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So im doing a BSc software engineering course which im finding relatively easy, and in my spare time I have read through a few C++ books and cplusplus.com guides while following the examples to help me get ahead. Using classes, data structures and loops etc that I learned, i have made a few little programs like a currency converters and an artificial ticket machine, nothing huge.

My question is, now what? Where do I go from here to progress? So far my C++ knowledge is very limited and the only programs I can make are command line ones.
I'm really enjoying learning it, ideally I would like to be able to make a 2D game like pacman or mario, maybe a password system for files? I really need some direction and hope someone can help.

Thanks in advance,
Owen
Posted 2-Jan-13 23:36pm
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Solution 1

Creating a game would be a good challenge. You may find useful the Cedric's article series: "TetroGL: An OpenGL Game Tutorial in C++ for Win32 Platforms"[^].
Morevover, I would suggest you to learn how to use new C++ (language and standard library) features.
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Comments
Owen 'Junior' Watson at 3-Jan-13 4:55am
   
This is perfect thank you! :)
CPallini at 3-Jan-13 5:07am
   
You are welcome.
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Solution 3

You can start at the C++ Articles[^] section here on CodeProject. Also look at the Desktop development section; there are lots of great samples on this site. If you want technical details then Bjarne Stroustrup's homepage[^] is a good place to go. Microsoft also provide some useful sample programs[^] along with lots of other resources.
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Comments
Owen 'Junior' Watson at 3-Jan-13 5:02am
   
Thank you, I've just realized how much material is actually on CodeProject! Until now finding sources for learning C++ has proven more difficult than learning the language itself its haha.
Richard MacCutchan at 3-Jan-13 5:09am
   
It's like everything these days: the information is there but you do need to know where to look.
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Solution 4

First Thing
You should master C++.
>> Learn the language basics. (There're books, but Online Tutorials would be more fun ; http://thenewboston.org/list.php?cat=16[^] )
>> Learn about the low-level facilities in C++.
>> Learn about memory-management (mainly Dynamic Memory).
>> Learn some patterns of developing.

Second Thing
Every C++ program is created based on a framework/API (Or at least a platform).
Learn the main API's available.
>> Windows : Windows API (i like it the most), MFC ,...
>> Apple : Cocoa API ,...
>> Cross-Platform : QT, GTK+ ,...

Third Thing
Learn what you're interested in. There're lots of fields (2D/3D games, database software, graphics software, utility software...)

Some fields are too advanced and complex to do on your own. Those things require libraries and software. Some of them :

>> Games : DirectX (a package of Direct2D, Direct3D and more), OpenGL ,....
>> Database : SQL server, MySql, (and C++, SQL intergration API's),...

**There're much more fields and many libraries, I only listed some, which I've heard good about.
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Comments
Owen 'Junior' Watson at 3-Jan-13 12:59pm
   
This is EXACTLY what I needed thank you!
How will I know when I'm good enough at C++ to advance to the frameworks?
Are packages like OpenGL and SQL really too hard to learn alone? I don't think my course will be covering those so how would I go about learning them?
Pravinda Amarathunge at 5-Jan-13 4:00am
   
You can move onto frameworks, if you know basic C++. Those things are not hard to learn. And you can learn them by yourself. I taught myself programming, not by the school nor a course. Only thing is you have to keep the taste of learning new things. Only curiosity make you learn them.
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Solution 2

In one great book which is probably not translated to english says something like this:
"It doesn't matter how many programming languages you know. The important question is how many algorithms you know(understand)."

My suggestion is learn few new algorithms and maybe some oop.
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Solution 5

Hey Owen,

Welcome to the software developers "family" Smile | :)

See here for a project of a pacman in c++.
You can download the project and follow on the Q&A thread there, which could be a real push forward for your programming skills.

And see here for sample code for encrypting\decrypting files and general file management.

Good luck!

Cheers,
Edo
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Solution 6

First learn from samples
,then write some code on your own.
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