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Help for my teen granddaughter

Discussion in 'Software Development' started by floyd11, Dec 6, 2007.

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  1. floyd11

    floyd11 Thread Starter

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    I have an almost 13 year old granddaughter that is very good with logic puzzles and loves the computer and stated an interest in learning how to program games.
    While I know my way around the PC, I've never done much in the line of programming. I am considering on buying her for Christmas a beginners guide to C++. My thinking is if she's going to learn she might as well gain some real life experience she can use as opposed to getting her a book on basic or something like that.
    My question is two fold to you programmers. Is C++ going to be too difficult for a kid her age? And secondly any other recommendations for a simple C++ book or other suggestions if I'm not on the right path thinking about C++. I did find the MS visual C++ compiler that I downloaded for her and a beginners video from the MS website to supplement the book.
    Any help will really be a appreciated.
    Floyd
     
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  3. TehTech

    TehTech

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    C++ is one of the most widely used programming languages there is. Knowing C++ now a days is pretty vital for a programmer, to make a game that has any type of interface that isn't text based entry though (Visuals) isn't as easy at it might seem.

    Personally I suggest to get her a book on writing code in Visual Basic.net. It has a WYSIWYG (wissiwig) editor. (What you see is what you get) It allows you to creat buttons on a application by drag and drop then just click the button to tell it what you want it to do. The learning curve for it is easier that starting out straight with writing C++, and there are applications that will mimic VB.net that are opensource and free to use, instead of having to purchase a $200 program. (Such as SharpDev.) I personally think learning VB.net as a start would be alot more beneficial and she will learn alot faster than starting out in C++.

    The nice thing about programming is if you get it down in one language you can look at most code and have an understanding what it is supposed to be doing.

    Good Luck and congradulations of have a 13yr. old who is interested in programming, its a great field to be interested in, and it pays really well.
     
  4. floyd11

    floyd11 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the quick and informative reply. Not being a programmer myself, I always thought VB as being more of a business application language. I may be all wrong in my assumptions, but if I understand you correctly, she could program some games in it too, right?
    Thanks again
    Floyd
     
  5. cpscdave

    cpscdave

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  6. BDACBT

    BDACBT

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    Tell your granddaughter that if she applies herself now, by the time she's ready for college she could be making enough money working part-time she could live quite well in school. Years ago, I was working for Citicorp during the day and doing projects on the side at night. My part-time gig was making $30 an hour working when and how much I wanted. That was sweet.
     
  7. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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    VB is basically the first language that is taught in colleges now. When I was in school years back, they were still teaching assembler but I never took it. I had to take Pascal, Fortran, Cobol and then C++. This was about 11 years ago. I here some colleges still do start their students on Pascal but the two local colleges where I live start out there students on VB now. Then they move them to C++ and Java.

    You can get Visual Studio Express for free from MS. And they have lots of tutorials for beginners on their website.
    http://www.microsoft.com/express/
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/express/default.aspx

    Here is there Beginner page.
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/beginner/default.aspx

    Coding for Fun is a pretty cool site.
    http://blogs.msdn.com/coding4fun/
     
  8. BDACBT

    BDACBT

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    What a shame you missed Assembler. That language was a REAL treat. :rolleyes: My first clue? To accomplish a floating dollar sign in most languages is as simple as applying a mask of some sort. If I recall correctly, a floating dollar sign in Assembler required multiple distinct statements. Did I mention it was the most cryptic crap I've ever seen? :rolleyes:
    I spent hours one night troubleshooting a prog that crashed at different places every time. Solution? Missing period, but not at any of the places where the program had crashed. Anyone who used that language daily has my respect and sympathy.
     
  9. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79

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    I personally would not start a novice out with C++ as a programming language.

    More important than any one computer language is learning the concepts of programming - i.e. about computers and how they work to execute programs in memory. That said - it is best to start someone new to programming in a higher level language. Assembler would not be good unless that newbie has a hardware background and already knows something about computer architecture. Fortran, or Basic would be good starting languages. C then C++.

    Some folks call C a high level assembler language which is not true - i.e. it is still compiled rather than assembled. Somewhere along the line if one really wants to get into computer science and get advanced degrees a knowledge of one assembler language will be a very good thing - even if not going that far. There is nothing like getting a feel for controlling the hardware registers of a machine.

    As important as any language is the topic of data structures, i.e. how to organize data and efficiently access the data for performance, storage, etc. This should be taken just after learning the first language and can be taken in conjunction with a new language.

    Computer languages by and large are segregated by what applications they most fit: Lisp for Artificial Intelligence programming, Fortran for scientific, COBOL for business, however, C and C++ are very popular these days for all kinds of uses.

    Good luck now,

    -- Tom
     
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