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kaiel090x

Opinion: Books or School?

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I am pretty new to C++ programming, I have learned throguh reading books. I read books often, I find them fun, but I read incredibly fast, and I tend to skip words in books, sometimes even paragraphs. So when I started reading C++ books, I found myself lost and confused. I thought of taking a class, but ot only is it hard for a child, but where would I get the money. I struggle often with topics like pointers and refrences, and advanced classes, because its hard for an auther to write these thousand paged books for you. I constantly find myself posting help messages on the forums, and up till last week, I was looking to my books as a reference constantly. I found taking my time with the reading, maybe a chapter a two a day, and then practicing everything in my code helpful, and I begun to learn quikly. But its been 2 years since a started(though I gave up for about 9 months) and I am just now beggining to learn through all of these books. Maybe its because I was trying to read and do school work all at the same time, or maybe its because I skipped lines(paragraphs), but probably a combinaion of both. The question here is: Which is better for learning C++, school or books? And, which one is more costly? On the comparison, you can tell what I''ve chose, I just wanted to here what everyone else thinks. ~ from the depths of the ocean

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Books + a compiler.

I find that school is nice for theory, but to actually learn the language, books are much better.

~~~~~~~~~~
Martee

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In your case, kaiel090x, you should go to school if you can afford it. It''s obvious from your other posts that you consider yourself a good programmer from your experiences with Flash. But those other posts also show that you don''t appreciate the benefits of encapsulation, pointers or references, or data abstraction. It is the theory side of things where you are lacking. Even if you don''t go to school, you should get some books on theory rather than just ''How to program X in Y API'' or whatever. A book or two on object orientated programming would be good, as would Design Patterns and Code Complete.

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It depends greatly upon the person. Some learn better on their own with books, some learn better in a classroom setting. Its a personal decision. I''m not as familiar with your other postings as Kylotan seems to be, but I''d second the idea that taking at least a few classes is good.

When learning *strictly* from books, you can sometimes miss parts of the ''big picture'' that would be utterly obvious if you were learning from someone who knew what they were doing. Getting a good grounding in algorithms and data structures and basic computer theory is essential if you want to be a great programmer, be it in games or any other programming field.

Specific languages and even methodologies (like OOP) can be picked up fairly easily from a book by people who have learned the true basics, which tend to apply across the board.

My suggestion would be to take some classes on theory, such as an algorithms and data structures course (even if its taught in Java, or Pascal, or whatever, take it if they don''t expect you to know the language they work with beforehand), and maybe some classes in logic and discrete math, if they are available to you, and use books for learning language specifics and such.

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