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I program in a number of languages .... C++ is one of my favorites as well as C#. For really down and dirty quick coded programs I write them in Perl.
For anyone wanting to learn C++, I'd start with console app's first. These are really simple to make and the structure will make sense. Best free tool is Bloodshed Dev IDE for C++. I use this all the time. Also tons of info on the web on programming, you just need the desire and dedication to learning it.
First start off with something simple like cout and cin for outputing text to a user and inputing text from a user to a variable. Then work on loops, arrays, random generators, I/O to files and so on. The biggest thing to consider with using a random generator is to use a seeded timer to the random generator. Without a seeded timer, each time you run the program/game etc, you will always get the same random numbers which become predictable; however by using a seeded timer, its far more difficult to predict the output you will get.
My strengths are with file and database manipulation with C++, but my weakness is graphics. Most games out there are built from C++, and there are really good programmers that create the graphics engines etc. The best graphics I have been able to do with C++ is bitmap manipulation etc, and this is very low quality graphics similar to an Atari2600 game with a red and green block and a square ball and collision detection on a 2D map etc.
C# I like because its good for rapid development of GUI based programs that look professional as well as it has lots of handy coding shortcuts where it auto populates redundant code that is required etc.
Perl I like because its down and dirty, a few lines of code can do a lot tapping into features/functions that were created for it, as well as it doesnt need to be compiled before use, as well as you do not need to #include all the resources like C++ requires at the top of the program in your *.cpp file etc.
Additionally Perl and C++ at the console app level work very well hand in hand if you wanted to mix and match vs coding all in 1 language where you can call the other etc, although its best to do everything in the same program language vs a mix and match.
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