learning computer programming?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Christ Reynolds, May 9, 2004.

  1. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    CJ
    i did a search, but the only links that came up were television programming. and i wasnt sure if i should put this thread here or the computers forum, i think the thread is less about computers and more about school advice. mods move if necessary thanks.

    anyway, i'm transferring to a different school starting this fall, and i need help getting ahead on my programming classes. i've taken two programming classes (qbasic and C) and i got As in both of them, but if i was asked to recall anything, i wouldnt be able to. this would normally not be a problem, but in my major (EE) i have to take what looks like C programming I & II. i have been given transfer credit for C programming I, and i have to take C II. i will probably have to repeat the C I, but i really didnt understand the material when i first took it. i received the A in the class because i'm a hard worker at whatever task i work on, and i think the professor could see that. so, how can i be prepared when i take C over again? i have been searching around a few websites that have tutorials and examples, is this a good way to prepare for the class before i get there? or should i get a book? apparently i dont have the most natural ability for computer programming, but i'd like to be able to do well. thanks for any help.

    CJ
     
  2. Drue Elrick

    Drue Elrick Stunt Coordinator

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    Look for books published by O'Rielly (they are typically white with some kind of animal on the cover) for the specific language.

    You can check out various software projects at SourceForge.net if you wish to poke around code.

    Dive right in - there's alot to see. =)
     
  3. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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  4. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Do you do strictly C in these courses, or C++? Because there's a hell of a difference.

    If you're doing C, I highly recommend you look for a copy of K&R. That's "The C Programming Language" by Kernighan and Ritchie, the two people primarily responsible for the language. Also look for books by P. J. Plauger. He's developed some of the standard C libraries used by folks like Microsoft. Search for his website, it's got some good stuff on it. Also look for "Expert C Programming - Deep C Secrets" by Peter Van Der Linden. It gives you some real insights into the language.

    If you're doing C++, look for Bruce Eckel's "Thinking in C++". It's available for free on the web. Excellent resource. However my guess is the reason you're studying C is for embedded C programming, and C is to my knowledge far more prevalent for embedded programming than C++.

    Next step is to come up with some projects and write some code. If you don't have a compiler and can't get ahold of MS's, look for the GNU compiler gcc. It's among the best, but not entirely user friendly. Keep your projects simple at first, then add more complexity as you get the hang of the language. Some of these books have problems at the end of the chapters, so that can help.

    Check out codeguru.com and codeproject.com and see if they have newbie sections. They may also be able to point you to other resources.

    Lastly, I'd like to point out that understanding the syntax is important. K&R can help, as can some of the other references. If you thoroughly understand the syntax, you'll see how the compiler reads the code and as you learn new language features it makes more sense how they fit in. Also, to really use C, you need to understand pointers. Read over this stuff carefully and practice it a good bit.
     
  5. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I second the K&R and PJ Plauger recommendations. I have been programming in 'C' for 10 years professionally and for 4 years in school before that and have never owned a 'C' book other than K&R and one by PJ (I forget the title now). Since you are going to repeat 'C' Programming I, I would get a copy of K&R and study the syntax. Then go over the chapters on pointers. The thing about 'C' is you are cruising along, understanding all the material and all of a sudden the learning curve shoots up and you find yourself lost. This is usually about the time pointers are introduced. If this happens, be prepared to seek extra help. If your professor is not explaining it well, do not get extra help from him, it will only confuse you. Go to a workshop or whatever resources they have at your school. Often times you just need a different perspective on pointers and everything clicks. Good luck!
     
  6. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    thanks for all the replies guys, i have been checking out the links and practicing. i'll probably grab a book soon. from the looks of the course description, it looks like the class is just C and not C++. in reading some of the tutorials, little things are coming back to me, but i took C about 8 years ago, and i wouldnt want to rely on the shady memories to carry me on to the next class. thanks again.

    CJ
     

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