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Best way to learn C++

Posted on 2003-12-07
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Last Modified: 2010-04-01
Hello all,

I need to become a certified guru in C++.  This will no doubt take a long long time as I have very little experince in C++.. I do have a decent amount of experience in VB.

What is the best path to take to get some sort of certification that says I can program in C++ like a pro?

I was looking at online courses, but I dont want to spend alot of money.  Spending time is ok, but money no.  I will no doubt be building some projects as time goes by, I am dedicated to learning.  I am just foggy on what the best way to teach myself how to do it is.

Thanks
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Question by:OptionsMM
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Karl Heinz Kremer earned 50 total points
ID: 9893001
Get a good book about C++, one that not only shows you how to start programming in C++, but also how to work with your develpment environment (eg. Visual Studio, or command line with Unix, ...) Once you know how to create small projects and have a basic familiarity with all C++ features described in your book, get "The C++ Programming Language" by Bjarne Stroustrup (the father of C++). This is too heavy for beginners, but a must if you want to become a pro.
Then read code. This is IMHO much more important than coding. Try to understand why things are done a certain way. These days you can find tons of good (and not so good code) on the Internet. Take advantage of it.
Lookup answered questions on experts-exchange.com. Read just the question and try to give an answer. If you don't know the answer, look it up in "The C++ Programming Language". If you don't find it there, look it up on the Internet. Only if you fail to find it there read the answers and try to understand the answer. Go back and re-read the question. Try to give the answer in your own words (or with your own code).
Some time during this, get a good book about object oriented programming. C++ is more than a programming language, it's also your introduction into OO. If you want to become a pro, you need a good grounding in OO.

Even though I think that readig code is more important than coding, don't forget that coding is the only way to really become fluent in a programming language. Give yourself assignments and finish them. Find an open source project that interests you (and that's using C++ for it's implementation) and start to contribute. This will expose your coding style to others. You will probably not like what they have to say, but that's the way to get honest feedback.
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Author Comment

by:OptionsMM
ID: 9893107
Thank you khnemer!  Excellent Answer!

I have Visual Studio 6.0 at this point.  I am going to be starting a book soon.  I have decided on my first application to develop as a c++ programmer.  It is going to be the simple game of PONG (like the atari version)

I never thought of trying to answer the EE questions!  Excellent idea!  I will look into the books you recommened also.

Is there some sort fo certification exam I could take in the future? (like a year or so away?)

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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 9893255
I am not aware of any C++ certifications, but this may just be because I don't think certifications are important. So I'll leave this for others to comment on. Or, you could just to a search on "c++ certification" on google.com: This for example is the first link I found: http://www.netwind.com/html/mcsd_certification_training.html
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