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Jumping into C++ Paperback – April 19, 2013
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About the Author
Alex Allain is a professional C++ software developer and was twice recognized as one of the top Teaching Fellows in Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He helped teach both of Harvard's first two introductory computer science courses, focusing on C, C++ and Scheme. He is also the creator of Cprogramming.com, where his tutorials on C and C++ have helped millions of new programmers.
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Having been a programmer for many years, I never understood the emphasis in C++ of writing text files versus binary and that idea was explained in detail as well. I would still recommend Mike McGraths book for beginners but "JumpingInto C++" should be the next step. And Alex doesn't leave you at the end of the book. He has a web site that is dedicated to the furtherance and understanding of C++ loaded with tutorials and newsletters to continue your C++ education. A great experience and a great read by a great teacher.
So the biggest reason I give this 4 instead of 5 stars is the book kind of explains that many of the necessary things you learn in at least the first half of book, aren't really how most programmers would actually code it. The book doesn't enough detail into things like classes or methods, algorithms, inheritence etc. This book is a great beginning to C++ but not the be all, end all book about it.
1)The author doesn't speak in jargon anymore than necessary. He realizes his audience is primarily beginners and he talks to the audience accordingly. All too often very experienced people will write a book and they've forgotten what it's like to be a beginner. Fortunately, this author is not one of those people.
2) The problems at the end of each chapter are absolutely fantastic. They make you practice what you just learned, build confidence and some of them can be quite challenging but still within your grasp.
3) I'll admit I'm only 9 chapters in to the book but the scope so far has been great. I think many other beginner's books skimp on the details, not this one.
The one big con that I've come to discover is that the other teaches you to use this line: using namespace std;
The problem according to a stack overflow thread I was reading, is that if you utilize this and one of your libraries gets updated and now they share a function, you've got serious problems. Even more serious if they have the same number/type of parameters because your program could technically continue to work without spitting any compiler errors or anything yet be utilizing the wrong function. It's not that much more work to teach the beginner to utilize std::cin instead of cin, or std::cout instead of cout, and so on, and it's well worth developing the habit to do it the way that is safe for the long haul. This is why I gave the book 4 stars and not 5, but it's still a great book and I still recommend it.