I've just started using MSVC++ 10.0 express edition and I'm also a relative beginner in c++, and I have a few questions about the IDE.
On the standard taskbar I've noticed a small drop down list containing the words Debug, Release and Configuration Manager. It is set to Debug by default. What difference does it make if I set it to Release and compile?


Debug mode lets you step in to the code and observe whats happening behind the scene as your code runs. You can put breakpoint to stop the execution of codes at the certain statement. In addition, you can also investigate the value of a variable when running in debug mode. When your program crash, MSVC++ will points to the code that causes the error with detailed explanation about what causes the problem.

Release mode is used when you want to produce the final output (that is to be distributed). When compiled in release mode, the compiler will perform code optimization. Hence, you will notice that your application actually runs faster in release mode.