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Webbster

C++ Learning Curve

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Just a question of curiousness really, to anyone else who taught themselves C++ (from a book, not a course). How long did it take you to actually get the basics (Variables, Functions, OOP, Pointers, Inheritance, Polymorphism, Templates etc.) under your belts? And also, after you''d covered such topics, where you went from there, in terms of programming (games or otherwise)?

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well originally before learning C/C++ I learned BASIC which was too easy. With the basics of programming I went on to learning C from reading a library book but never had a compiler for about 3 years so all I learned I couldnt try out, I wrote programs on paper (LOL)....within those years I also started learning C++ aspects too at the same time as learning C, which people would advise strongly against, because it could confuse you or lead to a mish-mash of programming style clashes or whatever (at that time I didnt even know the difference between the languages). Frankly it did not confuse me and by the time I got a compiler I discovered I knew C/C++ quite well (not expert like.. but well enough).

I finally got a chance to write all my hand written programs and compile them to find they worked well, with few errors. Soon after I started learning graphics programming in MS-DOS using the DJGPP compiler and then once I knew the low level routines like changing screen mode and palette stuff I was able to make my first C/C++ game, a remake of Snake. Which turned out excellently.

It took me only about a month or two to get the basics of C, because I had BASIC programming experience already, but I guess it depends on who u are. some people can get it in about 3 weeks (my friend did, and he''s never coded before in his life, now he can code in C quite well).

Dark Star
UK

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I''m 15 years old, and have started programming with C++ from the start.

I followed the Sam''s 21 Days course, but its so slow. So i decided to do 2 chapters a day instead of 1. I''ve got what i would consider the basic knowledge of C++ and OOP, but chances are many programmers here would disagree, i would like to go onto OpenGL but I''m alittle worried that such a leap would be a waist of £30 (for a good book lol)...

Does anyone know if the so called ''Red Book'' caters for people like me?

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If you don''t wanna spend money on a book then download and print out NeHe''s tutorials, put them in a binder with the pdf cover beneath the plastic of the binder and there you have it! An OpenGL book that just cost the price of printer ink.



R.I.P. Mark Osback
Solo Pa Mi Gente

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I checked out NeHe a while back, the tutorials are alittle confused. I looked at the first one, I could identify all the structure and everything but it was almost as if I was already expected to know every OpenGL keyword used and its syntax.

I''ll take another look and browse the gametutorials web site something might just go ping! in my head...

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PS Thanks for the free book tip Ekim_Gram

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I can''t really advise you on what book to get on OpenGL, but if you have been programming for only a little while then maybe it may not be advisable to start on something like OpenGL. The reason I say this is that with programming, if you follow a 21 day book like the one you have, and do all the exercises, doing well in those does not always mean you will be ok on your own. Sometimes you need to put your programming skills to the test and write small programs to practice what you have learned. Simply learning something new from each chapter (day) is not enough for the type of programming you want to achieve in OpenGL. Maybe if you have been practicing for a few months first.

But dont let me discourage you. I dont know your level of programming and neither can I give a definate for how long you must be programming before you start on something like OpenGL or DirectX. People learn at different rates.

and doing 2 chapters in one day is fine....I did about 4 because I was so excited when I was learning. Just depends on how much you can take in. But be sure to devise your own programs to test something you have learned in the chapter. Eg. if u learn about functions, write a program with extensive function calls, and experiment with return types and parameters


Dark Star
UK

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I started with QBasic for 3 months then did Visual Basic for 2 years. When I switch to C++ (it has been 1 year now) it took me like 5 days to learn the syntax (variables, loop, functions etc), the basics are the same.

As for learning OOP, Pointers, Inheritance, Polymorphism, it took me 6 months to really understand how to use them. Pointers where a pain in the ass at the beginning. But in the end, it all comes to only one thing, the amount of time you pass practicing. If you can spend 5 hours a day in 2 months you should get all that. It all about free time.

If you''re into serious game programming do not learn VB, experience talks.

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By 3 months, I was writing my own simple programs without help of the book. By 6 months I wrote a text-based game. I have been programming in C++ for about 9 months now, and understand most of it. I read C++ for Dummies 4th Edition and half of Thinking in C++, Edition 2, Volume 1 to learn, plus read some stuff online.

Scott Simontis
e-mail:ageofscott@comcast.net
AIM:ssimontis

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Im fairly able in terms of programming my own creations (and not just copying and altering samples from a book).

Im one of these types of people who messes around with programming whenever I''m bored, which is usually when I''m not learning abought computers and programming in general. lol, your average computer nerd.

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Originally being self taught, now going threw classes basically i started with basic(i was a youngin lol), then c, and later c++, vb, etc etc. Ive been "programming" for 11-12 years now.

Well teaching yourself has its benefits, looking back i dont really recommend it, or rather not in the way i did. Youll teach yourself...eventually. Everything takes longer to learn, unless you easily grasp logical problems, OOP, polymorphism, inheritance and all that. C is easy to learn in my opinion, c++ is a whole diff. story. Also, you may teach yourself "wrong" now that im in a lot of CIS courses i upset the teacher a lot because ive always been a code now plan later developer because i mean who wants all that boring design right? lol.

However, i still think teaching myself was a good idea, and being as your only 15 theres not really much of a alternative. Pick up some good books, lots of them. Dont be like me and sit on the internet all day looking for material. That was my biggest mistake. "Im cheap and books are expensive" so i taught myself with one book, and about 100lbs of computer printout lol....so much for cheap. But soon enough it was text based games, then VGA, SVGA, Simple graphics demos, then 3d.

As for learning opengl, dont. not yet. Im one of those you cant learn c++ in 15 days people, and im sure people will argue with me. While you can learn the basics, you cant learn its full power. Why learn something if you cant learn it correctly. Spend time playing with the language. But once you grasp the language firmly theres no problem going with opengl, you arent coding 10 years ago(thank god) where all the 3d blitting routines had to be written by hand. Opengl makes game development go a lot faster, in my opinion anyways.

As people have said, write programs. LOTS of programs its the only way youll ever get better at it. A book can teach you the "recipe" but it cant teach you how to cook.

~ Chris

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