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Home » Tip Bank » C++
Language: C++
Expertise: Beginner
May 2, 1997



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How to move from beginner to intermediate C/C++

I am a C/C++ programmer who is moving from the beginner to intermediate level. My question is, how does one move successfully from the beginner to intermediate level?

Hmm ... interesting question.

I think I'll just explain how I went about learning C++ and applying what I learned to gain more practice.

  1. I attended a class on C++ programming. This was a fairly advanced course and by the end of it I was pretty comfortable with the type system, inheritance, virtual functions, etc.

  2. I started reading the newsgroup comp.lang.c++ (now comp.lang.c++.moderated) on a regular basis to learn which problems are faced by real C++ programmers. I would compile and run small example programs to see how they behave.

  3. As my interest in and knowledge of the language grew, I made a decission that I would use C++ to program any projects I had to complete for school and personal use. This gave me a chance to work on some fairly non-trivial projects using C++.

  4. I then widened my reading to the C++ standards newsgroup, the C++ report and many other books that were written through the years. Some books that really helped me are:

    • C++ Programming Language, second edition, B. Stroustrup
    • Effective C++ and More Effective C++, by Scott Meyers

    Then some more advanced reading, like

    • Advanced C++ Tips and Techniques, by J. Coplien
    • Design and Evolution of C++, by B. Stroustrup
    • Design and Coding Reuseable C++, by Carrol & Ellis
    • Secrets of the C++ Masters, by Jeff Alger
    • Design Patterns, by Eric Gama, et al.

As far as learning alone versus a group setting is concerned, I think both are good. I have spent a lot of time reading and programming alone and in a group. I must admit I have had great fun reading newsgroups and solving problems out of textbooks in groups, especially if everyone is enthusiastic and has about the same level of expertise.

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