I'm more of a rocket scientist than a pure programmer. I've been writing code since the late '70s. Most of my programming experience has been writing dynamic simulations to find answers to engineering questions, e.g. "how far," "how much fuel," "how hot/cold" .... And yes, lots of stuff involving rockets and trajectories. I've also written a few GUI applications and a couple of animation codes, one using openGL.
I'm mostly self-taught--I read books, read the internet (including SO)--but mostly by writing programs. My first C code after Hello World was a ray tracing program. My first C++ code simulated laser pulse signals propagating through detector circuitry. A very cool program that I wrote simulated a train of objects towed through the air by a rocket. That was just before I moved to C++, although it had OOP-like structures (so did the ray tracing code, etc--I just didn't know it).
I've also dabbled with Java and C#/.Net. I'm a Linux user but my preferred platform is Windows. I've used Eclipse and other IDEs but nothing comes close to MSVS in my humble opinion. BTW, MSVS 2013 rocks, but I may loose access to it at work due to MS's merciless policy of requireing online access to stay registered.
Currently I'm working on a large C++/Java project. Thousands of source files, hundreds of applications, at least a million lines of code. MSVS is a huge help in sorting through it all.
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