We’ll be using C++ in this class for the most part. The syntax is fairly similar to Java (which you’re hopefully familiar with), with a couple of complications. If you’ve learned about C, that’s great, and a lot of that knowledge will transfer. If you haven’t, don’t worry, I’m only assuming knowledge of Java. If you are more comfortable with Python than Java, I’ve also included a resource aimed at transitioning to C++ from Python, though it is a bigger jump.

The main difference with C++ is needing to manage your own memory, so the learning objectives and resources for today are focused on getting an understanding of that.

Basic Learning Objectives

Before class, you should be able to:

  • Explain the basic idea of a pointer in C++
  • Write a snippet of code that gets the address of a variable
  • Write a snippet of code that dereferences a pointer

Advanced Learning Objectives

After class, you should be able to:

  • Solve basic programming problems in C++ that use pointers
  • Explain how C++ uses & and *


The following are resources that I think will help you achieve the basic learning objectives; you may only need one of them or all three.


Complete the CodeCheck linked from Moodle. If you have questions, be sure to reach out on CampusWire for help!

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