Learning curve question

This is a discussion on Learning curve question within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Could someone please give me an estimation of how long it would take a person with no programming background or ...

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    Learning curve question

    Could someone please give me an estimation of how long it would take a person with no programming background or programming knowledge (with the exception of a little bit of VBA experience), to learn C++ programming? Can it be done in a year or less devoting several hours a day being self taught through books or online tutorials? Are there any known good resources for online classes (accreditation is not important) or must have books? Thanks for the help.

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    You can definitely learn it on your own but I would recommend some classes. Most colleges have abandoned C++ so I'm not sure how much you will find. Soon, learning it on your own may the only way to learn it.

    But you can certainly go to Amazon and pick up some books on C++. I don't have any good beginner books I can recommend but eventually you will want to get Bjarne's book about C++. You will also want to get a compiler (MSVC express will do just fine) and start doing some small projects. I also recommend buying a few books on design principles, practices, and patterns. It's definitely not impossible to learn on your own and this is exactly how I learned the language. I was actually able to explore more than those who took courses in it b/c I was not tied down only to what the course taught.

    Why do you want to use C++? What is your interest and focus? That will help us give you better directions. For now you can just concentrate on the fundamentals but eventually you will need some type of focus area.

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    Registered User rogster001's Avatar
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    C++ for dummies is pretty good but the analogies and examples used get a bit repetitive toward the end, i found anyway, but its good for a total beginner because the first section is programming through to procedural stuff from the 'what is a variable' level, there are good explanatory bits in there as you go along, and the second half teaches the OO stuff.

    One other that follows a similar pattern but has a good section on design and importance of planning as well as hex and oct math, was teach yourself C++ in 21 days,
    sorry i cant remember the title exactly, it was just a library loan, and its an outrageous claim i know but its a good serious book with a structured learning programme to it, the better title would be teach yourself C++ concepts 21 days maybe heh
    Last edited by rogster001; 12-08-2009 at 04:42 AM.

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    My engineering program had a course where we had 120 hours to learn the basics of C++ (the last thing we had lectures on was exceptions and RTTI) ...

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    Ex scientia vera
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    I still think the best thing one can do when it comes to programming is just use the internet to its full potential. A single resource on it may be inaccurate, but several resources on the same thing will eventually come together to provide good information.

    Learning programming really isn't as hard as it is made out to be. You are learning a small language, which needs to be written in a certain way. When you got that down, along with the very basics, the real work takes over; a lot of programming. Whatever you can think of.

    When it comes to programming, there really is no substitute for experience.
    "What's up, Doc?"
    "'Up' is a relative concept. It has no intrinsic value."

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    Registered User rogster001's Avatar
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    Yes but you need to grasp concepts and understand why things are the way they are, finding large swathes of code on internet tutorials that do exactly what you want in your program when you alter the variable names and tweak them a little is just no good for a total beginner in my opinion, nothing will be learned that can be applied in the next program they dream up,
    mulling over an example in a book is a lot more pleasant then gawping at it on a computer screen and also you can do it away from the machine, i do agree that there is a wealth of resource there of course, i just think it makes sense learning some fundamentals even when you are not applying them to your immediate problem, in the long term that is what will pay off.
    saying that, personally i learned programming to start with by guess work, (not much changed there then (;->) all i had was the borland turbo c compiler and its F1 help files, also combining this with Qbasic help files and examples was how i got started and i wrote loads of stuff like that without any book or internet, but i learned a lot because i had to really puzzle over the examples etc, oh heady days hehe
    Last edited by rogster001; 12-08-2009 at 06:08 AM.

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    Why do you want to use C++? What is your interest and focus? That will help us give you better directions. For now you can just concentrate on the fundamentals but eventually you will need some type of focus area.[/QUOTE]


    Thank you for the replies everyone. I would like to learn to be able to write my own order entry software for stock trading. I have some now that I wrote in VBA a few years ago but it is entirely too slow. I hired a programmer to write software for me in a more efficient language that I was able to alter in VBA without having to call him for the smallest of changes. However I am a very small account for him and I have a hard time getting him to do things for me. We have been working on this for almost 2 years and its just almost done. My business is headed to only automation and I am a small time trader and trade my own money only so I cant compete with the big boys. I have spent $25k on this over the past year and a half and thats a big part of my income. My thoughts are if I can learn an efficient language and write my own stuff I can change it when I need and not depend on someone else. If there is a more modern or efficient language that you would recommend to learn, please let me know. Primarily I will need to write a program to enter orders through my trading platform. Thank you

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    i interviewed for several automated trading jobs earlier this year (luckily i got a more interesting job in my current city without having to fly out to chicago!), c++ is the language they all used. speed is key!

    you know you can rent space at a collocation center...

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    Registered User rogster001's Avatar
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    If there is a more modern or efficient language that you would recommend to learn, please let me know. Primarily I will need to write a program to enter orders through my trading platform. Thank you
    for financials cant you use functions in Excel anyway to run macros when live data hits key values? I remember a lecturer telling me of his ex international finance student that was working with similar setup to check for triangular arbitrage on currency markets, whenever there was a small arb his spreadsheet would alert him of the free money up for grabs.

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    Check out this link. It has a few good books http://smart2help.com/e-books/

    EDIT: I'm not sure if it is just temporarily down or permanent.

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