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Sams Teach Yourself C++ in One Hour a Day Paperback – 10 May 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Sams; 7 edition (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672335670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672335679
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 4.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 297,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Learn C++ in Just One Hour a Day!

In just one hour a day, you’ll have all the skills you need to begin programming in C++. With this complete tutorial, you’ll quickly master the basics, and then move on to more advanced features and concepts.

Completely updated for the C++11 standard, Sams Teach Yourself C++ in One Hour a Day — the seventh edition of Sams Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days — presents the language from a practical point of view, helping you learn how to use C++11 to create faster, simpler, and more efficient C++ applications.

  • Master the fundamentals of C++ and object-oriented programming
  • Understand how C++11 features help you write compact and efficient code using concepts such as lambda expressions, move constructors, and assignment operators
  • Learn best practices and avoid pitfalls via useful Do’s and Don’ts
  • Learn the Standard Template Library, including containers and algorithms used in most real-world C++ applications
  • Test your knowledge and expertise using exercises at the end of every lesson

Learn on your own time, at your own pace:

  • No previous programming experience required
  • Learn C++11, object-oriented programming, and analysis
  • Write fast and powerful C++ programs, compile the source code, and create executable files
  • Use the Standard Template Library’s algorithms and containers to write feature-rich yet stable C++ applications
  • Develop sophisticated programming techniques using lambda expressions, smart pointers, and move constructors
  • Learn to expand your program’s power with inheritance and polymorphism
  • Master the features of C++ by learning from programming experts
  • Learn C++11 features that allow you to program compact and high-performance C++ applications

About the Author

Siddhartha Rao is a technologist at SAP AG, the world’s leading supplier of enterprise software. As the head of SAP Product Security India, his primary responsibilities include hiring expert talent in the area of product security as well as defining development best practices that keeps SAP software globally competitive. Awarded Most Valuable Professional by Microsoft for Visual Studio–Visual C++, he is convinced that C++11 will help you program faster, simpler, and more efficient C++ applications.


Siddhartha also loves traveling and discovering new cultures given an opportunity to. For instance, parts of this book have been composed facing the Atlantic Ocean at a quaint village called Plogoff in Brittany, France—one of the four countries this book was authored in. He looks forward to your feedback on this global effort!

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barlow on 18 Sep 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm working through this book, and my first conclusion is that it's certainly not for anyone new to programming, although it claims that no previous programming is required. I've recently learned Java (my first language) and so I found the concepts explained in the first eight chapters very familiar and was able to keep up. The chapter on pointers was a struggle, as was the chapter on classes and objects. I feel that the author deals with complex concepts very briefly, and the lack of any real exercises at the end of chapters leaves me feeling unsure that I grasped what I need to know. There are also a lot of errors so far, although most seem pretty easy to identify as such. I think that the very fast pace might suit some, but I'd like a bit more depth, and a bit less speed.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J on 17 Dec 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is suppose to be 1 hour a day to learn c++
I took me over 2 hours to try and get the first basic program to work and even then it didn't. Gave up in the end. Total waste of money...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 47 reviews
119 of 127 people found the following review helpful
Don't get this book, get the 5th edition. 16 Mar 2013
By J. Alexander - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
/********** Conclusion **********/
Due to the two major cons below, I will not recommend this book, but instead recommend two others:

1) SAMS Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days (5th Edition). If you want to learn C++ from scratch and have any trouble at all following other books, that book will be a godsend for you.
2) Once you finish that book, pick up The C++ Standard Library to learn about the STL and newer C++11 features in greater depth.

/********** PROS **********/
1) The same wonderful layout that SAMS books are known for. It makes quick referencing and look-up of key points easy.

2) Covers more of the STL than older editions.

/********** CONS **********/
1). The author in this book is not nearly as user-friendly in their explanations as authors of the 5th edition. While writing a tutorial on functions for my students, I looked to this book as a reference. The very first sentence on functions in this book is the following:

"Functions in C++ are the same as functions in C. Functions are artifacts that enable you to divide the content of your application into functional units that can be invoked in a sequence of your choosing."

The first problem with this introduction line is that this book is for beginners who probably don't know C, so that's a dumb assumption to make. The second problem with it is that nobody refers to functions as artifacts just because they are functions, and regardless, referring to them as artifacts does nothing to enhance the beginner's understanding of functions. Both of these points are part of the main problem which is that this is an absolutely HORRIBLE explanation for the novice this book is targeted at. No student of mine will learn from language like this.

By contrast, the 5th edition introduces functions like this:

"A function is, in effect, a subprogram that can act on data and return a value. Every C++ program has at least one function, main(). When your program starts, the main() function is called automatically...
... Each function has its own name, and when that name is encountered, the execution of the program branches to the body of that function."

This is clearly a much better way to convey this information to a learning student. Telling them that writing the function name causes the code inside the function to happen is a lot easier to grasp than saying that functions are artifacts and are just like C ones.

It's not just the section on functions that is written this way either. The whole book goes on like this, which may account for why this newer edition has about half the page count of the older one. I always recommended the 5th edition as the one book nobody could possibly get lost in while learning, but the 7th edition is a real disappointment in continuing that trend.

2) The book advertises C++11 on the cover. While it does cover several new features of C++11, it leaves out some that really belong in this book (e.g. default and delete keywords for constructors). This may be due in part to writing code that will compile on Visual Studio, whose compiler is not fully standards-compliant with C++11 yet. However, these features ARE supported on other compilers. Even if you don't want to confuse the reader with code that won't work on the suggested IDE/compiler, it at least deserves a passing mention since it's supposed to be STANDARD C++, not Microsoft's C++. Older editions were sure mention things like this.

My suggestion to the publisher:
Dump Siddhartha Rao and bring back Jesse Liberty and the other guy.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Very good implementation of the "an Hour a Day" concept 22 July 2012
By HFHM - Published on
Format: Paperback
Very good implementation of the "an Hour a Day" concept

The structure of the book is very good to work in small units - exactly as promised by the title. I handed the book to my son, who is interested in C++ programming. He had some experience programming with friends, but it was not very well structured.
We used the one hour lectures to update specific topics, where he felt gaps in his knowledge without reading the complete book. So what comes in very comfortable for this kind of use is:
- the explanations are very good, clear, easy to understand
- the book is an easy read, because it works very well with different type styles for text, source code etc., with diagrams and text boxes for important stuff like notes and warnings. And it does so, without destructing from the content.
- the examples are very short - but to the point. That is important, so that the learning person does not get destructed by too many details. An additional goody: after each example there is "analysis" section, that explains what should be learned from the sample.
- on the other hand - some details did really surprise me positively, like the description of array initialisation - which is often omitted in beginners books

For readers, who start at the beginning and work himself/herself through the book, I like to mention, that the book only uses pipe input/output (cin, cout) and introduces strings and other std library classes very early. I think it is important, that modern books do not try to first teach C and then expand to C++ concepts.
The content is very satisfying: from basics, pointers, classes, inheritance and polymorphism it reaches to templates, a very good STL overview to smart pointers, exception Handling and - C++11 standard - Lambda expressions. Also the auto keyword is explained and used appropriately in STL sample code.

Summary: a clear "thump up" for this book, both for beginners going for a "work through" and intermediates, who search for a deep dive into certain topics.
Maybe it's not the the right book as a reference for experienced programmer - but maybe this is not what it wants to be :-)
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Great book, covering everything I need 26 Nov 2012
By Jordi - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've gotten a few books on C++ and this so far is the absolute best for me. A bit of background about me. I have background in VB mainly and a little C++ years ago (forgot everything) so was looking for refreshers. My idea of a refresher though is to give it to me straight, right down to nuts and bolts. This book did it perfectly, treated me like a complete novice but bogged me down in enough examples that meant whenever I left a chapter, everything was crystal clear (a hugely important factor in learning code, the last thing you want is to skip over something and have it come back to bite you in the ass)

Other books I had covered too much (which isn't bad) but can be overwhelming so I keep them as reference books but this is my go to book for starting on page 1 and moving all the way through.

Pros for me are the examples. Plenty to choose from with good analysis of what is going on. Great examples too, really makes understanding the principles easy

Cons are the odd spelling mistakes and typos. The odd question is asked twice which isn't that bad but every now and again a letter or number in the code is incorrect which can throw you a bit of a curveball. But thanks to the knowledge I got from this book I was able to spot them. Always fun correcting the teacher :-)

I would recommend this book to beginners as everything is covered but if you are like me and have a background in some coding and have been inactive for a while and are looking for a very basic refresher minus the jargon then get this book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
You want this to be your first C++ book, because the author included EXERCISE SOLUTIONS 16 July 2013
By Nick Z - Published on
Format: Paperback
Having done a lot of research, I saw people make a lot of recommendations for C++ Primer (not primer plus) as a great and thorough tutorial for C++. They're right. It is a well-written book, and the author has great flow.

The problem however with C++ Primer, is that if you're serious about learning, you're going to want to actually do the exercises they give you at the end of each segment/chapter (however the author laid out exercise intervals). In C++ Primer, he gives you exercises to write programs, but the author didn't actually take the time to provide solutions downloadable, he only made code snippets from the chapters.

This means that when you inevitably get stumped trying to write that exercise program in the later stages when things get more complex, regardless of how much you're reading the previous chapters over and over thinking "why am I not figuring this out", you will be forced to either give up, or google some forum asking for help. If it weren't for this caveat, I would've used C++ Primer at the advice of the C++ community.

That isn't the case with this book. The author went the extra mile to provide his solutions for his quiz/exercise sections AND all of the rest of the code in the book, the zip file was easy to find via a quick search.

I'm rather surprised how many authors of these books don't bother to actually create an archive of the source code for their exercise solutions. It just seems a bit lazy. If I were in a classroom and had a teacher, and I was stumped on one of his problems, I would want to ask him to show me how to do it right, not have to go ask previous graduates (the internet).

So, if you're like me, and dedicated to actually working through each chapters exercises, but also want that assurance that if you can't figure it out, you WANT to see how it can be done, this book is your best option. I'd say C++ Primer could then be your second book, but that would be paying for the same real estate twice. Better to go on to an intermediate/advanced book after this one, like Effective C++, and especially Bjarne Stroustrup's new C++ Programming Language 4th edition, which is excellent when you're ready to really sharpen your chops!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Motivated, Clearly Explained Intro to C++ 20 Oct 2013
By DavMin - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike C++ Primer, which claims/attempts to be an intro, STYC++ is the real thing.

Using the Third Printing April 2013, I find very few typos or grammar troubles like another reviewer complains. In fact, very much the opposite - this writer conveys every nuance of the language with clear and direct language. It is the easy style, the directness, and most of all - the motivated introduction to concepts that sets this book far above many of the other programming language introductory books I've read (specific to C++: 'C++ Primer' and 'A Tour of C++').

The book covers the language itself in about 300 pages. The remainder of the book covers the STL with another 300 pages.

Every concept is given a complete and to-the-point working example program so you can get used to reading complete programs, not just snippets of right and wrong lines like C++ Primer does.

You're given a set of guidelines to follow at the end of important concepts (DOs & DON'Ts), and at the end of each chapter is an informative Q&A where you can almost listen in to real world 'classroom' type questions and their answers.

The back of the book contains all answers to review/exercise questions. Also of interest are the BUG BUSTER questions which show you small (yet complete) programs for you to debug.

In short, this is THE book to get started with C++11. I tried others, but this one is finally teaching me without frustration in a motivated way - explaining not only the how but the WHY and doing so in plain language that is consistently easy to understand.

By the way, ... just noting a few other reviews directing to the 5th edition by Jesse Liberty.. I've had the displeasure of reading a few other books he has authored and was very disappointed by the writing style. Just my opinion.
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