4 Replies - 862 Views - Last Post: 16 November 2014 - 02:05 PM

#1 Sammdahamm  Icon User is offline

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Foundations set - Where to go from here?

Posted 15 November 2014 - 07:51 AM

Hey guys,
I've been struggling with a productivity dilemma for the best part of 6 months now, and I was wondering if maybe I could get some help here.
I've got a fairly strong foundation in Java and C/C++, having read a few books and being in the second year of a Computer Science course. I've pretty much nailed most of the core features of the languages and I'm ready to move onto bigger things.
Some of my more experienced programmer friends recommend just "Think of a project and make it". I'd be capable of this, although I find it hard to get motivated knowing there's a huge wall in front of me that I'd have to chisel at bit by bit.
My point is, can you guys think of any intermediate steps between the jump from basic-ish coding competence to a fully fledged project? Maybe some useful frameworks to learn, or techniques to familiarize myself with? I should also mention I'm more interested in C++ related stuff at the moment.

I'd probably be able to come up with a few things to learn, but I thought it best to ask some more seasoned programmers for a breath of fresh air.

Thanks for your time,
Sam

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Replies To: Foundations set - Where to go from here?

#2 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Foundations set - Where to go from here?

Posted 15 November 2014 - 11:45 AM

I'd suggest getting used to working with the standard template library, and possibly Boost. The STL is built-in so you just have to include the proper headers and compile with them linked (should be taken care of by default by most setups these days) and the documentation online for it is pretty good. I haven't played around much with Boost, but it appears to be fairly common out there.

Outside of that, I agree with your friends, find a project you want to try for and go for it. You will learn as you go and have a set goal for the end to help keep you focused on what you are trying to learn.
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#3 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Foundations set - Where to go from here?

Posted 15 November 2014 - 07:24 PM

For clarity, a project does not mean a new OS or HALO. A project can be a simple task as well. Think small then build on the small project. In the end you will have built something large, by sectioning it off in to individual pieces.
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#4 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: Foundations set - Where to go from here?

Posted 16 November 2014 - 09:57 AM

I agree. Do a project and keep it small. Here is how I make sure my projects stay small.

1. Come up with an idea.

2. Brainstorm

This means write down anything that comes into your head. Good ideas, bad ideas, easy things, hard things, impossible things, things you don't know how to do, things you can't tell if they belong in the project. Just have a long think about your project and write down everything without filtering, grouping or judging the ideas themselves.

3. Look over the list and highlight the things that make up the basic minimal functionality. I really mean minimal. The smallest set of features for it to do something useful. File the rest of your brainstorming away in case you want it later.

4. If you have done this correctly, your project is tiny and will be done in 10--50 hours of coding. Whey you have the minimal functionality you can call it quits. You've "done" the project and you are free to move on. On the other hand, you can get out your brainstorm list (or have another brainstorming session) and choose another small set of features to implement.
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#5 Sammdahamm  Icon User is offline

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Re: Foundations set - Where to go from here?

Posted 16 November 2014 - 02:05 PM

View Postcfoley, on 16 November 2014 - 09:57 AM, said:

I agree. Do a project and keep it small. Here is how I make sure my projects stay small.

1. Come up with an idea.

2. Brainstorm

This means write down anything that comes into your head. Good ideas, bad ideas, easy things, hard things, impossible things, things you don't know how to do, things you can't tell if they belong in the project. Just have a long think about your project and write down everything without filtering, grouping or judging the ideas themselves.

3. Look over the list and highlight the things that make up the basic minimal functionality. I really mean minimal. The smallest set of features for it to do something useful. File the rest of your brainstorming away in case you want it later.

4. If you have done this correctly, your project is tiny and will be done in 10--50 hours of coding. Whey you have the minimal functionality you can call it quits. You've "done" the project and you are free to move on. On the other hand, you can get out your brainstorm list (or have another brainstorming session) and choose another small set of features to implement.


This is absolutely brilliant advice, as it perfectly suits my way of doing things. Thank you so much. :)
Also thanks to everyone else that's replied, it's definitely put me on the right track.
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