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I have gotten a good book on C++ and was wondering how long it should take to master it. I was thinking about learning another language after and I want to get to that language pretty soon (either C# or PASCAL or JAVA), oh ya i will learn openGL too.

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Don't rush. I still learn new things about C++ every other day and it's been, what, six years? Just start actually using it, write C++ programs that use OpenGL...

If you're just beginning, you have two things to learn. Not only the language itself, but how to *actually* program. To some extent, learning other languages is mostly a matter of becoming familiar with a new syntax, new idioms and some new features.

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Are you talking about mastering the book, or C++ - as the book might not cover all of C++ and even then might just drift over some topics.

So - assuming your talking about mastering C++:

Sorry - I don't think there is a clear answer! How much programming have you done before? What sort of programming have you done before? Define what you mean by mastering?

To me, mastering means being able to do things like writing custom-allocators for the STL, or feeling confident in writing policy-driven templated classes, or something of that ilk. And in my opinion there aren't many people around who have mastered it.

Using myself as an example : I've worked for several years as a mathematician, and have done lots of programming, but never with a language that allows memory manipulation like C++. I started using C++ in July of this year, and have my head around a lot of the basic concepts, but still sometimes make mistakes on basic things. OTOH, I have programmed the basic game stuff from the Forum FAQ (like breakout and tetris), have written a basic 3D engine and have done a fair bit of Win32 programming in that time, so I can produce some usable stuff - it's not all as efficient as it could be, but I've made stuff that works.

I think the key point to bear in mind is that you never stop learning. Should you learn more than one language - why not? In my job, I typically had SAS, NONMEM and Splus (all mathematical programming languages) open at any given time, and could quite happily switch from one to another despite the different languages - so you can program in more than one thing at once without getting syntactically confused.

So - in the end - just start learning, and accept you're in for the long haul :)

Jim.

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