New to programming, is C++ the way to go?
I am a high school student and I'm planning on taking a hardware engineering program at university in a couple years. Before I get there, I want to get familiar with some programming language (or a couple of languages) as it will help me a lot and I will need to know it anyways. I've done some research and it seems that C++ is one of the best languages to learn for what I'm wanting to do, which would be things related to computer/os-hardware communication and software to aid in certain computer tasks (not really for web-programming). Can someone say that C++ would be the language to learn? Is there any other programming language(s) I should learn along with (or after) C++? Would Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 be the best environment for me to use for writing and compiling my code?
I found a book on amazon.ca, entitled An Introduction to Programming With C++, here: An Introduction to Programming With C++: Amazon.ca: Diane Zak: Books. Has anyone heard of or read this book? It seems pretty good for a beginner like me. Would someone recommend something better?
The only real experience I have with programming is writing ActionScript 3.0 code for Flash.
Thanks for your time! I appreciate any replies!