basysKom Toolbox

11 – Treat compiler warnings as errors

Treat compiler warnings as errors


Prevent problematic code from silently „creeping“ in.


Modern C and C++ compilers are quite good at generating warnings for problematic issues. By default a warning will not stop the compiler from generating code. Consider to treat compiler warnings as errors to prevent issues from creeping into your code base.


C, C++, Qt



Implementation effort

Minor, given that your project is already compiling without warnings.


All projects with a clearly defined target toolchain.


  • Treating warnings as errors can be a considerable headache if there is a large range of toolchains/platforms to support as warnings generated might change over time.
  • Do not enable „warning as errors“ for releases that are consumed by an undefined and wide-ranging user base (for example when releasing software with-in your organization, to customers or as open source).

See also

Implementation hints

  • gcc/clang: -WError
  • Visual Studio: /WX switch or „Treat Warnings as Errors“ in project properties
  • Newer compiler versions tend to emit more warnings. The same compiler targeting a different platform might generate slightly different warnings. Make sure there is a central build flag as an escape hatch. Have a CI system in place to enforce „warnings as errors“ for your officially supported toolchain(s).
About the Toolbox

The basysKom Toolbox is a state-of-the-art collection of best practices in agile management and software development and a valuable tool for every kickoff meeting.

These cards can be used during a project kickoff in order to select best fitting good practices from the very start of your project, but also as a reminder during the course of a project implementation. Every card holds a QR code with additional information related to the specific tool, the tools’ applicability, known constraints and additional tips on how to implement it in a project setup.

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