Learning to Program in C - Advice Needed

This is a discussion on Learning to Program in C - Advice Needed within the C Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; To cut a long thread short, I am a Computing student that requires to learn about C. I've decided not ...

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    Learning to Program in C - Advice Needed

    To cut a long thread short, I am a Computing student that requires to learn about C. I've decided not to take the extra programming units for this year because I feel that I'm not going to learn much from them. However, this doesn't mean I won't be using programming, discrete maths and OOP next year.

    Due to this, on top of my college schedule I wish to learn how to program back from the basics. From what I've been taught at college it all seems pretty wrong compared to what any books or articles on the net tell me. I have a basic understanding of how C works, but I want it to be more than that. My goals for the end of the year are:

    1. Learn C and C++
    2. Be good with C and C++
    3. Know OO concepts
    4. Learn Discrete Mathematics
    5. Be able to apply these concepts into my programming
    6. Use my gained programming knowledge to easily pick up other languages


    I've talked to my lecturers about taking up this task within a year and apparently it's doable, as long as I put a few hours a week into it. What do you all think and what would you say is the best course of action to learning this? Information like what compiler/IDE is best to use would be great as well. All I've ever used is Borland C/Turbo C++ and I hated it.
    Last edited by EnderMB; 10-16-2006 at 05:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >I have a basic understanding of how C works
    Okay.

    >My goals for the end of the year are:
    > 1. Learn C and C++
    > 2. Be good with C and C++
    > 3. Know OO concepts
    > 4. Learn Discrete Mathematics
    > 5. Be able to apply these concepts into my programming
    > 6. Use my gained programming knowledge to easily pick up other languages
    Uh, that's not going to happen. Period. Maybe by the end of the decade, but not by the end of the year.

    >apparently it's doable, as long as I put a few hours a week into it
    Your lecturers are smoking some really good weed if they think you can meet those goals in a couple of months with only a basic understanding of C. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try, but don't expect much in such a short timeframe. I probably don't meet all of your goals and I've been programming a great deal more than a few hours a week for ten years.

    >All I've ever used is Borland C/Turbo C++ and I hated it.
    I don't blame you. I hated it when I used it too. But that compiler is a dinosaur. You might be able to learn C from it, but not proper C++. I'd recommend Dev-C++ or Visual C++ 2005 Express if you like free tools. If you prefer Borland (which doesn't seem to be the case), their 5.5 command line compiler is vastly superior to what you've been using.
    My best code is written with the delete key.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prelude
    >I have a basic understanding of how C works
    Okay.

    >My goals for the end of the year are:
    > 1. Learn C and C++
    > 2. Be good with C and C++
    > 3. Know OO concepts
    > 4. Learn Discrete Mathematics
    > 5. Be able to apply these concepts into my programming
    > 6. Use my gained programming knowledge to easily pick up other languages
    Uh, that's not going to happen. Period. Maybe by the end of the decade, but not by the end of the year.

    >apparently it's doable, as long as I put a few hours a week into it
    Your lecturers are smoking some really good weed if they think you can meet those goals in a couple of months with only a basic understanding of C. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try, but don't expect much in such a short timeframe. I probably don't meet all of your goals and I've been programming a great deal more than a few hours a week for ten years.

    >All I've ever used is Borland C/Turbo C++ and I hated it.
    I don't blame you. I hated it when I used it too. But that compiler is a dinosaur. You might be able to learn C from it, but not proper C++. I'd recommend Dev-C++ or Visual C++ 2005 Express if you like free tools. If you prefer Borland (which doesn't seem to be the case), their 5.5 command line compiler is vastly superior to what you've been using.
    I have Visual C++ 6.0 and I quite like the look of it. Is it as good as anything else out there?

    Also, if it's not doable, then what would you say is the best I can hope for in a year? OO and Discrete Mathematics doesn't look too hard. I can't see it being too hard either since the Software Engineers learn all that within half a year with one lesson for each a week. I understand that programming is something that takes years and years to become good at. I guess I should have rephrased good. I want a reasonable amount of knowledge of C. As much as I can gain from a year, so that I can take it further past a year.
    Last edited by EnderMB; 10-16-2006 at 06:31 PM.

  4. #4
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >I have Visual C++ 6.0 and I quite like the look of it. Is it as good as anything else out there?
    It's fine for C, awful for C++. I spent more time writing workarounds and hacking the standard libraries with VC++6 than any other compiler.

    >Also, if it's not doable, then what would you say is the best I can hope for in a year?
    Just do your best and see where your interests take you. Since everyone learns differently, I can't guess where you'll be in a year.
    My best code is written with the delete key.

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