Handmade Hero»Forums»Game
3 posts
Should I code along the series?
Edited by heyyod on Reason: Initial post
Hi! I have just started my studies in CS and I have been teaching myself C/C++ with major interest in low level programming and game development. I'm currently at the start of the series (ep. 9) and I really enjoy the low level stuff that Casey is teaching and the whole concept in general. I get the gist of the main ideas that get implemented but I still haven't tried to actually code them myself.

So is it worth coding along the series? Cause at this point I feel too overwhelmed since there are so many episodes and material to go through. Should I just use it to expand my knowledge and apply it to my projects? What do you think and thanks in advance.
Jim R. Didriksen
63 posts
Should I code along the series?
I did follow the code up until 350 or 400 (I would have to compare the last code I wrote to know what day to start back at) and for me it really helped.

If Casey was doing something that I didn't understand just writing it out sometimes lead to understanding it or at least having an idea about how that code was connected to the rest, so I didn't lose the plot. Having the code written by me in front of me also lead to experimentation and then a deeper level of understanding.

But I think the absolute best reason to write along with the code for me was staying focused on what Casey was doing saying and what was happening. (I find it easy to trick myself into thinking I was 100% understanding what was being done, while it wouldn't stick.)

I think it really depends on what type of person you are, I was new to C/++ and easily discouraged (after having just been hurt but Java and so many before it) so writing out the code and seeing it form was helpful(as if I was getting something done myself). To me it was a big difference that I wrote the code and it worked more or less the same on my machine vs. if I had only watched some guy write the code and I saw how it worked on his machine. (PS: It won't always work the same on your machine.)

The task of following ALL the code and episodes currently is a daunting idea to even consider, and the returned are diminishing in a sense so I would say follow the code at least until he finished the windows platform code and renderer (and later jump back in when he does the OpenGL renderer if that is your thing.) then you'll have a better grasp of most of the concepts than if you didn't and its not too much of a daunting commitment.

But yeah that is if you are like me at all.
3 posts
Should I code along the series?
Thanks a lot for your response. I was also thinking of watching and understanding every episode until the main platform is created and then jump to more specific topics. I'll probably just code along for a while and see how it goes. Just wanted another opinion :)
Jeremiah Goerdt
208 posts / 1 project
Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Should I code along the series?
I did pretty much the same thing. Even though I don't plan to use the code I wrote while following along with Casey (I prefer SDL), I learned a ton. It also makes it easier to wield something like SDL, because I can go dig through the code and understand exactly what a platform layer should be doing.

At least follow along to get a working prototype platform layer.
20 posts
Professional (non-game)developer living in Stockholm, Sweden. Born '84. Gamer since five years of age, computer nerd since six.
Should I code along the series?
Edited by Anders on
I'm following along right now! It's great and my own personal development as a programmer has sped up loads. It's come to the point where I recommend this to people who want to learn about computers and programming in depth, regardless of the game aspect, as I think the series is so educational and many of the things you'll learn are so essential they can be applied to many more things than just Handmade Hero itself (thank you Casey and co!)

I'm at episode 91 now. I used to watch every episode and then did the code for each episode in my own git repo (I change to camelCase for instance).

Nowadays I watch 5 episodes or so without coding along, and then I do a code diff for those episodes with caseys source code, and "translate" that to my own repo. I use another git repo for creating the diffs (I just push the new code to a new branch and create a merge request on GitHub, and when I'm done I merge that into master. Rinse & repeat) but anything should work really.
3 posts
Should I code along the series?
Nowadays I watch 5 episodes or so without coding along, and then I do a code diff for those episodes with caseys source code, and "translate" that to my own repo.

This is actually an interesting method and it seems less time consuming. I'll probably do this. Thanks :)