How to see a sea of C++ and be non-nonplussed

Before  I get into the main topic, read this if my usage of ‘non-nonplussed’ has left you with the semantic equivalent of trying to walk around with a pebble in your shoe.

So you want to learn a new skill, say C++, from scratch. Where do you start? Head over to Youtube and there’s no end of tutorial videos for beginners. Or rather, ‘beginners’.

No matter what you’re trying to learn, tutorials rarely start from the bare essentials:

  • That “My first program in C++” video? Assumes you already have a compiler, or even know what a compiler is, then immediately bamboozles you with talk about classes and types and libraries and what-have-you.
  • “3D modelling for Dummies”? Starts out with a Blue Peter ‘here’s one I made earlier’ base model, then adds some colour to it. Thanks, guy. Reeeal helpful.
  • “Money laundering 101”? Damn it, if I’d set up my shell company already, I wouldn’t be watching this video, would I?

Of course, some tutorials go too far in the other direction. On top of that, a lot of videos are done by people with, uhh, less-than-ideal voices.

Well, how about buying a book on it? One look at reviews on Amazon will change your mind about that. There is never any consensus, and you just end up confused and paranoid:

amazon review

So, here’s what I’m gonna do. Since I’ve only been learning C++ for 3 days, I’m gonna be posting up guides as I go, for anyone who wants to learn it from scratch. I think the way to do it is, for each of my regular posts about solving Project Euler problems in R, I’ll have a post about how I would do the same thing in C++. As much as I’ve complained about R in the past, it is about as close to a plain-English programming language as I’ve seen, so if you follow along with the R posts, I assure you the C++ posts will make sense.

And unlike a video or book, if there’s any feedback/comments/criticism along the way, I can take that into account and adjust accordingly. You also have the added bonus of this being free, and being able to read this in whatever voice you want.

morgan c++

P.S. I hope that this makes up for making you listen to Gilbert Gottfried’s voice earlier.


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