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Dr1fter

Learning XNA and C at same time

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Hi there,

I'm going into my third year of Computer Science at Stirling Uni and for the last 2 years i've been using Java, wanting to spread my wings a bit i moved on to C# and using the XNA framework over the summer for my own benefit, really liked how easy C# was to pick up after having done Java for 2 years, really enjoying it and think XNA is a great way to get into programming small games very quickly, but I have only just touched the surface of XNA, making simple games like pong etc.

I'm going on exchange this year to San Diego State University and just been looking at my module choices and a lot of the pre-resiquites are a good knowledge of the C programming language so i went out and got the book C Primer Plus, my question is how practical or useful is it for me to learn C and XNA at the same time? Has anyone tried learning 2 languages at the same time? , is C and C# too different? I know everyone is an individual and probably mostly depends on how much spare time someone has :), was just wondering if anyone has ever had any experience leanring the 2 languages concurrently?


Thanks

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Unfortunately there's no way for us to know whether or not you can hack it; ultimately as you noted everyone is different, and some people can manage it while others cannot.

That said... I've personally juggled far more than just two languages at once, so it's not impossible. It can become very difficult, especially if you are not already a highly experienced programmer, because different languages often mean different ways of thinking - so if you are used to solving problems in Foo language rather than solving problems abstractly in general, you can get into a lot of hot water when alternating between languages. IMO this is probably the single biggest challenge to learning multiple languages, but once you get a couple different thought paradigms under your belt, things get much easier. (Java and C# are far too similar to count as different paradigms, by the way, unless you've been doing a lot of stuff with delegates and LINQ... but I'm going to bite my tongue a bit on that subject lest I break out into a rant on how much I hate Java.)


The best I can suggest is to give it a shot, if you think you're up to it. Certainly can't hurt to try, and if you succeed, then you've got an extra skill to count on [smile]

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Go for it. They're different enough that you won't get them confused (C will yell at you right away for using "class" or "new"), but the syntax is similar enough that the familiarity & basics will transfer over.

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Thanks very much for the quick reply. I guess doing "extra" stuff like learning more than 1 language at a time can never be harmful. And as you stated everyone is different I guess the best way to find out is by doing it rather than asking on a forum :). Just wanted to find out other peoples experiences and if they benefited from it or looking back would have rather focused on one.

Thanks again :)

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In retrospect, as I was a beginning programmer, I wish I would have learned more languages sooner. As it was I spent a long time stuck with a limited number of tools, and missed a fair few good opportunities because of it.

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