Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition makes the list of the software you need to learn how to use if you wish to become a professional programmer. The fact that the future of development relies on the NET Framework (and Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition concentrates on this platform) should be reason enough.
Programmers remember the golden days when they would learn C or C++ on a simple program with a blue screen (i.e. Borland). It was a limited application, but it would get the job done. Nowadays, learning a new programming language comes with a lot of options concerning the software and platform. Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition is a good starting point.
This programming tool allows you to write code for the .NET platform. So, if you want to take a break from PHP or other similar products, then consider exploring its features.
This hardcore tool for programmers may be small in size, but it takes a while to install. Don't forget to include the MSDN help and documentation files, because these are the best tutorials available.
If you have absolutely no programming skills, then perhaps you should start off with a simpler program, because Visual Studio can seem overwhelming at first. This package provides you with the essential components that can assist you to build classes, console and Windows Forms applications.
Other features include support for XML comments, the possibility to navigate easily through the code and exceptional debugging abilities (visualizers, breakpoints, data tips, etc.).
To sum up, Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition makes the time you spend with it worthwhile. Programmers who wish to build applications based on the NET Framework are advised to rely on this development solution.