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Author Topic: Ok, I need some advice here.  (Read 3251 times)
Tekzel
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« on: May 05, 2006, 03:28:16 PM »

A short background:  I have been programming off and on for about 12 (wow, i told mouser yesterday that it had been 8 years but while writing this I realized its been longer than that.) years, mostly off.  I love it, but have trouble sticking with it since no one I know is even slightly interested, and having a friend or two that shares your love makes it so much more fun.  My experience was with commodore asm and basic (mostly basic smiley  then Borland turbo pascal and c/c++, all procedural dos stuff.  When Windows became big (hey, we all know 3.1 sucked) I scaled back since there weren't many free options for doing event driven windows programming back then.  I did do some Visual Basic with vb 4 and 5, but then I basically stopped other than doing ASP with data access via ODBC to Access 97 databases for years (a second job i have, part time).  Well, now you know my entire life history!  Well some of it.

Recently, I have really been wanting to get back into programming, over the last few years I have tried to get back into it, but books are expensive and there are too darn many options out there.  I am way too indecisive and always second guess my decisions.  I keep thinking I want to get back into C++, since that is the language that I did a lot of before I started drifting away, and really love how the language is structured.  But, keep in mind I only did procedural stuff in C++.  And, finally, we come to the question.  I have gotten the whole Visual Basic Express 2005 stuff from Microsoft and started messing around with it some, mostly Visual Basic, but a wee bit with the C++ product.  I keep hearing a lot about C#, and have been toying with the idea of just going for it with that language.  I have this little voice in the back of my head that keeps telling me any of the managed languages aren't really programming, not like a real C++ compiler that compiles to stand alones haha.  Shades of VB4 bytecode runtimes.  I know that is an outdated view, and its hard to shake, but I am trying.  So, C#, or C++?  Or keep on doing Visual Basic?  What do you guys think?  Also, anyone here know offhand if the C++ Express 2005 in that stuff from Microsoft compiles standalone exes or do they also require .net?

Thanks beforehand for any advice, and sorry for the rambling.
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2006, 03:34:27 PM »

Quote
I keep hearing a lot about C#, and have been toying with the idea of just going for it with that language.  I have this little voice in the back of my head that keeps telling me any of the managed languages aren't really programming, not like a real C++ compiler that compiles to stand alones haha.

the .net languages are full languages like any other.
In terms of learning the skill of programming, C# is not a bad choice at all.  A little more gentle than c++ and comes with a windows form generating library as well.

Some of the things that make c++ such a hard first language is that it includes no user interface stuff - you have to find an use third party tools for that.

you need to decide if you want to make real apps that others will use - if so, then you have to consider if you can live with the .net issues in that regard.  my only concern with .net is the inconvenience for people and the troublesome cross platform support (there is mono but its future and progress is not clear).
« Last Edit: May 05, 2006, 03:36:45 PM by mouser » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2006, 04:33:14 PM »

my personal belief about programming language learning is:

if you mainly want to learn the general skills of programming, just pick something that motivates you - it almost doesn't matter what language it is.  a good programmer can pick up a new language easily.

however, teaching yourself good habits is important, so find yourself a book that will help guide you.

i am a huge fan of object oriented programming, so i would strongly recommend an oop-centric language, like c++, java, c#, etc.  scripting languages are good for getting the job done but they miss out on the important role of oop in shaping ideas (imho).  that said, many of the scripting languages have object oriented facilities, they just aren't used nearly as much so you won't get as much practice there.

again you have to ask what you want in the end.  if the end result is to get a job, you need other concerns.  if the end result is to write cross-platform tools for mac, linux, windows, then you have other issues to work out.
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Rover
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2006, 04:57:34 PM »

pick a project first.  Programming as a general sport is not the best way to learn (IMHO).

Once you have a project or two, you might wish to find a language the suites the purpose.  Writing server based web apps may not be best suited for C++ (some will argue).  Whereas C++ might be your best shot for developing that new file system you've always wanted.  Want gui to go with that?  You might look a C++ builder.

Programming today is as much (more) about the environment than the language.

Then of course you have scripted or complied.  Platform specific or generic.  OOP or Not.  Desktop or Server.  Linux, Windows, Web, Mac.  So many choices  tongue
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mouser
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2006, 05:00:16 PM »

rover is right - you really need a project to motivate and focus you.
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Tekzel
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2006, 05:07:17 PM »

Yea, the project part is always the hard part, I can never think of anything I want to do when I sit down to do it, but when im not able to or whatever, I can think of a thousand things I want to do.

Not terribly interested in cross platform, really only windows stuff.  I will never be a professional programmer (not from desire, just cold hard reality) so really just hobby based.  I would love to be able to get to the point where I can make cool free apps for people to use.  Maybe be part of an open source project with several other people, that kind of thing.
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Tekzel
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2006, 06:31:34 PM »

I think I like C# so far, been playing around with it a little, reading some of the tutorials.  Its like taking some of the ease of VB, and the structuring of C++ and combining them. 
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Shed
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2006, 06:56:14 PM »

of course the choice is clear like clean water.... c++ builder !



(yes i'm fan-member of builder fanclub) X-DD
« Last Edit: May 06, 2006, 06:58:13 PM by Shed » Logged
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