Your experience as a beginner in C++

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by ES335, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. ES335



    This thread is mostly addressed to programmers in C++ who started from scratch with no/little prior programming experience. You may have learned C++ in college or through self tutorial books.

    I was wondering if there were any C++ programmers out there who could share their story of their progression in the language. Tell us how you started, how long it was before you had the courage to try your first meaningful program whether related to trading or not, and whether you regret/do not regret learning C++. Also, give us an idea of how it may have helped you in your price data analysis. Do you routinely code up ideas to be tested over data etc?

    I've recently been reading through a self tutorial book and enjoy the learning process, although it is frustrating at times when you encounter code that is not necessarily in the examples in your text, at least in the same format. I don't expect to be able to write anything for the next few months. I just want to make sure I understand the basics of the language. It's pretty humbling, because here am feeling daunted by the idea of coding up some simple code to test a few trading ideas, and then I see some of the code written by gamers and my jaw drops...haha

    Anyone want to share their experience?
  2. My first computer was an AppleIIc. Complete with 5.25 disk built in! I started programming in Apple Basic. To learn, I connected my 300bd modem to Compuserve in the middle of the night (to save significantly on cost) and dl'ed any and all source codes, including C.

    Once armed with source code, no matter how stupid or great the program was, I refactored it... I re-wrote it MY WAY. It was that process that built up my knowledgebase of what a given language offers.

    It wasn't until a friend (a salesman for a new software company named Ashton-Tate) demoed his ware (some database program named dBase) on his Osborne (portable) computer that I saw the need to move to PC.

    Once on PC, I immediately learned Basic and Visual Basic. Regardless of what most think, I ALWAYS thought (and still do, mostly) MS context sensitive help is/was very good and largely responsible for my programming success.

    It wasn't until I got tired of bumping into Basic/VB restrictions that I started earnestly learning C/C++. Again, I used online content providers, like AOL and user group BBSs to download sources. The internet was just beginning. I also purchased books about OOPs (object-oriented programming).

    Nowadays, I program expertly in VBA and VB (was a highly paid VB programmer before India came on the scene). And as hobbyist in C/C++. For C/C++ projects I normally think cross-platform and for most things I use the wxWidgets GUI framework.

    I do not like .NET, but I dabble there too. But not VC.NET! I don't know why anyone would ruin perfectly good multiple-compiler code by using .NET only extensions, thereby making C/CPP code MS specific. C# and VB.NET already provide for programmers to be MS specific.

    Starting to ramble...

    good luck with your studies,
  3. rosy2


    start with hello world. then set some variables of different types and print them out. then do a loop. play with arrays and pointers. then functions and various return types, then a program that uses a number of files/headers. then use stl and 3rd party libraries.

    I would recommend you go to and do some puzzles to get going. I prefer to try things as fast as possible instead of sitting reading a syntax book.
  4. Hi friends,

    I have been looking into learning c++ and I started a week ago. I just wanna know if learning it on my own is worth my time. Or should I go to school? Personally, I think the education system is a scam. They just read out what's in the book and I feel that I can learn it on my own. Could I learn this on my own? Typically how long does it take? And do I have to learn c first?

  5. Neodude


    If you have prior experience learning from books then by all means continue on that route, the only benefit of school is that you can ask questions and sometimes exchange ideas. In the case of programming, many great programmers were self thought by reading other's code and experimenting. In order to become proficient it will take about 2 years, unless you have a lot of time to dedicate toward your endeavor. Most people can write useful programs in about a year, I suggest you join a programming website where other programmers can answer you questions. It can help a lot, especially when you can't get your code to compile or when it is doing things that its not supposed to. In programming, 4 eyes are often better then 2.

    PS. You do not need to learn C, it might even be beneficial if you don't, unless you need to write extremely fast programs.

  6. You are looking at years to go up the programming learning curve, just like trading. While traders are often profitable after several months, only a few will stick with it long enough to make their roll into something significant and fewer still will step outside of their pet profitable niches to master the hundreds of complex subjects that can bring incredible wealth to himself and those around him. Any programming you can do after a year will look like crap to an expert with a decade or more of experience, but you might be competent enough to learn something from him at that point. And be prepared to throw away all the code you've made to start again with your new knowledge. Unless this sounds like fun to you, you are better off going with a boxed solution or paying the experts to do custom programming for you.
  7. Thanks for the reply guys. I am trying to make a career out of this. Some how, I don't feel that I am going to make it in trading... I had a very good thing going and now I am on the verge of giving up because I can't take the pressure. I am only 26 and my back and shoulders are in constant pain and I am developing some serious heart problems all caused by trading stress. It doesn't have to be this hard, but it is and I don't know why..
  8. BENG


    I gave up trying to learn C++, and proceed to learn C#. I believe the efficiency from C++ is overrated, and you have to be really good in it to take advantage of it. By buying a faster computer, you would have cut the development time by a ton with C#, and still be able to have the same or faster speed.
  9. booking


    I'm a professional C++ programmer writing trading/risk systems for a bank, and I can tell you now that I think you've picked the most difficult language to start on!

    C# is very much the flavour of the moment, so I would reccomend you start with that - it's a far simpler language to master. I also reccomend you add in some complimentary skills such as perl and SQL, it is very rare you find a programming job these days that requires only 1 skill.

    Good Luck!
  10. Extremely valuable comments above, Eventually I will have to learn c#, perl, etc... I want to get into game programming and for that I need c++. Do you guys think I can master all these on my own or would it be better if I found a paid professional who can work with me one on one?

    #10     Mar 7, 2007