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Learning to program can be difficult for many, even with relatively easy programming languages. While Java is easier to get started with (where we have numerous articles here at MakeUseOf for Java as well as Internet scripting languages and deciding which one to learn), C++ may not be.
However, those with some programming experience will find learning C++ less difficult than beginners, although there are plenty of good websites to teach yourself with.
Why Learn C++?
Why would you care to learn C++? It is a very powerful programming language which basically has a “trust the programmer” motto. While that stance also increases the chance for errors without the complier freaking out, it does give the programmer more flexibility in how they actually write their code.
Due to this, most programs are at least partially written in this language or its cousin, C. Learning C++ is also beneficial in another way – as C++ is very similar to C, you can understand and (for the most part) code in C as well.
LearnCpp is a great place for both beginners and somewhat experienced programmers to get started with C++. The author of the site has very well written, thorough tutorials that literally cover every basic lesson (such as installing a good IDE, like my favorite Geany for Linux) to some pretty advanced stuff (such as the latest changes in the 2011 revision of C++).
Out of all the sites I list here, I recommend trying this one out first before all the others. The tutorials follow a very logical pathway that builds on previous tutorials as you go along. Additionally, after each lesson, the author offers you a quiz to see if you understood what the lesson was about, which I find fantastic.
CPlusPlus is another great website for learning C++. Although this website also has some tutorials, it is better used as a reference. There are multitudes of programming concepts that you can look up, which is very helpful when you want to use a certain technique but happen to get stuck.
This site may not be the absolute best for beginners, as its referential nature implies that it includes more jargon than LearnCpp.com would. However, the information included on the site is still very good and should be used as long as you understand what it says.
In case the first two websites aren’t your cup of tea for whatever reason, maybe you’ll have a bit more luck with Cprogramming.com. This website also includes a well-written tutorial and other goodies you can definitely make use of. I just personally happen to prefer LearnCpp.com because I find the tutorials on that site a little easier to understand, and it’s easier to navigate between lessons as they’re more organized (again, my opinion). However, your opinion may not be the same as mine, so if this works better for you, use it!
The good thing about Cprogramming.com is the fact that it includes both tutorials for C++ as well as C, so you can learn both languages through tutorials written by the same author. This is great for drawing comparisons between the two languages, plus if you found learning C++ to be easier with this site, it will most likely be just as easy with the C tutorial.
Hopefully, armed with these three sites, you’ll be able to get a grasp on C/C++ and start writing your own programs. Just remember that as you get started, functionality should be the priority over appearance, so don’t feel like your program is worth nothing if it doesn’t have a GUI. The algorithms and other coding are what makes a program do what it’s supposed to do, and if it works, then great! Mission accomplished!
Let us know what sites you prefer in the comments below.
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