Sunday, August 2, 2009

Should I Learn C First? before C++

The question inevitably arises: "Since C++ is a superset of C, should I learn C first?" Stroustrup and most other C++ programmers agree. Not only is it unnecessary to learn C first, it may be advantageous not to do so. This book attempts to meet the needs of people like you, who come to C++ without prior experience of C. In fact, this book
assumes no programming experience of any kind.



Preparing to Program

C++, perhaps more than other languages, demands that the programmer design the program before writing it. Trivial problems, such as the ones discussed in the first few chapters of this book, don't require much design. Complex problems, however, such as the ones professional programmers are challenged with every day, do require design, and the more thorough the design, the more likely it is that the program will solve the problems it is designed to solve, on
time and on budget. A good design also makes for a program that is relatively bug-free and easy to maintain. It has been estimated that fully 90 percent of the cost of software is the combined cost of debugging and maintenance. Tothe extent that good design can reduce those costs, it can have a significant impact on the bottom-line cost of the project. The first question you need to ask when preparing to design any program is, "What is the problem I'm trying to
solve?" Every program should have a clear, well-articulated goal, and you'll find that even the simplest programs in this book do so. The second question every good programmer asks is, "Can this be accomplished without resorting to writing custom software?" Reusing an old program, using pen and paper, or buying software off the shelf is often a better solution to
a problem than writing something new. The programmer who can offer these alternatives will never suffer from lackof work; finding less-expensive solutions to today's problems will always generate new opportunities later. Assuming you understand the problem, and it requires writing a new program, you are ready to begin your design.

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