How to Continue Learning

This is a question that's been bothering me for quite a while, as I've never really finished reading a programming book/kept with one for a long time. But I finally decided I couldn't go wrong sticking with the industry standard, C++.

I've been reading this book, C++ From the Ground Up, and it's EXTREMELY informative. I've learned so much stuff that was never covered in just the basic tutorial on this website. (Not that that tutorial isn't extremely good, considering the brevity.) But with that comes the problem: There's SO much.

After I read this book, I plan on writing tons of practice programs, you know, just to practice; to solidify everything. And to learn about the various classes more in-depth, yada yada. But I'm afraid I'll forget the small, extremely useful stuff. Like the fact that a type can be cast into a class if the constructor only has 1 parameter, and stuff like that. (Though I think I'll remember that because I found it so interesting.)

I'm obviously a perfectionist, but I'm wondering: How did you 'experts' continue learning after you learned the core stuff? Just programs to solidify what you DO know, and THEN go back to the books to solidify all of the little stuff? Or did you do basic programs, and then an open source project and found all of the little stuff?

Basically, what all do you think you should do after you get the basics to continue learning besides just writing personal programs? How did you do it yourself?

Call me OCD, but I'm just worried I won't go about it all the right way.

Practice practice practice. The more you use a language, the more you "get it" and the easier it is to use. Nothing can substitute experience.

Don't worry about forgetting minor details. You'll use them as you need them, and using them will get you to remember them.
Get real work experience and continue reading more books.
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