1. I'd like to become at least competent with C++ (good enough to work on large scale projects or even get a job as a C++ programmer), how long do you think it will take? I have some experience with java, and am learning with the PDF version of this book which I found on the MSDN website. Based on the summary provided in the second link, how much of the language does the book cover?

2. What other resources will I need? I'm talking about books, software, etc. I am using Visual Studio Express 2008, is it a good IDE/compiler compared to others?

3. I understand that the ISO standard for C++ is getting updated with C++0x. Does anyone know if this will be a major overhaul? Will old C++ knowledge become obsolete with the update, or is it just adding some new libraries, changing a few old ones, etc.?

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1) Depends on how quickly you learn. When I started I had nothing more than a book and an old Radio Shack computer with *nix-like os. I learned enough in about a month to get my first programming intro job with Account Temps (temporary employment agency). But that was mid 1980s and times have changed a lot since then.

>>Based on the summary provided in the second link, how much of the language does the book cover?
It's a beginner's guide so it only covers the very basics of the language. There is a lot that is probably not covered, such as containers and algorithms.

2. That's an excellent compiler and IDE, and its all that you need to get you started learning c++. Code::Blocks with MinGW is also excellent. As for books, all you need at first is an Intro to C++ book, see the Read Me threads at the top of this c++ forum for other book recommendations.

3. Old c++ will NOT become obsolete. The new standard will just add to the existing c++ standard. Once the new standard is released it will be several years before it is implemented by compilers. Some compilers still have not implemented everything in the current c++ standard. Microsoft VC++ 6.0 compiler is notorious for its lack of adherence to c++ standards.

Thanks for the help. But about the book being a beginner's guide, what other resources would you recommend for expanding my knowledge of C++ once I'm through with it?

Once you become familier with C++ and OOP in it, i suggest you to pick up the following book to learn the Standard Template Library and some other things in the standard library:

The C++ Standard Library - A Tutorial & Reference.
by Nicolai Josuttis.

I'm learning the STL from that book ,it contains very simple examples and good advices.

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