CelticWhisper 0 Newbie Poster

Hi all,

First-time poster and netadmin/infosec guy trying to get into coding.

My company uses a SQL Server 2005 database to store customer information and the like, and I'm hoping to learn to interact with it programmatically so I can write and/or customize software to make life a bit easier around here.

I guess my question is a general request for help in overcoming the inertia of my inexperience and making that first crack in the shell of C++/SQL interaction. I am, at least in significant part, a learn-by-doing kind of person so that might explain my eagerness to jump in and start coding.

I'm hoping for information like what includes I'm going to have to use, IDE quirks (I'm using Code::Blocks now, should I be using MSVC++ for MS SQL Server access?), stuff like that. Maybe a couple practice challenges?

Also, the reason I'm picking C++ is that I've heard (yeah, warning sign right there, I know) that because it doesn't pamper the user it's a good way to both write powerful applications and learn good practices going forward. If C++ is really a terrible choice for working with SQL in spite of this, I'm definitely open to suggestions with regard to what language to use - I've heard VB is aging fast, C# maybe? I'd just like to strike a balance between "I want to be a useful coder ASAP," since I want to be more valuable to my company, and "I don't want to write sloppy n00b code" since, well, I don't want my programs to introduce more problems than they solve.

Thanks a ton. I hope I'm not asking too much, and I don't expect anyone here to be my professor or anything. It's just that right now it looks like a mountain to climb and if I could get a hand in chipping out the first couple footholds, I think I can pull off the rest myself.