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getting better at c++

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I want to get better at coding. I code in c++ and I know the language well but i need a tutorial or something that will help me get better at programming, (not the actual language but at programming part). any help would be greatly appreciated. 

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Your title is quite contradictory to what you ask for in your post, you say you want to focus on the programming part in your post while the title says you want to get to know the language better.

 

If you want to really get better at programming you should step away from the learning materials which try to hold your hand (ie. tutorials) and dive into the more serious stuff.

 

Assuming we're talking about actual programming concepts, there are some things I believe every beginner programmer should take a look at.

First of all it might be good idea to broaden your horizon when it comes to programming paradigms. Opposed to what many newer (and even more experienced) programmers seem to think, OO is not the perfect solution to every single programming problem out there, and it'll be definitely worth your while to look at other paradigms and what their positive and negative points are. Problems which would be perceived as difficult to solve in OOP can suddenly become really easy when using another paradigm.

I'd definitely recommend experimenting with languages like Lisp or Prolog (among others), as these can be real eye-openers for more OO-minded programmers.

 

Second of all, it can never hurt to learn about your basic algorithms and data structures, if you haven't already done so. Knowledge about algorithms for sorting, searching, shortest-path problems, etc. can be very valuable to you throughout your programming career as they'll allow you to solve a lot of common problems in an efficient manner.

 

All of this will only make you a better programmer if you constantly program though, so that should be priority #1.

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It is better to make something before going any deeper. Because when you read about more advanced techniques, designs, or different approach  you need to know the problem they're trying to tackle, otherwise all you are going to think is "How the hell does this helps me? Where can I apply all of this?".

 

You won't know what they're talking about until you start coding larger projects and hit those rocks yourself. Then you can read more advanced topics that will help you solve those problems and since you know what details you have to pay attention to, you'll probably learn more too.

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My suggestion is you cruise a place like sourceforge.net, looking for open source projects to contribute to. What you need is practice. Wax on. Wax off. Contributing to an open source project helps you and helps the project.

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Something you should learn is design patterns (see gang of four). Then you could try to implement an advanced algorithm like A* pathfinding. While the basics are easy (this tutorial is excellent imo and covers all the basics) there's much room for optimization. You can also try to write an advanced number class, which supports imaginary numbers. That way you learn overloading operators.

 

When you're done with, try out some APIs, maybe get into game programming using a free game engine (irrlicht is a good engine for beginners). You'll learn a lot about good api architectures just by using others.

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Before starting either Lisp or Prolog, it is better to get a good grasp of the math logic they are built on. Concepts to look out for in math are:
Set Theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set_theory, which will prepare you for the map and reduce(aka fold) techniques on which functional programming heavily leans.
First order Logic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_order_logic, which Prolog and any logical programming language are based on.

Algorithm design is another important field to focus on for which this book is an excellent introduction: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Introduction-Algorithms-T-Cormen/dp/0262533057/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360103335&sr=8-1-spell
It starts off with the normal search algorithms but will move into algorithm complexity analysis and more advanced algorithm construction after that and ending in graph theory.

Automatons and formal languages is also an interesting thing to look at, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automata_theory. These will teach the ideas in state based systems and language design (practical for the parser and lexer stages in a compiler).

Even though most of these topics sound utterly boring and abstract once you understand the abstract concepts the actual implementation of these concepts become far easier, at least that is what I found. Edited by NightCreature83

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On-line tutorials are not good for learning to program. They can explain techniques, but don't explain what techniques you should know and apply in the first place.

 

A number of people have recommended books, and this is the right aproach. Practice is important too.

Edited by King Mir

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