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C++ ruined programming for me.

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When I started actual programming, not web design (HTML & CSS was as far as I got at that point, PHP came in at a later date.), I started with C++. This was the worst mistake I could have ever made.

C++ ruined my outlook on programming, it was much to complicated for me, as a beginner, to get my head around. Looking back, I realize this, and I regret starting it. I should've started with PHP, or maybe Java.

So why, then, did I start with C++?

Lets hop back 3-4 years.

I was new to the internet, I loved writing HTML and I was getting into CSS pretty well, and I was shown real programming by a friend via MSN. He showed me a project he was working on in C++. It was marvelous. I wanted to make things like that, and I wanted to do it now. I quickly installed Code::Blocks on my computer, and set off on one hell of downhill adventure.

I remember pouring over online tutorials and grinding crappy out crappy code, and I was loving it. I had never heard of OOP at the time, and I didn't even think of it. I was purely focused on the small picture, console programming. This is where I made my mistake, by focusing on that, and not broadening my view on other parts of the language, I wasn't given any perspective of OOP, nor would I, until I tried Visual C++, which was a crash and burn effort on my part.

I had the Microsoft Visaul C++ IDE installed, and I was curiously ticking away at various buttons and tools, and managed to crap out a Tic-Tac-Toe game, which took me a little under a month. I was overjoyed that I could use some knowledge on OOP, but I was still having trouble with it.

After I created that, I had decided that I liked regular C++ better, and went back to console programming. It was okay, but it was never the same after I used OOP, and I wanted to try it even more.

So I started PHP, and went on with using OOP in that area. It was difficult, I thought I understood OOP, but nay, I did not. I had trouble wrapping my head around it (and sometimes I still do) and had a hard time with it. After a while I got it down, and I started getting into the more advanced areas on PHP with my handy dandy programming books.

Back to the present, I look back and look on my mistake. I recently started messing around with VB.NET and I am fairly happy with the results so far, though I still tend to have problems with the whole OOP idea, but I'm getting along nicely.

Basically, this post is to say, don't start programming with C++. Start with something less complicated, like VB.NET, or PHP, whatever is your choice.

Please note that all of this is my opinion on C++, if you start with it and your awesome at it, cool.

3 Comments On This Entry

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Sergio Tapia 

02 May 2011 - 06:37 PM
I tend to agree with the train of thought that having to worry about pointers early is needlessly complicating a new student.

Let them tinker, toy, prod and produce something that works, and then pull down the curtains and show them what's going on behind the scenes.

Having visible results is positive feedback and will entice the students to learn more. If they are constantly halted to a grind because they forgot a * somewhere when writing a hello world, you can bet they are going to think they don't belong in this career.


03 May 2011 - 09:04 AM
I have felt that Javascript was the easiest to crack. It should have been my first programming language.

About C++; Sure it takes time to come up with something productive with C++. However, C++ has its advantages, that is it's a good choice for learning both OOP and C-style procedural programming. Note: Members like NickDMax believe that C++ should begin with OOP. But I feel that newbies can't "see" why OOP is important. Of course in doing so, they will have to "unlearn" a few C-style concepts before they get the hang of OOP.

C++, is a difficult to crack, but once you do...then all other languages are kid's stuff (except assembly and functional programming languages).


04 May 2011 - 09:53 AM
Java isn't that much easier than C++.

Here's the thing though. If you can get your head around C++ as your first programming language (Or some other similar low level language), You've won the game. Nothing you ever see again is going to confuse, stump or debilitate you. There is absolutely nothing anyone at any time will show you that you won't at least be able to guess at.

Why? Because you tackled the lowest level of computational logic to begin with, meaning that all that's left is to learn the abstraction and theory.

It takes a little bit more effort but has a bigger pay off.
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