create a sorting tool like folks did at this visualization page
data structures > object sort project

Custom object sorting

Implement a sorting algorithm of your choosing in C++ to arrange your custom objects in an order determined by your code.


Project specifications
Suggested steps
Keep Coding! Extension exercises

bookProject specification


Create a custom-typed object that has attributes on which they can be sorted. Design a tool class with a function capable of taking in a pointer to a vector of unsorted objects which then undertakes the sorting process.

required organs

Custom class

Devise a custom class representing a sortable object of your choosing. The member variables in this class should be private and accessed through public getters and setter methods.

Sorting tool class

In a separate class called something like SortingMachine, create a function whose input parameters include a pointer to a vector of your custom type.

Test environment

In what is probably a third class, test your code by creating a vector of your custom type that is unsorted which you then pass into your tool class's SortFoo() function.

required interface

Rudimentary menu-based navigation

  1. Allow the user to display all the objects in your list, before and after sorting.
  2. The user should be able to trigger the sort with a simple input. Perhaps, if you get rambunctious, you could implement several sorting algorithms and the user can choose between them.
  3. Display the same vector, with the items sorted.


Include comments above each function describing its key functionality. Include comments above or a the end of each unclear/important line of code.

You should write all the code for your program, copying nothing from any other resource. If you use somebody else's code closely--i.e. using its essential structure but changing variable names--include a citation in your comments.


Get your code working in your environment and post a link to the file including your main() method in the project tracker tab of our master work spreadsheet.

Suggested Steps

STEP 1: Create a class representing your chosen collectible object that includes private members and public accessor methods and a constructor

STEP 2: Use your class in a simple program and create a vector of several of your objects for use in our sorting exercise next week.

STEP 3: Demonstrate as we did in class on Wednesay, that you in fact have multiples different objects with different member variables.

STEP 4: Begin the design process by tinkering with the bubble sort visualization linked at left, and relying only on pseudocode, not other folks' C++

IDEA: Investigate (try in documentation, not stack overflow) how to randomly create values for the various objects in your vector.

STEP 5: Create your tool class and its internal method for sorting a vector of your custom object.

Start with a simple sort

sort algo

Extension ideas

Implement additional sort algorithms

Bubble sort is one of the classic sorting algos, so start with that, but others exist that are much more efficient, such as Quick sort or merge sort. Implement one of these.

Compare sort algorithm efficiency

If you feel ambitious, access the system clock and time how long the sorting takes between your two algorithms. This will likely involve creating a hella big list of objects so the time differences are measurable at the millisecond level.