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So i just finished my first semester of college. In my intro to programming class we made a bunch of super interesting (sarcasm) console applications. Any suggestions on ways other than just messing around with console applications for a beginner C++ student to improve?

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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Know the feeling. I 'was' frustrated at the same thing. Console applications aren't very interesting what with all that string reversing, linked lists and bullsh1t "traffic simulation programs" (lol..), but at the same time there is no way I can argue with the other responses given.

Anyway to answer your question, as others have suggested pick a topic your interested in. Seeing as I learned C/C++ I headed in the direction of learning GTK+ and SDL. GTK+ should give you a good start on GUI and SDL on 2D graphics (this could lead onto openGl later on). I also recommend you going over beej's guide to networking (its a free online ebook), this should give you a start on networking (I had a good buzz sending messages to a computer connected on my network :)

Maybe later with your SDL and sockets knowledge you could make a simple multi player computer game.

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Depends on what you mean by console apps, but there is nothing wrong with console applications to learn C++. It all depends on how complex they are.

You could try writing a gui app with something like QT, but then you'll spend most of the time learning the framework.

You could write a game in something like OpenGL, SDL etc.

The problem with C++ is that it is a huge step from simple stuff to something useful.

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Qt is amazingly accessible. Just follow the tutorials and very soon you'll be writing your own small (but real) applications. –  Javier Dec 19 '10 at 11:20
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Console applications are the best ways to learn C++. And rather than learning advanced C++, better learn the data structures first. Once you learn list, tress, graph etc. then you will have much more option in console applications.

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Find an open source project you find interesting, and contribute. We love new contributors, and more experienced coders will be reviewing your patches and providing feedback. :)

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