Coming from a Basic/Visual Basic background, how hard is it for one to transition to Visual C++? Can I transition without, first, learning C itself? What books would you recommend to help with this transition process (if any)?
Coming from VB to VC can be difficult. The more work you’ve done with directly calling the API, the better. Your VB knowledge will apply itself to programming in VC++, but you have many new things to learn.
You can transition all at once, yes. However, you will need to learn C, the C++ extensions, Windows programming, and quite possibly a class framework such as MFC. It is a lot, but I recommend just jumping in using the latest tools to automate some of the tedious tasks. Then, work to fill in the missing parts as time allows.
It would be hard to recommend the best book because there are so many. I liked Inside Visual C++ from Microsoft, but I’d visit the local bookstore and take a look around.