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BakedSasquatch

New to this, need advice!

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Hello, I want to start off by saying I have absolutely no programming experience. I have acquired Visual Studio 2005 and also have Dev C++, so IDE's are not an issue. I just really want to find a good language to get me off my feet and get me going as far as programming goes. As far as languages go, I have learned a tiny amount of C++ over the past couple weeks or so, but only enough to make a simple "Display Text Here" console program. Utterly basic. So, my main question is, which language do you experts either in the Industry or just programming for fun recommend, to a person completely new to the programming scene. C/C++/Java seems like it would be my best bet as far as careers go, considering I want to go into Software development/game programming after college. But then again you guys know a lot more than me so you decide. Thanks for your help, -Mike.

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Python gets talked about a lot, although I haven't looked at it yet. Personally, I would recommend C# – but if you've started with C++, it might be worth sticking with it.

You've not done much, so switching isn't too bad, but it's important to stick with something, so that you learn properly). IMHO, being persistent is probably one of the most important things (as well as actually remembering to program; a reasonable number of beginners seem to just work through a book doing – or even not doing – the exercises, and don't try to extend or play with their skills themselves). Learning to program is the hard part – learning the syntax (the 'vocabulary' and grammar) of the languages is the relatively easy bit.

How are you/did you start learning C++?

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Original post by BakedSasquatch
But then again you guys know a lot more than me so you decide.


Don't worry about picking a language now for your career. If you become a remotely serious programmer, either as a hobbyist or as a professional, you will end up knowing several languages (a half-dozen isn't at all unusual).

Finally, this gets raised pretty much daily – it might be worth trying a few likely-sounding searches here.

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Ok, thanks for your advice. I probably will want to stick with C++ just because it would make me feel a lot more confident knowing that then trying to learn other languages, as opposed to learning a low level language and then learning C++.

For how I am learning, I've basically used a few tutorials online, but I am looking into buying a C++ book and that was going to be my next question anyway. Which C++ book do you recommend to a complete beginner in that language. I need something that will tell me not only what to type, but why. A textbook like format would probably work best for me personally. But anyway, thanks for any more responses and I'll be sure to check other threads!

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Which C++ book do you recommend to a complete beginner in that language. I need something that will tell me not only what to type, but why.
If you can get a hold of Accelerated C++ by Koenig and C++ Primer by Lippman. The former is more like a tutorial and the latter like a reference book.

Search accu.org if you want a technical analysis of a certain book you are considering.

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I will definitely check out the accelerated C++. I have been looking into the C++ Primer, but it got poor reviews on this particular site I see. However, the reviews on amazon are pretty good all around. It's a pretty steep contrast, actually. If I were to buy those books, they would help me learn the basics of C++ for sure though? Thanks again!

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I recommend C++ How to Program, either the Fifth Edition or the newest Sixth Edition. It is used in a lot of universities nationwide and I thought it was phenomenal. If you have any questions let us know, we can help you on here. :)

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I have been looking into the C++ Primer, but it got poor reviews on this particular site I see
C++ Primer by Lippman? That's a bit surprising.

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If I were to buy those books, they would help me learn the basics of C++ for sure though?
They'll do a far better job than other beginner level books. It's important you get modern C++ idioms down. Actually, theoretically you could just learn from a bad book and then keep spending more time learning it right. Practically, you'll pick up some bad programming habits if you pick up a bad book.

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Ahh, I was looking at the Stephen Prata book instead, whoops. Would the C++ Primer by Lippman and Accelerated C++ by Andrew Koenig and Barbara E. Moo be a good parallel read? I might be ordering one of them tomorrow, as funds atm only allow one book. Which book would be more helpful from the start, in your opinion?

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If you're going to pick only one book, go for the Accelerated C++ book. It's designed more like a tutorial/coursework book, rather than a reference book. For now, if you need to refer to something, you can look it up on Google.

When you get the book, take note of the website ( http://www.acceleratedcpp.com/ ). The fifth edition cleans up a lot of the previous mistakes, but it does have a few, so having the errata list can come in handy.

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I was about ready to order the book, when I started reading all these negative comments about C++ as a first language. I think I may choose Python instead, as this has acutally been suggested by many both on this site and others. Is the book "Learning Python" by Mark Lutz a good choice? -Mike

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I was about ready to order the book, when I started reading all these negative comments about C++ as a first language. I think I may choose Python instead, as this has acutally been suggested by many both on this site and others.
Good idea. If you're open to switching, definitely switch. C++ is a very very bad choice for complete beginners to programming. You should ideally have some decent programming experience before starting it.

Just want to let you know, there are a number of free books and resources for learning Python, that are actually quite good. Have you sufficiently looked into them? Seriously, by the time you get more responses to this post, you could have learned quite a number of Python basics by yourself.

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I am using a freenetpages.net tutorial right now on python. I have actually learned a good amount in the past hour or so. Right now I can do print, print number*number, number/number, number-number,etc. I can also do things such as print "The sum of %d and %d is: %d" % (7,18,7+18), giving me the response The sum of 7 and 18 is: 25. Also, I understand that %d allows python to give me back decimal answers. At least...I'm pretty sure that's what it means. Anyway, my point is that switching to Python was in fact a good choice, C++ is simply too complex for someone with no experience whatsoever to learn.

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Also, I understand that %d allows python to give me back decimal answers.
Err, more accurately it's a formatting specifier for strings ( http://docs.python.org/lib/typesseq-strings.html ).

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