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# How long did it take you...

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How long did it take you before coding was second nature. You could just sit there any code for hours without looking at a reference. It seems like every couple of lines of code I say to myself, "What''s the code for that again?" I would give anything to be able to sit at my computer and code for 10 minutes straight.

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Coding is 2nd nature to me right now... BUt I would still give anything to be able to code for
10 minutes straight... Instead, my wrists decide to be a bitch, and start to hurt after 5 minutes
straight... bah humbug

------------------------------
Trent (ShiningKnight)
E-mail me
OpenGL Game Programming Tutorials

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I still look up in the reference books.. .er.. msdn atleast...

Well, not for the basics of C/C++ no, but for some of the less used functions I''m still checking the reference.

As for when I could code c/c++ without looking it up... well... It took me a month or two, however, I only worked on it 50 min a day or less (in a class... no teacher though... go figure!), and I had previous programming experience with Qbasic, and Visual Basic.

If you want an answer that will probably make how ever long it takes you seem quick... It probably took me over a year to get to where I could write a simple program in Qbasic. Although I was in elementry school (3rd grade) at the time... And I guess it was probably more like 6 months... Umm... You shouldn''t judge yourself off of me, because I learned pretty quickly. But the fact is, you shouldn''t judge your progress off of anybody, because everybody learns at different rates.

Unless you''ve been trying to learn for 5 years, putting 5 hours into it everyday, and really working at it, then there is nothing to worry about. If you''ve been working at it alot, and can''t make any progress, then still don''t worry. Maybe you could try a different approach.
But above all, don''t give up. you will get it eventually, and when you do, your none-coder friends will be in awe (okay, they probably won''t but you will be happy about finally getting it!!!)

Drakonite

[Insert Witty Signature Here]

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I''ve been programming for... a decade now and I still have refrence books, but they are no longer for the language, and mainly for the obsure API''s that I''m using.

Always expect to program with a web browser open to the API doc''s it''s just soo much easier than fighting with it.

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I''ve been programming for over 8 years now and I''ve found that programming is a constant learning experience. Sure syntax is second nature by now and algorithmic design.. but there are always new things to learn and challenges to overcome. I think that''s the attraction of programming personally, it never really gets boring.

Premandrake

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Im in the same position as u r. Im only 14 and still learning, but i still feel a bit guilty whenever i turn to my book for a certain function or something. But to remember every little thing about programming would be impossible. Even industry professionals keep reference books around them in case they ever get stuck.

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I''ve been programming in C++ for about eight years now. The basic syntax of the language you should pick up pretty quick (few weeks or months maybe). So I rarely need a reference on the syntax. But I''m always using MSDN and the DX8SDK docs and fairly often a good STL book. IMO there isn''t much point in memorizing function params and such when F1 will bring the reference in half a sec.

Jack

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quote:

i still feel a bit guilty whenever i turn to my book for a certain function or something

that''s what books are for. you''re not supposed to memorize the book the first time through.

HHSDrum@yahoo.com

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Let''s assume you code in C++ (like me). The language has changed in the 8 years I''ve been learning and using it - and is still changing. Synatx that used to be legal is now deprecated; new terms and functions and structures are introduced all the time - and that''s just the language itself . Throw an API into the mix. In fact, throw about 3 - DX, OGL and Win32. Add reasonable helpings of STL, templates, namespaces and OO (the implications of your base class'' properties for erived classes can still be tricky...)

Then give thanks that F1 brings up your MSDN CD, and that you have the web.

That''s my helpful way of saying there''s nothing wrong in coding with references by your side all the time (if you use them frequently for particular topics, you''ll eventually find yourself using them less), and that you shouldn''t even be thinking about it. (At the risk of sounding cliched) Just do it.

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Well as for myself, I''ve been programming for about 13 years. I''ve done a lot of work in a lot of different languages, and more often than not I always have some reference manuals lying around while I work. Sometimes, on rare occasions, I''ll find myself writing syntax from one language in another... yeah I know it''s pretty bad, but I pride myself on the actual problem solving not "coding" persay. The languages themselves are nothing more than a means to implement a solution, the solution itself however can be entirely independant (usually I''ll choose the languages and libraries that best suit my needs for a particular situation and try not to become bound to any one). Of course the more you work with a language more accustom you become to the intrinsic features and functions that promote better overall performance in that language. But I feel a basic knowledge of logical problem solving and an understanding of the underlying systems is by far more beneficial. I do a lot of my work pseudo-coded out on paper before I even think about the language implementation of it. If I need to lookup some syntax I will... after all there''s no shame in getting the job done at the expense of a little reading (even if it is remedial). And ultimately with the constant language and compiler updates/changes that occur over the years, it''s hard to avoid.

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Knowing the constructs and behavior of a language should be second nature to code effectively. As for API functions, there''s too many to remember unless you become a major guru in one particular one, in which case you have probably failed to branch out into something more interesting, like pushing the envelope with new concepts.

By new concepts, I mean applying hardcore algorithms to hardcode problems to get computers to do remarkable things that they aren''t really doing yet.

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I''ve been coding for nearly 15 years now and as many have said before me, it''s really no big deal to just hit the F1 key for a quick look up for a function param or a light description on what you are trying to do.

A reference book near your desk is invaluable though for good descriptions of lesser used stuff. Just buy a style that you feel comfortable with (personally I like Oreilly then Wrox and can''t stand Sams). Don''t worry about memorising it, it will come to you in time.

Because I customarily write in a couple of different languages, I find I even look up some of the basic syntax sometimes (what does a Case statement in Perl look like?)

Don''t sweat it, just keep practicing and you''ll pick it up

-- And that''s my $0.02 worth -- Hang on, where I come from,$0.02 is rounded down. Does that mean my opinion is worthless or priceless?

Talent2

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Thanks for all the advice, I''m committing myself to write a simple game by the end of the year. (I''m just starting out (C++))