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Thread: How do I teach myself C++?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018

    How do I teach myself C++?


    I found that after graduating college, I've had a lot of trouble teaching myself new skills. My guess is I'm not knowledgeable enough to know what information I need to find to learn the subject, and I'm not organized enough to put it together coherently. I've heard that people successfully teach themselves new skills all of the time, but I often struggle with this. There's just too much information out there, and I, as a novice learner, can't seem to figure out what it is I need to know.

    I've tried things like Code Academy and Free Code Camp, but it seems like I don't remember the information I learned long enough to be able to apply it in a new way. I can easily complete the exercises and go on to the next level, but I guess this isn't true learning. I feel like I need a new strategy if I want to be successful teaching myself a programming language and staying up-to-date with technology.

  2. #2
    2kaud's Avatar
    2kaud is offline Super Moderator Power Poster
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Re: How do I teach myself C++?

    We all learn differently, and what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another. The only way to really learn a programming language is to write lots of programs until this becomes 'second nature'. Initially this may seem hard, sometimes very hard, but you need to persevere. Some people have a 'natural' aptitude for programming and it comes easy to them - whereas some don't and it's a slog. The important thing is if you want to learn something you have to slog at it until you understand it.

    C++ is a very powerful language and some of its advanced concepts can be difficult to understand at first. You need to start simply and understand the basics before covering more complex issues. I would suggest you get a good book on c++. For details of various books teaching c++ see post #9 , #11 of http://forums.codeguru.com/showthrea...-books-about-C. Also see post #10 for on-line resources. The first one (learncpp.com) is an on-line c++ tutorial. Different people prefer different styles of books for learning. A lot like the Dietel books but my personal favourite for learning c++ is Ivor Horton. Also when choosing a book, please remember that the c++ language evolves (c++98, c++11, c++14, c++17 etc) and that whilst older editions of a book - or a book published before the current c++ language was standardised - may be cheaper than the latest version, it won't cover the latest standard and practices. The current standard is c++17 and any book published prior to 2018 is unlikely to cover the current standard.

    One last tip. Write programs, write programs and write programs. If you get stuck, you can always ask for help on these forums. We've here to assist and guide.

    Good luck!. Don't forget to write programs!
    All advice is offered in good faith only. All my code is tested (unless stated explicitly otherwise) with the latest version of Microsoft Visual Studio (using the supported features of the latest standard) and is offered as examples only - not as production quality. I cannot offer advice regarding any other c/c++ compiler/IDE or incompatibilities with VS. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ and can be used without reference or acknowledgement. Also note that I only provide advice and guidance via the forums - and not via private messages!

    C++17 Compiler: Microsoft VS2019 (16.2.2)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Re: How do I teach myself C++?

    Quote Originally Posted by kcomp View Post
    I found that after graduating college
    If you learn better within a traditional school setting why not seek one out? Maybe there's a community college where you live that offers programming courses. Or maybe a nearby university offers evening courses. Also some universities such as MIT, Harvard and Stanford offer distance courses open to the public for free. Example,


    Note that programming and programming languages are not the same. Programming is the skill and the language is the tool. Maybe so far you've focused too much on studying the tool and too little on how to use it. Like learning everything about hammers except how to drive nails and build things.

    Programming is about how to break down a problem so it can be solved with the subset you master of a language. You can in fact solve any problem using only a very small subset of C++ that can be explained in just a few pages of text (*). When you feel comfortable with that you can take on more of C++ little by little as you go. That's the approach Bjarne Stroustrup, the inventor of C++, takes in his book about programming with C++. It's longer than a few pages but it starts with a few pages.


    (*) This is essentially how programming is taught to kids. A few basic concepts are explained and very soon they happily write fairly advanced programs for example allowing a "turtle" to move from A to B without getting stuck at obstacles.
    Last edited by wolle; June 29th, 2018 at 04:46 AM.

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