Week 3

3rd Week (9th March 2013)

And so, we’ve come to the 3rd week of me taking C++ computer programming course. Admittedly, there is not much for me to write/reflect on when compared to the last 2 entries, which were jam-packed with new terms, information and tips. But, I’m not complaining. Knowledge is still knowledge no matter what kind or how little it is. The 3rd week is full of revisions and practical work that were kind of difficult for me to explain in the written word. Hence, the reason to my relatively short entry for this week. Nevertheless, the following is the guideline for Reflection Week 3; we revisited the general concept and objective of the course, learnt of a paradigm used in C++ programming and how the basic filing system works in the Dev C++ software (I think that’s the word for it; filing system). The rest are lots of practical work which I will briefly describe at the last segment of this entry.

Firstly, we were reminded to name the programs we have created with simple yet functional names so the way to create a proper project was demonstrated once again. From clicking the ‘File’ icon in the interface of the Dev C++ software to clicking ‘Project’ icon. Once the ‘Project’ icon is clicked, a new window pops up with its own interface. So here’s the most crucial part; we select ‘Console Application’. That’s it. The most crucial part. The rest of the steps are irrelevant now. Just to revisit the introductory phase of this course on what we are actually learning. 3 weeks in and we get more in depth on what kind of computer programming we are doing. As a novice, I need to know these things else I won’t know what I’m actually creating in the first place. Thus, we learnt that we are currently learning about console programming in which the output of the program will result in the program running on a black screen. Unlike windows programming in which the program will run on a window as the ones we always see popping up in our computers or laptops. For instance, when one wants to close an application, a window will pop up and say, “Are you sure you want to close this application? Yes; No”. However, this kind of programming will be taught right after the mid- semester break if time permits it.

Next, every computer programming language like Fortran, Java and C as its own paradigm which informs the aspiring learners the general process of creating and running a program. In the case of C++, the paradigm is ‘IPO’ which is an acronym for ‘Input’, ‘Process’ and  ‘Output’. This is pretty straightforward and is to be utilised for every C++ program that we have to create. ‘Input’ is for the programmer to identify and state the input data required to solving a given problem. ‘Process’ is the main work that programmers have to do which is giving accurate and step by step instructions for the computer to follow. The ‘Output’ is the execution of the program displaying result of all the hard work the programmers had done.

Lastly, we learnt how the Dev C++ can only accommodate one main function per project. This is why we (can’t have nice things) can’t save many source files in one project file. The practical work that we had done along with the weekly, nerve-shattering online quizzes help us learn more about C++ programming as well as learning from our(especially mine) novice mistakes while creating the programs. Mistakes like misplacing the semicolon (;) especially. These practical work and quizzes usually include creating a program to calculate values for problems such as finding out the body mass index (BMI), the time taken for Mr. Makal Sumakar to travel the whole globe with his Fararu boat and converting units like meter to kilometre and seconds to hours.

To end this reflection, all I can to say about learning C++ programming is that one should do lots of practice as well as mistakes (because I follow by some famous person’s quote to always make mistakes so I interpret it as, “So if I do lots of mistakes which are often followed by humiliation, then those mistakes will be remembered since humility is hard to forget). And apparently I lied about this being short, hah.

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