My instructors suck, ECE FE exam language req's

KarsusTG

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 27, 2010
Messages
3,296
Sorry for the shitty title, I am exhausted.

So as the title said, I have really shitty instructors. Last semester I spent some time on Pluralsight doing Java lessons because that is what my into to programming course taught. I went about 20 hours into the course lectures on Pluralsight in preparation, but after the entire semester, we never even got to functions which is all of 3 hours into the lessons (if that...)

This semester I am in "Intermediate Programming" which is done in C (not C# or C++) and my instructor is new to teaching, has only ever worked at one company, on one system, and clearly in a limited capacity. She flat out told me today that you cannot make line comments in C and they all must be done in block comments or by putting them in pre process blocks (#if 0...)

Now I have never coded in C, although I did take C++ back in the day and have written quite a bit of C++ code for plc's and such and knew for a fact that isn't true for C++(or really any language I have seen.) So when I tried it in C with a simple Hello World program and gcc compiler with //This is a comment and it worked just fine I just got up and left.

The problem is I am coming up on my Fundamentals of Engineering Exam for Computer Engineering (Or Electrical and Computer Engineering if you prefer) which does have coding sections to it. From what I have gathered from the study guide and people that I have talked to, it is about 70% electrical engineering, 15% math, and 15% coding. The coding will be done in C or C++ depending on which version of the test you get.

So after this long post, my question is if I just refresh my C++ knowledge, will I get rocked if I am expected to code in C, and if so, since Pluralsight only has C++ and C#, is there a reliable place for me to get actual lessons since the one I am paying for sucks?


TDRL:

My Instructors suck;
Can I just pretend C is C++ for the ECE FE exam coding portion if I need to?;
If I cannot do that, where can I find good C lessons?;
Is alcohol a requirement to having adult expectations when going to college as an older student?;
 

cjcox

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
2,390
As a former motivated educator, it's rough to teach "credit side" when you get paid $40/hr. My net was probably closer to $6/hr. after expenses. But still, I did my best. It was a good class.

Sometimes you get what you don't pay for (obviously, you "paid" for a good education, just saying it tends to be siphoned off before it makes its way to the teacher).

Takes a special person to be a teacher (usually one not dependent on the income from teaching).
 

Ultima99

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
4,905
She's actually right... for C up to C95. Inline comments were introduced in C++ and backported to C in the C99 standard.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C99

This is correct. Technically /* */ is the original way its done in C. Of course you can do it now, but some don't see it as "proper", possibly because its considered sloppy to use both C and C++ code together.

I know a guy who once gave me shit for using cout in C++ instead of printf, but the problem is printf is C and I don't think he knew that. Sure modern compilers might not care, but a college professor sure might.
 

BinarySynapse

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
15,103
This is correct. Technically /* */ is the original way its done in C. Of course you can do it now, but some don't see it as "proper", possibly because its considered sloppy to use both C and C++ code together.

I know a guy who once gave me shit for using cout in C++ instead of printf, but the problem is printf is C and I don't think he knew that. Sure modern compilers might not care, but a college professor sure might.

It's almost guaranteed that a college professor is only going to have it their way or no way. Even if you bring proof that you're right, you're still going to be marked wrong.
 

Absalom

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 3, 2007
Messages
1,047
The C single line comment thing is very pedantic. But that behavior is not all that unusual in the academic world. In the real world, nearly any C/C++ compiler would support such a thing. So it only serves as some historical footnote to a bygone era.

Can I just pretend C is C++ for the ECE FE exam coding portion if I need to?;

Sure, if you like 50/50 odds of having the right toolset to help you pass the test. One is not a substitute for the other. You need them both. Odds are a C++ test will focus primarily on object oriented concepts which C completely lacks. If a C++ test asks you what a pure virtual function is, and you bring C only knowledge to the table, you're going to fall flat. On the other hand, bring a C++ mindset into a C only test might trip you up as well. If you don't know what a malloc is, how to make dynamic arrays, etc. then all that C++ knowledge isn't doing you any good either. If they mix both in, well, then you might luck your way through it. Odds are, you'll nail down the syntax, but miss out on important key concepts.

I think the reason why most schools try to teach C++ as an intro course is that if you can do C++, then you can pretty jump to any other OO language. It's a lot easier to jump from C++ to C# and Java, than vice versa. C++ is also a good weed out course for CS or CoE majors. C being a subset of C++ ends up being a bonus.

If you want real advice, OP, I think you should shift your attitude. The whole "can't teach and old dog new tricks" mentality is working against you. I've had professors I loathed, but I learned to not let them get under my skin. My attitude would be, if I thought they were wrong, to challenge them (in a non-combative way). If they can't respect you for being that kind of student, then you have my vote that they are (probably) a terrible educator.
 
Last edited:

KarsusTG

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 27, 2010
Messages
3,296
The C single line comment thing is very pedantic. But that behavior is not all that unusual in the academic world. In the real world, nearly any C/C++ compiler would support such a thing. So it only serves as some historical footnote to a bygone era.

Sure, if you like 50/50 odds of having the right toolset to help you pass the test. One is not a substitute for the other. You need them both. Odds are a C++ test will focus primarily on object oriented concepts which C completely lacks. If a C++ test asks you what a pure virtual function is, and you bring C only knowledge to the table, you're going to fall flat. On the other hand, bring a C++ mindset into a C only test might trip you up as well. If you don't know what a malloc is, how to make dynamic arrays, etc. then all that C++ knowledge isn't doing you any good either. If they mix both in, well, then you might luck your way through it. Odds are, you'll nail down the syntax, but miss out on important key concepts.

I think the reason why most schools try to teach C++ as an intro course is that if you can do C++, then you can pretty jump to any other OO language. It's a lot easier to jump from C++ to C# and Java, than vice versa. C++ is also a good weed out course for CS or CoE majors. C being a subset of C++ ends up being a bonus.

If you want real advice, OP, I think you should shift your attitude. The whole "can't teach and old dog new tricks" mentality is working against you. I've had professors I loathed, but I learned to not let them get under my skin. My attitude would be, if I thought they were wrong, to challenge them (in a non-combative way). If they can't respect you for being that kind of student, then you have my vote that they are (probably) a terrible educator.

I didn't really know the diff. between C and C++. From what I had been told, C was just a more limited and less capable version of C++ that was simply more user friendly. Since I had never seen it used in any of the real world production environments I had just assumed that was true. All my real world experience coding is for PLC's and things of that nature.

You are right though, I do need to check my attitude. Having my time wasted is one of my biggest pet peeves and I let that beat me.


She's actually right... for C up to C95. Inline comments were introduced in C++ and backported to C in the C99 standard.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C99

I actually didn't know that. I started C++ ~95-96 with borland and we could do that back then I believe. Since it worked back then in C++ I thought it had basically always been that way. I know it worked in Basic. I think qbasic you had to actually type remark or something like that.


I know a guy who once gave me shit for using cout in C++ instead of printf, but the problem is printf is C and I don't think he knew that. Sure modern compilers might not care, but a college professor sure might.

Ya, this got me too. Also, scanf only connects to keyboard input streams? lol

It's almost guaranteed that a college professor is only going to have it their way or no way. Even if you bring proof that you're right, you're still going to be marked wrong.

Yup. I nearly failed my first Java test because we had to write a program on paper that would allow the user to repeatedly input a year >1000 CE and calculate if it was a leap year or not. I just threw all the years up to the highest requested year into an arraylist and let it search for it, expanding to the requested year if it needed to. She just put a giant X and wrote I have not taught any of this yet. I made an 82 on a test I should have made a 97... :(
 

wolfofone

Gawd
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
725
Sorry for the shitty title, I am exhausted.

So as the title said, I have really shitty instructors. Last semester I spent some time on Pluralsight doing Java lessons because that is what my into to programming course taught. I went about 20 hours into the course lectures on Pluralsight in preparation, but after the entire semester, we never even got to functions which is all of 3 hours into the lessons (if that...)

This semester I am in "Intermediate Programming" which is done in C (not C# or C++) and my instructor is new to teaching, has only ever worked at one company, on one system, and clearly in a limited capacity. She flat out told me today that you cannot make line comments in C and they all must be done in block comments or by putting them in pre process blocks (#if 0...)

Now I have never coded in C, although I did take C++ back in the day and have written quite a bit of C++ code for plc's and such and knew for a fact that isn't true for C++(or really any language I have seen.) So when I tried it in C with a simple Hello World program and gcc compiler with //This is a comment and it worked just fine I just got up and left.

The problem is I am coming up on my Fundamentals of Engineering Exam for Computer Engineering (Or Electrical and Computer Engineering if you prefer) which does have coding sections to it. From what I have gathered from the study guide and people that I have talked to, it is about 70% electrical engineering, 15% math, and 15% coding. The coding will be done in C or C++ depending on which version of the test you get.

So after this long post, my question is if I just refresh my C++ knowledge, will I get rocked if I am expected to code in C, and if so, since Pluralsight only has C++ and C#, is there a reliable place for me to get actual lessons since the one I am paying for sucks?


TDRL:

My Instructors suck;
Can I just pretend C is C++ for the ECE FE exam coding portion if I need to?;
If I cannot do that, where can I find good C lessons?;
Is alcohol a requirement to having adult expectations when going to college as an older student?;
CS50 teaches C iirc
 

LFaWolf

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
1,323
Ya, their search sucks. If you go through their pathways it is not there. Thanks, going through it now.
Actually I find the search is fairly easy and good. I searched for "C Programming" instead of just C and these 2 just popped up.
 

Brian_B

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
3,356
Funny thing about most “pure” programming and as it typically pertains to standardized exams:

Doesn’t usually matter what language you use, the underlaying algorithms and methodology are what they are looking for.

A quick sort is a quick sort no matter if it’s written in C or C++. The code syntax may be a bit different but it works the same.

Sure there may be a few trip-up questions (it would be hard to imagine C++ ignoring objects altogether, for instance), but I would be less hung up on C vs C++ vs whatever else than I would be just the basic computer science behind it all.

If you think about it, it all has to get compiled down to machine code eventually no matter what programming language your using...
 
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