I wrote almost 200 lines of C++ code tonight.
I’ve taken programming classes before: a VB6 course back in 2000, an intro to programming with C++ course in 2002, and then I picked up some C# back in 2006, but none of it ever really sunk in because I didn’t spend enough time with any given language to get any good at it. The only “programming languages” I’d been proficient in were XHTML and CSS2. . . well, up until January of this year that is.
In the Spring semester of 2011, I enrolled in CIS 26 at Laney College in Oakland, which was an introductory programming class that used C as the language of choice. It was both a “for beginners” class as well as a course on how to write code in the C language. I really enjoyed it, and now in the Fall semester I’m enrolled in CIS 25: Object-Oriented Programming with C++. So far, it’s been enjoyable. We’ve covered the usual if-else and switch statements; for, while, and do-while loops; functions; pointers and reference variables; classes and polymorphism. . . the usual fare for an OOP class. The teacher assigns no particular book, he simply lectures and sends out notes he wants us to use, then strongly recommends we pick out a book to use ourselves; one we can read and learn from outside of class.
For my money, I chose to go with Stephen Prata’s C++ Primer Plus:
After all, I went to College of Marin, and he used to teach there. . . oh, and the book comes highly recommended, too. It’s a great read, both for beginners and experienced coders. I’m slowly but surely working my way through the last few chapters now, getting my head around classes, among quite a few other things. This’ll be the longest span of time I’ve ever spent doing any kind of coding, for class or otherwise, and I intend to keep it up.
I’m going to take a data structures & algorithms class at Laney at some point in the future, probably next summer. (Yeah, that’s the only time they offer it.) Before then, however, I intend to already have a leg-up and spend some time working my way through a book or two, then maybe find some coding projects to tackle. Which book(s) I intend to read, I haven’t the foggiest idea yet, but I’m hoping to get some suggestions from my classmates and former co-workers on the subject. I don’t intend to let what I’ve learned drop away this time, and I’ll be damned if I go into that next class without some kind of preparation so I can get the most out of it.