Taking the C++ Challenge

This week I’ve decided to roll up my programming sleeves and finally learn how to program in C++. I’ve been avoiding it for over a decade, so cracking open my copy of the C++ Primer took some courage.

To my surprise, my recent forays into Python and Java have prepared me pretty well for what I’ve encountered so far. I’m 250 pages into the book, and though some elements of the language seem strange to me (why would you use arrays and pointers when you’ve got vectors?), nothing has flown over my head.

That could change as I get deeper into the language.

If any of you are familiar with C++, is there anything I should look out for, or pay special attention to?

3 thoughts on “Taking the C++ Challenge

  1. I have no wise words about what to look out for or pay attention to, but my personal interpretation of the arrays vs. vectors issue is that a long long time ago, all we had were arrays and pointers, so that’s what everybody used. Then the STL came along and made things easier. You sacrifice speed and space by using vectors and other bits of the STL, but with todays computers, that’s not an issue in most cases.

    C++ is my language of choice because that’s basically what I’ve always used, but it seems like it is becoming increasingly uncool. Python is all the rage now, so I have been thinking about trying to learn it. Do have a good book to recommend?

    Happy C++’ing!


  2. Python is, IMHO, awesome. I’d start with Learning Python by Mark Lutz (from O’Reilly) and continue on to Programming Python (also by Mark Lutz). They’re both written in a conversational style that doesn’t sacrifice any explanatory power.

    C++ is still cool in several industries–like gaming–so that’s why I decided to knuckle down and try to learn it. It does seem to be littered with the debris of earlier programming practices (bitsets, I’m looking at you), though.

    Do you have any books on C++ you can recommend for me?


  3. I sort of learned C++ by osmosis. I never really had a book that was very helpful, but recently took a class to catch myself up on the more advanced and modern bits of the language, and we actually used the C++ Primer — it was the best C++ book I’ve seen.


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