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raidzero

C# Which direction should I head now?

2 posts in this topic

Alright, so I spent the past few days learning C#. I watched many many videos on YouTube, but they go over the same topics just a different explanation behind it. I follow some tutorials to create a Text Based Game, but there are things like Generics, Structs, etc which I don't fully understand and struggle with. I know it's only been a few days and it just impossible to fully grasp the concept.

So I ask how can I further my skills in C#?
Should I just develop random program to get a better feel for the language?
Are there things I should read up on? Examine other people's codes?
Books to learn from? Tutorials you recommend that really helped you?

I'm thinking about writing my own Text Based Game using the one I learned form the tutorial as reference. Start with a Text Based Game and develop majority of the features I want, then add static images and sound using XNA..
But I'm lacking the confidence? that I can actually write it and put it all together...
I really don't know what to do next, I have a basic understanding, but how can I improve?
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[quote name='Key' timestamp='1311049379' post='4837200']
So I ask how can I further my skills in C#?
Should I just develop random program to get a better feel for the language?
Are there things I should read up on? Examine other people's codes?
Books to learn from? Tutorials you recommend that really helped you?

I'm thinking about writing my own Text Based Game using the one I learned form the tutorial as reference. Start with a Text Based Game and develop majority of the features I want, then add static images and sound using XNA..
But I'm lacking the confidence? that I can actually write it and put it all together...
I really don't know what to do next, I have a basic understanding, but how can I improve?
[/quote]

I don't have experience in C#, but I do in other languages like Java, Python, and C++. I think there is no algorithm for what you are asking. There is no step by step guidance to get you from where you are at now to where you want to go. Some people are going to say do X. Others are going to say do Y. It may have worked for them, but it may not work for you. At some point you just have to ignore what people tell you and go do what you are passionate about. A lot of people just fool themselves and they think they really have a desire to do something but they reveal themselves when they start asking others for permission to go do the very thing they are "passionate" about. If you're thinking about making some game using XNA, then just go do it. Who cares if you fail and you end up writing code that is not as efficient or as elegant as you hoped for. If you're having fun and enjoying the process then why does it matter? You're a beginner anyway. People who have a burning desire to have a certain career, e.g. become an artist, musician, game developer, etc... or want to learn a certain skill are not going to be deterred by a lack of resources or failure.

If you want to be a writer, then you need to write. If you want to be a runner, then you need to run. Similarly, if you want to be a programmer, then you need to program. Program what? Anything. A programmer can't help but program. The point is to practice implementing your ideas. Come up with something. Anything. It doesn't need to be a game. Everyone has ideas, but not everyone can bring their ideas to life. You begin to distinguish yourself once you can implement your ideas. Don't say: I have an idea for a program X that does Y using Z. [i]Show me the code.[/i] That's the difference.

You're concerned that you don't understand things like templates, generics, and other constructs, but that just means you haven't reached a point where you actually need to start using them. Once you've made a lot of mistakes, you will appreciate those language features more and you will be in a good position to learn them and remember them for life. For example, I remember when I was very new to programming thinking that namespaces and virtual functions were mysterious and I didn't even see the need for them. That's because most of my programs were small and I hadn't grasped OOP and I hadn't written enough programs to even warrant using them. If you program often enough, you will begin to understand why those features were added to the language and then it will start to make sense. After all, those features are not arbitrary--they were put in for a reason.
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[quote name='Key' timestamp='1311049379' post='4837200']
So I ask how can I further my skills in C#?
[/quote]

Write code.

[quote]
Should I just develop random program to get a better feel for the language?
[/quote]

Absolutely. Have the program print your name. Have one count to 10. Have one print the first 20 numbers in the Fibbonaci Sequence. Write a guess the number game.

[quote]
Are there things I should read up on? Examine other people's codes?
[/quote]

Probably. Probably not for a few months.

[quote]
Books to learn from? Tutorials you recommend that really helped you?
[/quote]

I don't know of any for C# 4. I tend to prefer a physical reference when writing in a language I don't know. With 2 monitors that is less a concern and YMMV. I don't know of any good intro C# tutorials.
Go, write code. Most of the skill isn't knowing the syntax, but figuring things out. Figure stuff out.

[quote]
I'm thinking about writing my own Text Based Game using the one I learned form the tutorial as reference. Start with a Text Based Game and develop majority of the features I want, then add static images and sound using XNA..
But I'm lacking the confidence? that I can actually write it and put it all together...
I really don't know what to do next, I have a basic understanding, but how can I improve?
[/quote]

That is probably too ambitious for now. Focus on small, known problems. That makes it easier when you ask for help and gets you into a pattern of success. The two biggest problems you'll run into are trying to do too much too soon; flailing about without learning and thinking you're done when you're not. Being [b][i]done[/i][/b] is hard. Don't get sucked into the trap of making everything perfect or 'using what you've learned' or "oh I'll just add this feature". Set goals, achieve goals, repeat.
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