Learning About C# for Beginners

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C# is a general purpose object-oriented programming language developed at Microsoft and released in 2002. It is similar to Java in its syntax. The purpose of C# is to precisely define a series of operations that a computer can perform to accomplish a task.

Most C# operations involve manipulating numbers and text, but anything that the computer can physically do can be programmed in C#. Computers have no intelligence—they have to be told exactly what to do, and their actions are defined by the programming language you use. Once programmed, they can repeat the steps as many times as needed at high speed. Modern PCs are so fast they can count to a billion in seconds.

What Can a C# Program Do?

Typical programming tasks include putting data into a database or pulling it out, displaying high-speed graphics in a game or video, controlling electronic devices attached to the PC and playing music or sound effects. You can even use it to write software to generate music or help you compose.

Some developers believe that C# is too slow for games because it is interpreted rather than compiled. However the .NET Framework compiles the interpreted code the first time it runs.

Is C# the Best Programming Language?

C# is a highly ranked program language. Many computer languages are written for a specific purpose, but C# is a general purpose language with features to make programs more robust. 

Unlike C++ and to a lesser extent Java, the screen handling in C# is excellent on both desktops and the web. In this role, C# overtook languages such as Visual Basic and Delphi.

Which Computers Can Run C#?

Any PC that can run the .NET Framework can run the C# programming language. Linux supports C# using the Mono C# compiler.

How Do I Get Started With C#?

You need a C# compiler. There are a number of commercial and free ones available. The professional version of Visual Studio can compile C# code. Mono is a free and open-source C# compiler.

How Do I Begin Writing C# Applications?

C# is written using a text editor. You write a computer program as a series of instructions (called statements) in a notation that looks a little like mathematical formulas.

This is saved as a text file and then compiled and linked to generate machine code which you then can run. Most applications you use on a computer were written and compiled like this, many of them in C#.

Is There Plenty of C# Open Source Code?

Not as much as in Java, C or C++ but it is starting to become popular. Unlike commercial applications, where the source code is owned by a business and never made available, open source code can be viewed and used by anyone. It's an excellent way to learn coding techniques.

The Job Market for C# Programmers

There are plenty of C# jobs out there, and C# has the backing of Microsoft, so is likely to be around for a while. 

You could write your own games, but you'd need to be artistic or need an artist friend because you also need music and sound effects. Perhaps you'd prefer a career as a business software developer creating business applications or as a software engineer.

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Bolton, David. "Learning About C# for Beginners." ThoughtCo, Sep. 8, 2021, thoughtco.com/learn-about-c-958280. Bolton, David. (2021, September 8). Learning About C# for Beginners. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/learn-about-c-958280 Bolton, David. "Learning About C# for Beginners." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/learn-about-c-958280 (accessed June 2, 2023).