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Beginner C++ projects and general discussions about programming...

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Tic Tac Toe and Lollapalooza 08'

I haven't yet given up on my quest to become a better C++ programmer but did hit a roadblock. I thought I was ready to make Blackjack but quickly realized that I wasn't very good at organizing a game yet and also was not yet comfortable with references and pointers. References seem to be less difficult now and my next stop is pointers.

I've posted my tic tac toe console game at (in the projects section) along with an explanation. I really need to add comments and finish the AI(I use this term loosely in this context) which I will probably do tonight or tomorrow.

On a more exciting note I hit up Lollapalooza in Chicago this past weekend and it was awesome!

I had to be lifted out of the crowd at the Rage Against the Machine concert (this was 45 minutes before the show even started, that's how rowdy they were) because as a 5'4' female with an average build, I was not fit to survive that crowd.

The lead singer, Zack, had to stop the concert 3 times to get people to calm down! It was still an amazing performance from them though. Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and Gogol Bordello were awesome as well and I had a great time. Now it's time to get ready for school and also to get in all the coding I can before I have to divide my attention between programming and accounting.




Moving along with Blackjack

Decided to get some more work done on blackjack today. I mostly added comments which will explain some of the code that is only there to help me check how the program is running. I know I have a long way to go but I feel like this is a start.

I'm not sure where I'm going next but I'll figure it out as I go (I hope..). I need to figure out how to remove cards from the deck once they have been dealt and probably need a better way to deal with random numbers, not sure yet. After I get that figured out I will move onto dealer AI (if you can call it that) and the actual game loop and game options. -> projects if you want to check out the source!




Starting Out

So I've finally decided to start tracking my progress in C++ both on my website ( and in this journal. I hope that this journal will be helpful to other beginners like myself that aren't ready for some of the more advanced journals (I know I'm not). I think it's nice to see something that someone is working on and actually be able to understand what is going on (for us beginners anyway, not that there's anything wrong with advanced topics).

I have been reading SAMS Learn C++ in 21 days and have been practicing the topics for about a month now. After reaching chapter 14 I've decided that I should be capable of programming something more complex (beyond book exercises).

My initial goals were a guessing game and hangman both of which I've finally made and posted on my website in the projects section and as my projects have gotten more complex I've realized what my biggest hurdle is.

I want everything to be perfect.

After finishing up hangman my next goal was technically, tic tac toe, but I don't like the idea of programming that for a console window so I decided to go with Blackjack. My need for perfection has really caught up with me on this game. I found myself sitting down trying to write out all the perfect ways to do things only to realize that I don't really have the knowledge to do everything just right yet which kept leaving me frustrated and with no actual programming completed. So starting yesterday I actually started programming blackjack. It is by no means perfect, and the way I've organized it is pretty terrible I'm sure, but at least I have something now and can start to work on it.

As usual I will post my progress on the web page once I add some comments.

I would also like to add that I am a COMPLETE BEGINNER and any code you find on my website is not likely to be ideal and should not be looked at as a definitive way to program anything. I am actually an accounting major and haven't ever taken a programming course so I am teaching myself and wouldn't even know enough to know if I had done something terribly wrong or in a silly way. Everything I post compiles without error on my computer. I do, however, complete all of these projects on my own and make sure I understand the concepts before I look into understanding syntax.

I basically think up a process for solving a problem and then if I don't have the syntax for it memorized I look up how to do it in C++. I never understood this process before but it has helped me to go beyond just learning C++ to understanding problem solving. It also feels good to know that even if my program sucks that I thought through it on my own for the most part. It is best to ask for help once you've gotten going on your own first.

This is a long-winded way of me saying that even though I want beginners to read this journal and check out source code to the programs I make, I still want people to do things for themselves. I can tell you from experience that it is the only real way to learn how to program.

I have also been fortunate enough to find someone willing to give me increasingly difficult problems to solve and to comment on my solutions *after* I provide an answer. I am very grateful to this person and will try to post some of those problems either here or on my website when I get his permission because they are an excellent way to get some hands on experience and are beginner friendly. I might post my own answers somewhere on the site at some point because I am not good enough to examine anyone's solution, but would like to provide people with at least one possible answer when they figure out their own. Well, I think that's more than enough for today!



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