The Art of C++ Programming, Chapter 1 – Introduction to Computer Science

Introduction:

Where to begin in this wonderful world of programming… I am going to make the assumption that you’re reading this because you are either A) curious or B) have an interest in programming already. Either way, you will benefit from this guide.

I am going to start at the very beginning, assuming you know nothing about programming. If you already consider yourself an “above average” programmer, you can still benefit from the non-code portions of this guide (also look for future guides!).

My main purpose in teaching this art, this “science”, is to alleviate any confusion you might have (or get) about programming.

When I first started to teach myself programming (this was middle school… yea it didn’t work) I ended up with a pretty torn up and punctured book from all the frustration I went through.

Thank goodness I decided to give it another shot and pick it back up; it is truly my passion. The last thing I want all of you to do is quit, like I almost did, without giving it a fair try.

From firsthand experience, I know teachers/professors can be boring. The last thing you need is another source of information forcefully cramming itself into your head. I am going to make this learning experience as fun as possible – I’ll try to be funny (doesn’t always work), and the programs we learn from will be games! There is nothing better than learning something that is entertaining.

Also, please feel free to pass on this guide and show others just how simple and fun programming can be. If you are ever stuck, feel free to ask me for help; my ICQ contact number is 428706076. Lets get started!

Languages:

Just like French, Spanish, and English, many different “languages” exist for software development:

Machine Code, Assembly, Basic Pascal, Visual Basic, Visual Pascal (Delphi ) C, C++, C# Java, Perl, Python Lua, Shell Script, Lisp

You get the idea: )

The language we will be dealing with is C/C++. Some people might tell you that Java is better for learning the basics / easier, but I disagree.

The majority of retail games are made in C++, and for good reason. Without getting too technical here…

Java has to go through 2 steps in between getting input from the user and having the computer do something. C++ bypasses this, and goes straight from user input to action. Java is just too slow for big games.

Java is mostly used to learn the general concepts of programming and to make small applications on iPods, phones, etc. Other languages have come before C and C++ (for example, C++ is C with added stuff), and some have come after.

C/C++ is the standard language for most (not trying to step on toes) games and Windows applications.

In case your wondering… yes, Xbox games, PlayStation games, and other platform games are programmed with C++. The programmer writes the code on a computer and uses a “dev” kit to transfer it to the correct platform.


Author: John Razmus