learn to code

Learn To Code C#: Getting Started For Beginners

C# (pronounced as “C Sharp”) is considered to be one of the most popular programming languages one can learn. This modern object-oriented language was introduced in the 2000s by Anders Hejlsberg of Microsoft and although fairly new, it has greatly evolved to what it is today.

Learning to code C# is simple and its versatility makes it possible for you to write code on any platform, whether web, mobile, or desktop. It is widely used for developing games and there is also a large number of websites running on C# despite the thousands of programming languages existing to this date and the hundreds being created at this very moment. 

With a great deal of programming languages to choose from, C# continues to be the most solid choice among beginners.

Why You Should Learn To Code C#

You’ve got a long list in front of you, but here are a few reasons why you should learn to code C#:

It is extremely approachable.

C# favors both the beginner and the advanced learners. It offers high-level concepts that are relatively easy to grasp and you’ll be able to set up your first ‘Hello World’ project in no time. On the other hand, C# also has sophisticated language features that you can dive into as you transition into a more seasoned developer, or if you want to challenge yourself as a beginner. 

The best part is you don’t have to worry about coding being too hard since the complex features are abstracted away and you can choose to ignore them. This is why many are in favor of learning C#.

There are a large number of active users.

According to StackOverflow’s 2019 Developer Survey Results, 31.9% of professional developers use the C# language. It is such a popular programming language that even if you encounter errors in your code, you’re sure to have enough resources and materials available on the web to help you resolve them. There are actually over 1.1 million topics on StackOverflow (which were built using C#, by the way) making it extremely helpful for a starter to find troubleshooting solutions within a click. There are also a number of other online communities supporting C#.

It is in high demand.

C# is a well-supported, powerful programming language that quickly flourished in the job market. Not only is it gaining popularity because of its general-purpose features, but it’s also backed by Microsoft – the largest company in the world (as of August 2019). Having said that, it’s safe to assume that the future of C# is bright because Microsoft will always make sure that C# developers are needed in the marketplace.

It’s also important to recognize that the C# programming language is widely used to develop games using the Unity game engine, the leader in commercial game engines. This is a great choice of programming language for aspiring game developers.

You can create almost anything with it.

Learning C# is practical because you will gain the ability to develop different kinds of applications on several operating systems. You can create back office applications, embedded systems, website applications, Windows desktop applications, mobile applications, games, and more. There is no need to learn another language, should you stop here, because you’ll already be well-equipped to develop various applications.

man learns to code

How To Learn C# The Easiest Way

If you’re convinced that you want to learn to code C#, you have to understand that there are no shortcuts or hacks here. You can only make learning as easy as possible. Here a few tips to get started:

Choose your resources.

Before anything else, determine how you’re going to approach learning this new language. There are different learning styles for each person and it will boil down to what you prefer. You have several options: take online courses (check this one out), attend bootcamps, and read blogs and online guides (here’s one by Microsoft), and even textbooks. There are many resources available on the web and it’s entirely up to you and what you’re most comfortable with.

Prepare your tools.

As a beginner, there are only two tools you essentially need when learning to code with C#:

  • REPL.IT is a commonly used tool where you can type in commands in a programming language and see the results immediately right from your browser. With this, you can start practicing on your coding without necessarily downloading anything. This tool is also helpful when you want to try new language concepts quickly.
  • Visual Studio is a powerful tool that serves as the foundation of all development tools for C#. It also complements REPL.IT and you can switch between the two as you learn; just revisit REPL to get the hang of the programming concepts until you become more confident in building a more permanent code using Visual Studio. You can download Visual Studio for free on Windows and Mac. Unfortunately, Visual Studio is not supported in Linux operating systems, however you can download the Visual Studio Code editor instead.

At this stage, you can also create your GitHub account, which is necessary if you don’t want to worry about losing the code you’ve worked so hard on. Once you’ve created an account, just upload your project and it’ll be safe! This prevents the risk of losing your code if it was stored in your hard drive. Moreover, you can easily access GitHub and work from computers aside from your own. You’ll also get the chance to interact with others in the community, learn from other C# programmers, and even show off your work.

That’s it! You can now build your first program.

Start with the basics.

Since you’re only starting out, it’s best to avoid complicated concepts. Focus on grasping the logic and key concepts of the language first by building console applications, which are simple text-based programs of input and output. You can start with a Hello World application, then move on to building a calculator. You can also try creating an application that sorts data in alphabetical order, or even a text-based video game. Building various types of console applications will help set your rhythm of coding with C#.

Practice everyday.

The best way to learn to code C# is to code C#. Try to write at least an hour or two each day and you’ll discover that learning is easier this way as compared to being in front of your computer for 10 straight hours over the weekend. You’ll thank yourself for it when you realize you’ve learned several new concepts in just a week’s time.

Learning the C# language isn’t easy-peasy, but knowing how to approach it makes it favorable especially for beginners. 

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