I'm 19 years old and am trying to figure out what technical field I want to go in to. So far in my free time I have learned C, C++, API, and I'm still trying to hit MFC hard. I am thinking about learning some C++/CLI next where does learning some of these skill sets put me as a programmer?
-Edit- I guess my question is more of a "Is C++ still viable as a business platform or is it being replaced by .net and mobile programming platforms?"
Short answer: Yes, C++ is still viable.
C++ is still the most versatile language you can learn. I wouldn't recommend it for web stuff, but for everything else it's fine. Also, if you're trained in C++ you can easily switch to many other current languages since most of them use the C/C++ syntax (C#, Java, Objective-C, PHP, Python, ...).
Beware: you shouldn't mix up languages with libraries:
C++ / C# / Java / PHP / VisualBasic / ... are programming languages
MFC / CLI / .net / boost / Silverlight / DirectX / ... are libraries / frameworks. (BTW: API is more or less a synonym for "Library")
C++ works directly with all these libraries. In most cases there are wrappers for other languages as well, but I wouldn't count on that.
@XQwindow: You realize that you are in a C/C++ forum, right?
And, to be precise: NO programming language is "easier" than another. It's always just different.
Also, just because Java might be "popular" right now that doesn't mean it's better or more useful. Especially when compared to C/C++.
@ForRealzZzZ: keep going with C++ until you're really comfortable with it, and then take a look at other languages. Java is not evil but do yourself a favor by learning just one thing at a time.
And, to be precise: NO programming language is "easier" than another.
This actually doesn't invalidate what XQwindow said, and they are right people do think Java is easier regardless of what you and I know the truth to be.
I had an incident recently that illustrated this. I was at my girlfriends company picnic and she introduced me to their head of IT. He said "So (she) tells me you're into programming. We happen to be looking for a programmer right now." and I told the guy "Yeah I enjoy it. I've been writing in C\C++ since I was about 12." his response was something like "Ah, we're looking more into Java or .Net. We prefer to program in English." This wasn't the venue for a debate so I just let it slide and continued enjoying the party.