Life After C++

Why learn Windows Programming?

The one disservice I think colleges do is to teach you how to program in C++ but not how to master any particular platform - for example - Windows Programming. The windows programming I am thinking about is probably a bit dated since everywhere I look all I see is books, job advertisements and web sites directed at the .NET platform. I am thinking of Windows programming where WinMain is the starting point of your program and the programming language of choice is C++.

I will admit that I don't know what .NET is all about but I do know Windows programming and there are many books related to game programming that start off teaching good ol' Windows Programming in order to start building games based on DirectX. I managed to collect quite a bit of them in my "let's collect all the game programming books I can afford phase." The problem I did not foresee was the time I would need to dedicate in reading them and how tedious it is to spend 100 pages going over an author's version of layering a game engine on top of Windows.

Is there any reason to start with Windows Programming? Chances are you are reading this on a PC with a Windows operating system installed (XP? Vista? Windows 7?) and probably play games on your PC. It would be cool for historical reasons as well as personal growth to build bona fide window applications. Learning Windows Programming will make it easier to learn and build a DirectX application. In addition, it will be a great gateway to learning C# and build XNA games.

Microsoft makes it easy to get started using the MSDN website . There you will find easy to follow tutorials on Learning to program for Windows in C++. If you learned C++ program on a Windows machine but did not get a chance to learn how to build windows programů.well - WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!

Head over the Microsoft web site and get a hold of Visual C++ Express and start building Windows applications. You can pick up a used copy of Petzold's book "Windows Programming" and really learn how to code. It should be a great summer project - I can promise you that you will learn quite a bit and will be ready to move on the .NET (you will probably beat me there) or start to contribute to open source projects.