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Dreampatch

Where to start?

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Over the past 4 years I have programmed in Pascal, basic, visual basic and DarkBASIC, I have easily transfered from one language to the next almost simplisticly, getting to grips with all the keywords and syntax. BUT..... I decide that I want to go professional with games so I go to college and have applied for a University which does a computer games course, so I'm taking all the positive steps, but then I decide to start learning C++ and I hit a wall! I have been trying to learn C++ for about 2 months now and don't seem to be getting anywhere, even though I have several books on the subject. I have found it incredibly difficult but have only just got to grips with the absolute basics, I still don't even understand STL! If anyone has any ideas how I could make this easier for myself, where to turn next, it would be much appreciated.

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I have that book, but I keep flicking through it and it all seems pretty obvious to me, I have done many of the examples and read most of the book, but some of it still goes over my head. I have managed to convert a few really crappy pascal programs to C++, but that's about it.

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Just start off with console programs. Learn the basic syntax and go from there. Start at hello world and work your way up. Don't try to jump into graphics too early until you can make a bunch of console programs. Thinking in c++ is a free online book by Bruce Eckel that is pretty good. This site also has great tutorials on it for beginners in c++. Good luck.

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What exactly are you having trouble with in the language? It may well be easier if you teach yourself the basics of object orientated programming in Python or something, if that's your problem. This way you won't be having to deal with all the C++ nastiness, yet will be learning design principles that will undoubtably make your C++ life easier.

Another good learning strategy, I've found, is to get an idea of what exactly you can do with the language, but not necessarily how to do it. Then set yourself a project that uses as many of these things as possible, looking up how to do things as you go. I know this sounds like a bit of a stupid way of doing it, and your programs will probably be awful to start off with, but if you learn by doing, as I do, then you'll soon find that you have a working knowledge.

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Quote:
Original post by Dreampatch
I have been trying to learn C++ for about 2 months now and don't seem to be getting anywhere, even though I have several books on the subject.

I have found it incredibly difficult but have only just got to grips with the absolute basics, I still don't even understand STL!

If anyone has any ideas how I could make this easier for myself, where to turn next, it would be much appreciated.


You say you have books - perhaps you need better books. I never did find a decent introductory text, although I expect Thinking in C++ would be good if I was still looking. After that, Effective C++, More Effective C++, The C++ Standard Library - A Tutorial and Reference, and Effective STL. Finally, Design Patterns.

Beyond books, all you have to do is keep working at things. Make programs that test your abilities and learn how the concepts work in practice. Keywords and syntax are largely irrelevant - underlying concepts (encapsulation, object orientation, data structures, algorithmic complexity) are what matter.

C++ is not significantly more difficult than Pascal really when used on a simple level. So take the additional features one at a time, acclimatising yourself as you go along.

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I've spent about 2 months learning C++ code myself from a book and it seems I have most of it down. If you don't understand the syntax and that sort of thing, then you just need to work on it and keep trying. If it's all the advanced stuff, then just read up on it when you actually need to use it. If you can't get any further in game programming and where to go next, I suggest the SDL tutorial that was in a news post a few days ago. That shit is great. Good luck (:

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