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C++/Need advice for C++ programmer career


I just got a job as Network Assistant in a small company cause' I have MCSE. But my major was  Computer Science in Stony Brook University, NY. I graduated May 2004. But recently I feel that I like programming more. So i'm thinking of changing my career to JAVA or C++ programmer. I see more C++ jobs posted  than JAVA jobs in job search web site. So I want to start C++ study in a good way. I know a little bit of C++ with network programming, and I'm confident with JAVA. Do you have any book or any career path to recommend me? And please give me some advice you can give me for C++ programmer career.

Thank you in advance,

First in many ways the languages you code in are not all that important. Of course you need to know what you can and cannot do in various languages, but behind the language are the ideas - the analysis and design of the software.

Anyhow if you wish to add C++ to your set of programming languages then as you say you have Java already and various other computing qualifications then I suggest looking at Accelerated C++ by Andrew Koenig and Barbara Moo - I have not read it myself but have seen it mooted as a good C++ text for those who have some programming knowledge already.

Other C++ books that I have read and do use are:

Main References
- The C++ Programming Language 3rd or Special edition by Bjarne Stroustrup

- The C++ Standard Library A Tutorial and Reference by Nicolai M. Josuttis

- C++ Templates The Complete Guide by David Vandevoorde and Nicolai M. Josuttis

- The C++ Standard

Other C++ Texts
- Effective C++, More Effective C++ and Effective STL by Scott Meyers

- Exceptional C++ and More Exceptional C++ by Herb Sutter

- C++ Network Programming volumes 1 and 2 by Douglas M. Schmidt and Stephen D. Huston

There are many others I have not got around to acquiring yet. A good place to start looking is the ACCU web site at - they have many book reviews and resource links as well as mentored developer projects for members.

I cannot really advise a career path as I am not you nor do not really know you - I am having enough problems with my own career path as it is!

However you will probably find that you have the usual chicken and egg situation - you need a first job to get the experience but need the experience to get the job!

Maybe you can look for opportunities with your current situation - move sideways into programming, take on some development tasks - anything that you can add to your CV (err...résumé ?) that could help get you a full time job as a developer. You might well have to start out in a junior development position - reasonable given you would have little experience to start with.

However you approach the professional side with your self you should be ready to learn and practice, practice, practice. Set yourself projects to test your abilities and understanding. Look for good and bad examples of code and see why some is thought good and others bad...

Good luck and have fun!  


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Ralph McArdell


I am a software developer with more than 15 years C++ experience and over 25 years experience developing a wide variety of applications for Windows NT/2000/XP, UNIX, Linux and other platforms. I can help with basic to advanced C++, C (although I do not write just-C much if at all these days so maybe ask in the C section about purely C matters), software development and many platform specific and system development problems.


My career started in the mid 1980s working as a batch process operator for the now defunct Inner London Education Authority, working on Prime mini computers. I then moved into the role of Programmer / Analyst, also on the Primes, then into technical support and finally into the micro computing section, using a variety of 16 and 8 bit machines. Following the demise of the ILEA I worked for a small company, now gone, called Hodos. I worked on a part task train simulator using C and the Intel DVI (Digital Video Interactive) - the hardware based predecessor to Indeo. Other projects included a CGI based train simulator (different goals to the first), and various other projects in C and Visual Basic (er, version 1 that is). When Hodos went into receivership I went freelance and finally managed to start working in C++. I initially had contracts working on train simulators (surprise) and multimedia - I worked on many of the Dorling Kindersley CD-ROM titles and wrote the screensaver games for the Wallace and Gromit Cracking Animator CD. My more recent contracts have been more traditionally IT based, working predominately in C++ on MS Windows NT, 2000. XP, Linux and UN*X. These projects have had wide ranging additional skill sets including system analysis and design, databases and SQL in various guises, C#, client server and remoting, cross porting applications between platforms and various client development processes. I have an interest in the development of the C++ core language and libraries and try to keep up with at least some of the papers on the ISO C++ Standard Committee site at


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