Thread: The Next Step

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    The Next Step


    I'm Secretpickle. New to the forum. I read the rules and I think this post doesn't break the rules but I come from forums that flame like crazy, and I don't want that. I also searched a little bit but I'm not 100% sure what to search for.

    My situation is this. I've tinkered with computers all my life and I've taken several C/C++ classes at the community college. All I know now is basic C/C++ programming and nothing too advanced. I learn best by doing assignments and solving problems, hands on. I want to join an Open source project but I don't feel like I'm competent enough to do so.

    Because my major is Mechanical Engineering I will not be taking anymore C/C++ classes. I've taken

    C for Programmers
    C++ Object Oriented Programming
    C for Engineers

    and I've gotten A's in all of them. Did all the assignments no problem but I still don't feel that prepared to embark on any big projects. I learned PHP/MySQL from USING it. I learned about engines and cars from building race motors and working on cars.

    So my request is if anyone can assign me some homework? Something that you think would be suitable but not impossible. Or do you think I could get into an open source project?

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    and the Hat of Guessing tabstop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Well, if you want some projects at the more-or-less-kinda-beginner level; you could look for a thread we had here about programming contest problems. We suggested quite a few projects; they're kinda contrived, but are supposed to be a little bit meaty.

    Are you going on in MechEng at a 4-year? You might be able to look for a work-study job as a code monkey for some prof who can't/won't/doesn't wanna do it him/herself. (I don't think these kinds of things would be available at a CC, but you can look there too. There you have the advantage of knowing some CS faculty.)

    I've never worked on an open source project myself (shame!), but if you have an idea of what kinds of things you want to learn and you see/know of a project that needs it, then .... I would suggest starting by looking at existing code and trying to understand the code and make the upgrade/bug fix/whatever, rather than try to write from scratch, but I don't really know.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    I go to a CC right now but hopefully I'll be attending a 4 year in the fall of '08. Applied already!

    I believe you're talking about this thread:

    There are some good assignments on there so I'll be sure to do some of the harder ones. I'm so excited!

  4. #4
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    > I want to join an Open source project but I don't feel like I'm competent enough to do so.
    Go to and look in the help wanted section, find something that suits your current skills (doesn't have to be programming, you have good English -- it could be documentation). Then you'll learn how it works, learn how to use tools like SVN, CVS etc.

  5. #5
    and the hat of int overfl Salem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    The edge of the known universe
    > So my request is if anyone can assign me some homework?
    Plenty of homework gets posted on the board, perhaps try some of those. But don't just post the complete answer even if you manage to solve it.

    If you want a real test, figure out the answer, then try to explain things to the homework poster in such a way that doesn't give the whole answer right away (like what we do). You only really understand something when you can explain it to someone else.

    Or there are plenty of homework type questions at sites like this -
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.

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