I, in short started C++ when I was a child (exactly, 10). Alone, no network, no teachers, no professors.
In that moment by chance I had found a proper C++ compiler (Dev C++) and then downloaded it immediately. After that I never went to the office shop to learn anymore until the next year (because it was the only place which had Internet connection). While I was playing C++ code for fun with games, examples, samples and Dev documentation, I found how to use the functions by write something (such as Messagebox) on my first right function I had created before. And it... worked! That is the first thing I've learned by hand since this event!
In that time my biggest problem : Fixing the compiling syntax errors and (unknown hidden errors) linking errors, fighting strange messages and crashes... Oh Oh no need to say more... Say generally it's horrible!!!
Then curious, suddenly I wanted to learn more, such as array, class, enum... All are based on Dev documentation. I was learning as a child and many times I was so tired :) Then I started developing a very big console program project and called it "Guessing game" using Dev C++ when I was 11. It took four months to develop and the main.cpp 455 kb became a giant game!!! I called "giant game" because it now has dozens of functions and variables and by that time I still didn't know well how to use 'array' properly. So my variables usually were :
My code now :
(So much better than the terrible one, right?)
Therefore it was too "giant", and I quickly closed the project. Now review the code... OMG! My memory...
So far I've been still learning programming (I got my own internet just one year ago) :), but not C or C++ basic, they are Windows API, DirectX. But certainly (alone)... :)
I love programming because ("With programming you can control everything...")
Continue the story... (Very long long story...)