So on this day, last year I picked up my c++ book and got started programming, I can definately say its been challeging. I barely knew anything about the stuff. I worked myself through the basics and some of the more advance stuff like operator overloading and pointer manipulation went over my head the first 4 months or so. By the end of August, I got a basic grasp of the language. Then in september I decided to get familar with visual c++ 2010. I learned how to make header, implementation and source files, and got a basic control on the IDE. I also made a pong clone following a tutorial. By mid-October I was like "okay I want to learn about data structures, cause I feel im missing out since the CS majors were taking it". I get a copy of Data Structures for Game Programmers and work my way through it. I learned about basic algorithm analysis, templates and all the various data structures. Since the book was using SDL, I decided to pause and get a basic idea of SDL. That took me 2 weeks. Then I continued through the book, learning the data structures (and cool stuff like the branch prediction unit). Now Im 60% done with the book. I plan to start Allegro within the next copule of months and max out all my skills in it. I want to make tons of shareware quality games for atleast a year. Then I might hit 3D programming
All I can say its amazing how much Ive learned. Its been amazingly fun and interesting endeavor. The most imporatant thing that helped was self-discipline. I was able to sit down everyday for atleast an hour and learn. And thats what im going to continue doing.