First of all, if this is the wrong forum for this kind of post, I apologize. Please feel to relocate it, if needed.
So I'm wrapping up my first class in C++ programming and I'm looking for ways to expand on what I've learned. I'm continuing to write programs beyond the scope of the class; basically anything I can get my hands on, in order to practice. I'm also continuing to study beyond what we will be stopping at for this particular course (OOP, classes, file I/O..etc).
What I wondering is can anyone offer any advice on how to best to proceed in order to start putting a portfolio together and ultimately put myself in a position to obtain some paying work (either free lance or a regular full time/part time position).
What level of experience can I reasonably expect to have to have before paying work is I can seriously look at?
Are there certain areas or techniques that are more widely acceptable in the workplace than others? (example: OOP vs procedural programming)
I've been building and repairing computers for a few years now, but I'm still pretty new to the programming side of things, so I just, in general, I'm wondering how this part of the industry works, outside of the classroom, and how best to prepare to try and work in it.
Any thoughts and advice are appreciated.