Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
TheCanadianVendingMachine

How to stay motivated in learning?

This topic is 1456 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hello! I am on this forum because I want to know where I should go now. But first - Some story.

 

I wanted to learn how to program since I was 11, and I attempted to do so at 13 by diving into c++. I dipped my toe in and I realized that it is too tough of a language for a beginner. So I decided to learn Python. I started learning python at the beginning of 2013, and now I feel comfortable in the language. Now I want to move onto a different language.

 

So here I am, at 14 wanting to learn C++. I have an Ebook that I read every now and again on C++, but I seem to get demotivated from it. I understand that I have to read it to learn, but I want to get to parts I am interested in. Such as multifile programs, without learning pointers.

 

So in conclusion, the question I am asking is how to stay on task, and keep learning it. How I learnt Python is read a beginner tutorial, then try to do something, then Google it. I understand that I cannot do this with C++ because of more advanced systems. Anyone have any tips?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

Best advice I could give is to find ways to make it fun.  I learned some of the basics of c++ from Beginning C++ Through Game Programming

the games are really simple and it helps keep you from burning out because you are seeing something being completed and get that sense of accomplishment.  Its so much more fun and easier to stick with when you are able to say hey i made something kinda cool.

Edited by moneal2001

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


So here I am, at 14 wanting to learn C++. I have an Ebook that I read every now and again on C++, but I seem to get demotivated from it. I understand that I have to read it to learn, but I want to get to parts I am interested in. Such as multifile programs, without learning pointers.

 

 

You won't get too far in C++ without learning how to use pointers. tongue.png  They aren't too complicated once you figure them out, and if you want to do ANYTHING in C++ you'll have to understand the concept of a pointer. Pointers are an extremely fundamental concept, both for C and C++ as well as for any low level programming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've recommended these before, but:

http://codingmadeeasy.ca/tutorials

Are really easy to follow. If you do them alongside the SFML tutorials on the site, which are c++ based,the simple act of applying the c++ to a game can keep motivation pretty high, at least for myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, pointers are crucial for any c++ developer, so, you cannot just skip them.

 

In my opinion, find some good book on c++ 'from scratch', read it from cover to cover, don't ignore the hard parts (i.e pointers), exercise and experiment with every new concept(this will keep you interested and motivated ). You're only 14, so you don't really have to rush, take it slow. When you got a grasp on the language, that's where the journey begin :)

 

On those boring pointers though, I remember the exact moment when I got the point of their existence. Man, that was just pure satisfaction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you figured out correctly, C++ is not a good language for a beginner. I'd suggest starting with C first. C++ is a superset of C and has many implementations and exceptions that just confuse you (you need some experience to know when to apply what and how). Also having a solid understanding of C is a very rewarding skill that many programmers nowadays lack. 

 

As for pointers: it's enough to know what they do and how to pass them around at the moment. I also had troubles understanding them until I had to implement certain things that required them or were much smarter solved using them. Don't bother too much, you will appreciate and understand them soon enough on the go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you figured out correctly, C++ is not a good language for a beginner. I'd suggest starting with C first. C++ is a superset of C and has many implementations and exceptions that just confuse you (you need some experience to know when to apply what and how). Also having a solid understanding of C is a very rewarding skill that many programmers nowadays lack. 

I started with C++ when I was 13 (only language I knew before that was BASIC), though, I agree with Bjarne's comment in why not to learn C first in his new edition of Programming Principles and Practices Using C++, but I've also seen it paraphrased and restated by tons of other programmers across the internet.

 

 

"C first": This approach to learning C++ is wasteful of students' time and leads to poor programming practices by forcing students to approach problems with fewer facilities, techniques, and libraries than necessary. C++ provides stronger type checking than C, a standard library with better support for novices, and exceptions for handling errors.

 

Even self-taught programmers are still students of the language. If you want to learn C++, then learn C++. I've been programming for almost 20 years (started when I was 13 and will be 33 this year) now and my flaw was that I never went to an actual programming course to learn how to go from concept/idea to code so for 20 years I've been brute forcing my ideas into code (a method that does not work very well). When I brought this up, the advice was always one of these two answers "go to Project Euler and do their problems, that will help you" or "learn another language, seeing how they do it differently will help you". I listened to them and in 20 years I have dabbled in C, C#, Java, D, Assembler, Ada, Pascal, Fortran, COBOL, Ruby, Python, Perl, Lua, and even learned web site languages like PHP, Javascript, CSS, XML, HTML, and databasing with MySQL. It wasn't until I built up the courage to email Stroustrup that he helped me figure out my problem and helped me fix it.

The three important things I've learned in all my time doing that is this:

1) Learn the language you want, not a language someone recommends (because usually learning a new language gives you new obstacles to work around and some understanding, but will leave you likely stuck figuring out the original obstacle when you go back to the original language).

2) Only learn other languages if they will benefit your current project (or you are learning it because you enjoy learning them and are fascinated by them, which is why I listened to all the bad advice of learning other languages to solve my problem that ultimately showed up in every language because I loved the languages).

3) Self motivation, programming requires you to self motivate a lot in order to start, keeping going, and finish anything you do.

One last thing I want to point out (just in case you are suffering from it), a huge misconception people seem to have is that books and tutorials about a certain language will teach them to program (they won't and don't). Those books and tutorials only focus on the language and offer example programs to show the feature it is trying to explain, but not programming itself. I would say to get Programming Principles and Practices Using C++ Second Edition by Bjarne Stroustrup to learn programming (as it covers C++11 and C++14) and then when you are done with it consider getting his The C++ Programming Language Fourth Edition as a reference book. You can certainly use another C++11 compliant beginner book if you like. You can learn any language you like, but as I stated above, if you want to learn C++ then learn C++, but do it properly and wisely as there are tons of bad books out there claiming to teach C++.

I also don't 100% agree with learning SFML/SDL/Allegro on top of learning C++. C++ has enough of its own API that said books have you learn and you don't need the stress of learning both the C++ APIs while learning another libraries API on top of it. Although, like I stated before, do what you want and not what someone recommends because those recommendations are usually based off their experiences (as is all the above advice). In the end, decide what you want and do it, simple as that.

Edited by BHXSpecter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the point against learning C first.

No one forces you to use the extra bits of C++ such as classes, templates, exceptions, etc.

You can stick with C++ and just use the “C” part of it, slowly picking the parts of C++ you want to learn as you go.

Frankly the “C” part of C++ is easier to learn than the “C” part of C—C++ doesn’t force you into weird rules on where you can declare variables, it doesn’t make you use “struct” or “enum” every time you declare a variable that type or declare it as a parameter (nor force the typedef work-around), and it has “bool” built-in.

 

So the statement that learning C as an approach to learning C++ is wasteful of students’ time is virtually undeniable.

Just jump into C++.  You have no obligation to use any of it that is not part of C (but you have freedom to pick parts as you learn how to use them) and you don’t have to deal with all the fussy quirks of C.

C is worth learning only because you may be forced to use it on a job in the future, but spend no more than a day or 2 doing so, and only after you are comfortable with the “C” part of C++.

 

 

 

L. Spiro

Edited by L. Spiro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I look up the definitions of words on the Microsoft website. It helps keep the pace going and less boring. That just a tip, I learn c++ by accepting a challenge. Someone challenged me to go over a tutorial on cprogramming.com. I succeeded with ease but I'm not sure this works for you. I know, try a project in c++, at least you'll have an objective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!