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#1 Bully   Members   


Posted 11 January 2000 - 10:57 PM

I''m just beginning but I was just wondering how long does you people to master a programming language like C++. I know that you never really stop learning. But I mean to the point of which you can do something useful with your skills such as a simple Game. Thankyou.

#2 Khawk   Senior Staff   

Posted 12 January 2000 - 10:55 AM

Well I can''t really speak from the standpoint of C/C++ because of the situation when I was first learning, but it took me about a week with Pascal before I started a small game with it. Usually, after I do a couple small programs with a language (really small), I make a small game because to me, making a game really helps learn a language, and the end result isn''t some boring program. But in reality, all languages are inherently the same, and it''s just the algorithms and logic that you must learn to develop any kind of program. I can''t really answer how long that takes to learn, because for some people it''s one day while others it could be a couple months to years. But anyways, I hope that helps.


#3 Bully   Members   


Posted 12 January 2000 - 03:54 PM

Yeah Thanks

#4 Bully   Members   


Posted 12 January 2000 - 03:55 PM

Can anyone else tell me their time in learning.


Edited by - bully on 1/12/00 10:01:51 PM

#5 Brad   Members   


Posted 12 January 2000 - 04:26 PM

Well I working on just learning regular C++ almost a year before I started programming games. (I took 3 months off in there though) after I figured I had a pretty good handle on that I read through a few game books and after about 6 weeks of that I figured I knew enough to get started. I am currently coding my first game (a sidescroller) and although there are some hitches it''s going surprisingly smooth. I would say that it took me a year all told.... but I''m probably slow

#6 deadlinegrunt   Members   


Posted 12 January 2000 - 05:10 PM

Anywhere for a few nights to a few weeks to learn, a lifetime to master. But well worth the futile attempt to master

Seriously though, it takes a while, and way to many variables come in to play to answer your question. Bottom line is, anything that pays off with overnight gratification quickly looses it''s novelty when compared to the test of time. It''s an epic journey, there will be highs, there will be lows...

#7 TANSTAAFL   Moderators   

Posted 13 January 2000 - 12:14 AM

about 14 years ago, i started programming by reading a book that came with my TRS-80 Color Computer 2. it ran a ROM Basic that used line numbers. After about 2 weeks, i was writing little text games, and shortly after that, graphical ones. (BASIC just isnt all that hard). i also learned 6809E assembly on that machine in later years.

a few years later(1988 i think), i picked up BASICA/GW-BASIC on the Tandy 1000EX that my grandfather had. Both BASICs were developed by MS, so i had little trouble transitioning.

in 1991, i started learning Turbo Pascal 5.5 in a computer class at school(again, took about 2 weeks). the programs we had to write for the class were rather inconsequential, so i spent lots of time with the manuals, and learned about BGI display drivers (this was on the PS2, so i was writing CGA games).

after graduating from HS in 1992, i went back to the TRS-80 Basic and GW-Basic on the Tandy 1000EX.

in 1994, while i was in the navy, i purchased a 486SX33. this was during the era of Windows 3.1, so it came with QBasic, which i picked up almost immediately. in 1994, i got a copy of TP7.0, and learned OOP, and forever shed my functional programming roots.

in 1996, my friend had a p90, and i got WIN95 and VB4.0, and that was my first introduction to anything resembling WIN32 programming. my game programming was still primarily done with Pascal, though.

in 1997, i finally came home, and was programming in Pascal on my mom''s computer.

in june of 1997, i got a job programming VBA in MS Access95.

finally, in october of 1998, i decided it was time to learn VC++ (i learned on version 4.0). i learned DX at the same time. took about a week to get comfortable with it, about a month to feel "at home" in it.

so, to answer the question "how long did it take for me to learn C++", the answer is "13 years" or "1 week", depending on how you look at it. without the 13 years of programming prior to my learning C++, it would have taken much longer. C++ and Pascal are very similar, thankfully.

#8 Bully   Members   


Posted 21 January 2000 - 10:32 PM

THanks For your input. Can I hear anybody else''s story''s when they started programming, thanks.

#9 OME   Members   


Posted 22 January 2000 - 03:40 AM

Well the fastest way to learn it is to sit down and do it...simple as that....everyone is different and I for one had no problem at all picking up the basics but while I was in college I knew to many people who for some reason(lack of interest?) just could not pick it up easly....depends on the person


#10 altair734   Members   


Posted 22 January 2000 - 03:53 AM

I learned over summer vacation (those are the days...) but anyway, read books. And make programs. Lots and lots of programs.


#11 altair734   Members   


Posted 22 January 2000 - 03:53 AM

I learned over summer vacation (those are the days...) but anyway, read books. And make programs. Lots and lots of programs.


#12 merlin9x9   Members   


Posted 22 January 2000 - 04:32 AM

Well, I''ve been programming for about 8 years or so. I know BASIC, Pascal, C, and C++. Pretty standard, eh? How long did it take *me*? Well, 8 years. =) I stayed with BASIC a lot longer than I should have. I learned C about 4 years ago in no more than 2 weeks, I''d say (it took me a bit longer to understand pointers fully). I learned Pascal in a few days over that Summer. Then the next Fall I learned C++ in a few weeks.

How long does it take to learn how to program? Well, as long as it takes for you to learn common programming language things like flow control, structure, data handling, etc. For most people, it really doesn''t take too long. Just the desire, dedication, resources, and time. Picking up new languages once you have one down takes no time at all.

Writing games are a great way to learn languages. =)

#13 I-Shaolin   Members   


Posted 22 January 2000 - 07:22 PM

I guess it really depends on your background. Learning a language is completely different than learning how to program. Once you know how to program, you can pick up a new language rather quickly.

What can be more time consuming, however, is if the language uses a new paradigm. For example, a C programmer can pick up C++ in just a couple days, but some converted C programmers have been programming C++ for years still can''t truly program object oriented.

There are three different things to learn...

1. How to program.
2. The syntax of a language.
3. The way the language is intended to be used.

Each of these varies depending on your experience and the paradigm you are used to. I know this isn''t the answer you were looking for, but it''s more realistic than "two weeks."

#14 Domini   Members   


Posted 23 January 2000 - 02:41 AM

I''m sort of a strange case. I realized I wanted to make games back when Atari was king and the 8-bit Nintendo was taking over. I was a little kid back then and I spent 5 years mastering Basic. I never made a complete game, except for a little shooting gallery. I made about 3 paint programs, and the menuing system for a rpg and a simple fighting game that I was very proud of. It was a 256 color game in BASIC, but unfortunately, the game was lost because the disk it was on got trashed. I started programming in C when I was thirteen. I wrote a side scolling shooter, and the a 3D one. Now I am a freshman at the University of Maryland. After 11 years of programming, including the first 5 programming with Basic, I can honestly say I am a good programmer, but not quite a master.


#15 dimitri_gamer   Members   


Posted 23 January 2000 - 10:50 PM

Bully, Buttler will bury us all. Maybey you should just read all those thick books in roll call...hehehe. I would like to know what kind of side scroller Brad is doing. So how long exactly did it take you Brad. Me and Bully are looking towards doing a sidescroller with a character I invented. What programs are you using Brad as far as graphics go.

#16 _dot_   Members   


Posted 23 January 2000 - 11:31 PM

let''s see...
I started programming in 1997. It was a crash course in computer studies major in business(three~four months!)
That was where I came into contact with Pascal and FoxPro(of which i absolutely detest FoxPro).
Actually, if it were just learning programming languages at that time, I would be nowhere as good as I am now. They had another module that taught the basics of programming, along with the two languages I learnt.

Then, I went on to C and C++, touched on Java, VB(can i mention scripting? HTML, JS, CSS, DHTML )

It was not until 1999 that I can consider myself an intermediate. What make me feel this way? When I notice I know a good bit more than my classmates? Ask them if they read the books Code Complete, Design Patterns, or ever know how to use C++ exceptions/templates.
It is perhaps the urge to know that driven me into a reading cranz(I read a lot more than those).

Most likely you would have asked if I made any game. Sadly, I only made one, and it was a tetris clone recently.
Why? That''s because, as many more would have said, starting small is better. Even though I read the book Large Scale C++ Software Engineering, reading and using is an entirely differnet matter. Besides, I beleive I still do not have enough experience under my belt

I am going to start on PONG as my next game, perhaps a weird sequence some might have noticed.
A key reason is that when I finished my tetris, I notice some parts of the codes are not what I would have ideally wanted. That told me that I had better start smaller.
Perhaps I really should make it a practice to design a lot more detail system on paper before I code...

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