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Moolkye

Programming and Lack of Focus

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I really want to learn programming. But I lack the focus needed to learn. I have the "Teach Yourself c++ in 21 Days" book, but I got to a portion of the book that, for the lack of explaining, just doesn't make sense. Therefore I get frustrated because I don't see the results quickly enough. I have tried various methods of learning, from books to video tutorials. Maybe it's my A.D.D., maybe it's just that I can't learn it. I have a desire to, but I am finding it difficult to do. Anyone have any ideas? I think it would be easier to learn for me, if I had a tutor, but that costs lots of money, and besides there is no one in my area. Perhaps an online 1 on 1 session or something. I dunno, I'm just throwing ideas out there. I've always heard people say things like, "Just open a source code of something a start fooling around with it, you'll learn that way" But I find problems with that, because I have no idea what anything does, or what words to use to try new things, etc. Any help on this? Any ideas? Thanks in advance

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Hmmm.
First, I also have the "Teach Yourself..." book, and I agree, really doing the book in 21 days is beyond boring, although the workshop here has helped some.

I really don't know what can motivate a programmer. I find some good motivation in two places in particular.
First, I have a job that I'm required to be in attendance for 40 hours a week, but I really only have about 10 hours worth of work (lucky me XD ) And when your computer only has visual studio on it and you love games, you'll want to make your own so you can play something (the Tetris-clone tutorial in an hour, located here even though it took me like 2 1/2 hours, is a great start, plus you get a fun game in a short amount of time)
Also, listen to music or something as well...I personally can't stand the sound of my noisy keyboard and nothing else.

other than that, i dunno...motivation is the hardest part about game programming. Its harder than coding, drawing the graphics (in MSPaint), and debugging combined.

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I always learn by setting some goal, and then using whatever I'm trying to learn to accomplish it. For example, set yourself the goal of writing a hangman game and then use C++ to do it.

With this approach, you are not learning C++ as an end in itself, but as a means to an end. This outlook really keeps me motivated, because you can apply what you learned right away. For example, reading about functions for functions sake can be incredibly dull. Reading about functions and thinking about how they can help your hangman game adds interest (at least for me).

HTH

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Another "trick" is simply to not just follow one book. If/when you get stuck with the book you're reading, take a peek at another, or at online tutorials. Look around, and see if whatever it is is better explained elsewhere

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/o/ASIN/1592002056/ref=s9_asin_image_1/026-2323224-2321226

i think this book is very good for learning c++ because it helps you to program a game as you learn what functions etc etc do,this keeps me interested more than just reading "this is a fuction" with no example or reason of why or how to use it other than on its own,most books tell you how to create one but very few tell you why you implement it,either that or they lose you in jargon it doesnt explain very well.

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Wow, these are great tips.
I like the idea of programming to meet a goal. That seems like the application of knowledge is more retainable than just reading about stuff, you may or may not ever use.

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Do you know anyone else who would like to learn how to program and create games? I've just completed an MSc degree in Computer Science (Games Development) and there were a number of students on the degree who had very little programming experience or motivation to learn. This all changed when we sat down to work together on projects though. I recommend that you try and learn with other people. Get together with a few friends and set yourselves little projects and teach each other what you learn. You will also learn how to comment your code properly as well if you work on group projects.

All the best
Jon

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I think there's a hundred thousand C/C++ tutorials on the internet. Google up some C++ tutorials and try them all, until you find one that "clicks". Then you can go back to your book and re-read portions of it, and it'll become clear.

It's hard at the beginning, but you'll get used to figuring out where the gaps in your understanding are, and finding the documentation or help to fill those gaps. That's the "focus" I think you are referring to. It comes with time, practice, and patience. Don't give up.

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Starting out with C++ was a bit difficult for me at first.
I would drop it, pick it up later, and drop it again several times.

Then, when not at the computer, I had a book on C++ that I would read while going on long rides in a car (somebody else driving of course) or right before I fall asleep.

When I woke up I would have a new idea based on what I read that night and I would head for the computer to try it out but I still didn't know how to start my idea.

So I started with the most basic program playing with if/else statements and cin/cout in MS-DOS

from there I researched. Keep reading about the language. At least that's what I did.

Also I find that having a decent sized whiteboard and a marker nearby is great for jotting down notes on the current thing you're working on.

And if you get bored that's fine. I have a short attention span when programming. Get up, go do something else. You never know what event might inspire your programming. Ready to give it another go? Come on back and pick up where you left off.

And last but not least, to keep track of what I'm doing since I get up a lot, NEVER finish a function or complete your train of thought. The reason being is, when you come back you can skim through the first piece of the function and it will help you remember what you were doing easier. Finish the rest of that function and you'll have an easier time getting back on your train of thought in my experience.

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I know exactly how you feel. Dont expect quit results. some things in c++, take weeks to completely understand, brother.

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