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Check out C# programming and where to learn it

C# (pronounced C sharp like the musical note) is a multi-paradigm language developed by Microsoft. It evolved from Microsoft versions of C and C++. The language also shares some developmental history with Java. Some say that it was developed because Microsoft didn’t have license to do everything it wanted with Java.

c sharp

C# is standardized under Ecma International and the International Standards Organization (ISO). It has been a general purpose language from the start. During its early development, it was known as COOL. That stands for “C like Object Oriented Language”. Development is credited to Anders Hejlsberg. He has said that, pleasant as it was to have all those files named cool, it wasn’t a feasible trademark.

The rationale behind the C# name is similar to the rationale behind the name C++ -- the language is supposed to be a bit above C. Programmers in other camps of course have strong feelings about their own favorite languages, and critics have jokingly referred to C Sharp as D Flat. A 2012 April Fool’s joke had Microsoft releasing D Flat as the newest language in its .NET suite.

But C# has been around since 2000 and has grown in usage. It is arguably among the hottest languages. The TIOBE Community Index places it as #5 in October 2012 – the same as it was in 2011.

C# is widely used in the development of smartphone apps. Windows phone 7 is C# territory. C# is also used for web writing (ASP.NET). There is some application in games industry though the language is not fast enough to do all the things C++ does. (It is used more for creating tools than for creating the games themselves.)

C# is arguably among the hottest programming languages.

C# has seen regular releases during its twelve year history. Version 2.0, for example, introduced generics and partial types. Version 5.0 was released in 2012.

Getting Started with C#

C# is generally programmed in Microsoft's Visual Studio.NET environment; it is then known as Visual C#. A programmer typically learns the .NET right along with C# (if they’re not already familiar with it). According to Microsoft, C# can interact with any of more than 20 languages in the shared Framework Class Library (FLC).

As a developer, you can purchase and download any of several editions of Visual Studio. If you are just experimenting, the easiest and cheapest way to get started is with Visual Studio Express.

The C# language specification can also be downloaded straight from Microsoft.

Learning C#

C# is not considered a difficult language. It is especially easy to pick up if you are a C++ or Java developer. If you’re coming from one of these backgrounds, you may want to approach it from the angle of what’s different. You can find a list of differences (by version) on the Microsoft Software Developer Network (MSDN) site.

C# should also be relatively easy for those who know C. Knowing other .NET languages won’t necessarily give you the same advantage. There is a steeper learning curve for those transitioning from Microsoft Visual Basic – at least if it’s VB6 or earlier.

Whatever your background, Microsoft will give you plenty of resources for learning the language. You can start by going to the MSDN site and clicking on Visual Studio and then on C#. MSDN offers several tutorials -- the recommended tutorial for beginners is the Visual C# Guided Tour. There's also a series of 24 videos for C# beginners titled C# Fundamentals. The C# Programming Guide is a little more advanced.

C# is not considered a difficult language.

An additional resource is the Visual C# forum – this is on a separate MSDN subdomain.

If you need more videos, you can visit LearnVisualStudio.NET. There's a separate 23 lesson tutorial on the site of C#Station. The Visual C# Sharp Developer Network is another third party resource for developers.

C# Certification

Since C# is under the Microsoft banner, certifications are available. You can pursue the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD): Windows Store in C#. There are three exams you'll need to take.

There's an option of taking an instructor-led or online course to prepare. You should be aware that Microsoft certifications change frequently as new versions of products are released.

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