nearly as well as hand-written C++, of course) is to rewriting the whole thing in C++ as writing a naive C compiler to rewriting a whole application in assembly - much more practical if you're clever enough to do it. –  delnan Apr 21 '11 at 16:24
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3 Answers

It's difficult to say without knowing more about the company, but:

1) A lot of server side stuff is done in C++

2) A lot of batch activities activities on data (such as analysis / BI) are written in C++ and are never directly accessible from the frontends. For instance, something that analyzes tons of sales data, and dumps aggregates somewhere else, which a frontend will later read.

3) Most companies have a lot of legacy code in C++. Python and web development are relatively new and are often handled by different people.

4) the writing of public facing web applications in some companies is outsourced.

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Definitely sounds server-side to me; Python's ability to incorporate C/C++ libraries to increase performance is one of its strongest suits as a language (imho). For high traffic web apps, you often need to incorporate code from multiple languages for optimal efficiency.

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What you see from outside is just a web UI front end. That says nothing about the infrastructure that runs behind it.

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+1: Also the company's "marketing" web site and their actual SaaS product could be completely different. They could have a cool C++ service that's only for business-to-business use. –  S.Lott Apr 21 '11 at 17:13
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