My Quest to Level Up as a C++ Programmer

Begin with the end in mind is the refrain I heard  at a professional development workshop based on the book Understanding by Design(Wiggins & McTighe, 2005).  So I begin my quest with the thought that one day I will be able to program in C++.  I am a unrealized programmer just waiting to show my skills to the world.

What made me decide to learn to program in C++ as my project you ask?  The answer to that question is a story, of which I will tell you the short version, that started almost two years ago.  Two years ago I looked into doing Master’s courses at my local university.  I found two that I really thought would be interesting; a program entitled M4T, or Mathematics for Teaching and one in Educational Technology.  I spent a long time thinking about which program to do and finally decided to do the M4T program because the Ed Tech program had programming requirements to be accepted.

When I was at the bookstore picking up my copy of the APA manual I came across the book Reality is Broken (McGonigal, 2011).  Reading that book made me reflect on the problems of engagement I was having in my math class on any days that did not involve a game, cartoon, or other activity based learning.  Thus began the start of my journey to design a Massively Multiplayer Math Online Roleplaying Game.  Creating the Research support argument for why it would benefit students, teachers, and the education system as well as the start of the game design is the project I am presently finishing for my Master’s Capstone Project.  It has turned out to be longer than what a journal could publish so I am going to publish it when it is finished.

The book, however, is just the first step in my journey.  I want to make the game that lives in my head a reality, and to do that I need to start with C++ as most programs used to design video games are based on it.  I know that eventually I will need a team of people to work with me to finish the game so that the reality of it matches the theoretical version, but one needs more than an idea to get others to buy in.

So tonight I went on Youtube and started with a tutorial that made my brain hurt….and admitted to myself that I needed to find a video for the N00b that I am. I did program in Basic and Logo in university but as the first video made me see, I’m not in Kansas anymore (Flemming, 1939).  So I went through some more videos and found one to start with.

I downloaded the required open source software and followed along through the video.  I managed to understand everything he said, so I guess I picked the right level of video to start with:) More to come in the quest to learn C++.  More videos to find and community how-tos to locate, but I made my program do the same thing as his did, so one small step…

Check back for the next installment of C++ programmer


Flemming, V. (Director). (1939). Wizard of Oz [Motion Picture].

McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality Is Broken. New York: the Penguin Press.

Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.