Thread: starting C++ advice

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Question starting C++ advice

    A dumb first question - but extremely helpful to me!
    How long does it take to learn C++ from a complete zero start?
    How long to be adequate? how long to be proficient?
    I really appreciate you help and advice. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    >How long does it take to learn C++ from a complete zero start?
    Depends on the person. A reasonably bright person can learn the basics (ie. The C subset) in a couple of weeks. The object oriented parts are harder to get a hold of, so I would guess that said person would be writing useful/nontrivial programs in a month or two.

    >How long to be adequate?
    This basically means you know several of the tricks of the trade. Most of them aren't written down anywhere, so it would take a year or two to learn them through osmosis.

    >how long to be proficient?
    It depends on your drive. I've worked with programmers who've been doing it two or three years and are much better than the ones who've done it for a decade.
    The information given in this message is known to work on FreeBSD 4.8 STABLE.
    *The above statement is false if I was too lazy to test it.*
    Please take note that I am not a technical writer, nor do I care to become one.
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    Don't assume that I'm ever entirely serious or entirely joking.

  3. #3
    Hardware Engineer
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Hmmm.... I was going to say "two semesters". I think if you were taking classes, you could learn the basics in one semester, and the advanced stuff in the second. But, I just checked to see what one local community college offers... They (unfortunately) start out with 2 or 3 C courses, and then move into C++. To get all the way thru to the most advanced C++ course takes 6 semester-long classes!!!

    Well, I still think that 2 "semesters" of self-study could get you fairly comfortable with C++. As I recall, it took me about 5 or 6 weeks to work through Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days by Jesse Liberty. (And C++ was not my first programming language.) This book only covers the basics.

    Then, once you know C++, you might want to learn something more... Maybe Windows programming, which is not included in standard-portable C++. It would take another couple of "semesters" to learn this.

    Learning to program is like learning to play the guitar... You might learn a couple of songs in the first few weeks, but it takes a little longer to become good enough to "impress someone", or to make a money at it. And, it's Much easier if you if you enjoy the learning and practicing!

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