14, 18, I used the tutorial on this site and cross-referenced it with one or two others. IMO there's never a point where you finish learning to program, even in a single language, so I'm still learning, but now I'm learning by doing rather than reading.
I started in high school, but didn't really get serious with it until about 2 years ago.
I did a lot of programming and reading. C++ Primer was my main book, though I quickly got tired of the pacing of the book and just used it as a reference manual and went to programming on my own. Best thing to do for learning is just to find something that is way out of your comfort zone, and do it. Even if you completely fail in doing whatever it is, you'll learn so much from the process.
"When did you start learning c++? How old are you now?"
I began learning around the age of 17 and I'm 21 now.
"What have you done to reach were you are today?"
I've been implementing my own custom containers, allocators and general data structures; something I would recommend doing if you don't have a project and you want to get your hands dirty. Also, I've been trying to implement this and that so that it's as efficient as possible -- I'm sure that you already know I'm an efficiency madman.
After so long, the above starts to become etched into your mind and you'll realise just how it affects the way you think about your code in terms of performance. Also, by "rebuilding" the standard containers, I've become familiar with how they work internally, and I can easily build one from scratch no problem without diagrams.
I can't recall when I started learning C++ (to a significant extent), and I'm just about 24 now...so no longer than a quarter of a century.
To get where I am now, I did a little bit of everything. Mostly by trial and error, I figured out what to avoid, what to embrace, and what to burn on sight. Over the past 2-3 years I've informally freelanced, and let me tell you that I've learned innumerably more over that period than any other time-span spent "learning C++". If you really want to have C++ in your belt, start by learning the basics, and get your hands dirty as soon as you're able to. After a while, you figure out how to keep your hands clean when dealing with even the most difficult problems.
I began learning when I was 14. I got grounded from playing video games, so I figured I'd get around that by making video games. Every game creation tool I found advertised something along the lines of "create awesome games without writing a single line of code!", so I figured I'd just be awesome and learn how to program. I recalled C++ from earlier modding I had done (although I never even saw it, only knew the name), so I Googled "C++ tutorial" and found the one on this site. I began just by going through the tutorial and making text based tools and games. Then I found some tutorials for the Allegro game library and made a few games with that. I'm 17 now and have been pretty much making games and other random software since then. I do most of my stuff with SFML now.
I finished my Bachelor of Science in Game and Simulation Programming back on February 2010. After two years of job searching for everything from web development to a job in game programming I've pretty much given up on working in programming. My wife and son need me at home anyways.
@BHXSpecter hey I hear you man, dont give up on programming though, the economy was bad when you finished school. i'm sure it will pick up again.
I dont want to tell the exact year when I started programming becuase its been so long ago. Hahaha.
I was using QuickBasic to make my own graphics and games. After going to study Comp-Sci
I learned C, and after working several years in the industry I picked up Smalltalk and PowerBuilder.
In several companies I picked up SQL and Batch script programming.
I'm still programming today but dabble with programming in Python and C++.
Before I went to university I wanted to be a game developer, and at the time, the coolest
video game was Street Fighter2. I never reached the goal of making my own computer game
instead i ended up learning how to survive by being adaptive to the industry.
Mortal Kombat was the game that got me into programming. I wanted to be the guy behind the curtain making everything work. I've made a few games with Allegro 5, but sadly they all suck and have tons of issues with them. Pong had a collision detection response issue and when I tried to get help I was told that if I couldn't figure out something that simple then I had no business programming.
The problem with game programming is that depending on the library you pick to use determines how much you have to learn to code yourself. Like animation for example, and collision detection, etc.
I've started doing Project Euler problems and only got to problem 5 before I ran into an issue. Still figuring it out, but having fun doing it.
I've dabbled with assembly (EMU8086), Lua and C++, HTML, PHP, MySQL, XML, BASIC, VB, C#, C, D, and God knows what else I've played with since I was 15.
I would relearn it from C++ Primer 5th edition that just came out, since it teaches C++ as it is today, instead of what was in use 10 or 20 years ago. Unless Accelerated or PPP get updated, this is going to be the only textbook worth reading for a while. And I'd follow it up with effective/exceptional series, which I did anyway, so it wouldn't be much of a change.
I started programming when I was about 19, I'm 49 now. I've programmed in BASIC, Modula2, SmallTalk, Assembler (started assembler on Motorola 68000 chip - CBM Amiga, as well as x86 series), C, C++, C#, Visual Basic. I gained a BSc in Computer Science and I am now a professional Software Engineer.
I would say to anyone thinking of becoming a professional programmer to get a degree to start with (any degree) and learn a programming language. Don't give up, you will get a job in the end. I work in the finance sector and C++ is the language to use in that sector.
Always strive to improve your knowledge of the language(s) you use as well as the OS you use.