What Is C# & Why Is It A Good Academic Option?

Published on: October 04, 2021

C#, which is pronounced as "C Sharp," is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. It was designed by Anders Hejlsberg, a Danish software engineer who was the original author of Turbo Pascal and the chief architect of Delphi. Hejlsberg joined Microsoft in 1996 and designed C# in 2000, which was approved as an international standard in 2002 by Ecma and ISO in 2003.

Why Should I Learn C#?

C# was designed to be an object-oriented programming language for general purpose use. One of the things that makes C# popular amongst coders and those new to coding is that it is simple, readable, and easy to use. Since it is a modern coding language, it draws inspiration from the likes of C, C++, and Java while adding some innovations of its own. It is one of the programming languages where users can immediately start to write useful code after only learning a small subset of the language. Then, as they become more proficient, they can continue to learn more of the advanced features. As C# is a modern language, it also supports all the features that are needed to create reliable, scalable, and robust applications.

Another advantage of C# is the strong community support. While C# is supported and maintained by Microsoft, large communities of users have formed around the language. This makes it easier for newcomers to get help and advice as they learn C#.

What is .NET, and Why Is It Important To C#?

.NET, which is pronounced "dot net," is another Microsoft creation that serves as an open-source developer platforming that can be used to build many different types of applications (https://dotnet.microsoft.com/learn/dotnet/what-is-dotnet). While .Net was announced in the late 1990s already, it did not become open source until 2014. Unlike C#, .NET is a framework and not a language. While other programming languages are compatible with .NET, C# stil remains one of the most popular options for working with this framework. A common misconception is that since .NET is a Microsoft product that it is only compatible with Windows. However, this is no longer the case as .NET has since been improved to run on multiple operating systems.

What is C# Commonly Used For?

Since C# is a general-purpose programming language, it has a myriad of uses. It has become popular for web development because it is fast and reliable. Since becoming cross-platform compatible, C# is also often used for back-end development on Linux, and it can run on any cloud platform. Since C# had its roots on Windows, it continues to be a popular language for Windows desktop development. In addition, anyone with an interest in game development should take a look at C# as it is required to build games with one of the most popular game engines around, Unity (https://unity.com/pages/more-than-an-engine). Finally, although mobile developers tend to favor Java, Kotlin, Objective-C, or Swift, it is also possible to use C#.

Is C# Still Relevant?

While C# might not be as popular as JavaScript and Python, it is still considered to be one of the top programming languages. C# is really popular in the Enterprise world and is used by a lot of large corporations. Other institutions, such as banks, also tend to use C# and the .NET core for their projects. As mentioned earlier, C# is also used for Unity, which is currently one of the most popular game engines on the market. The versatility of C# is another reason why it remains popular and relevant. It gives programmers the freedom the create whatever they want and continue to grow. The 2020 HackerRank Developer Skills Report, which features insights based on 116,648 developers, indicates that C# is one of the top language skills hiring managers in the Americas look for when hiring developers (https://info.hackerrank.com/rs/487-WAY-049/images/HackerRank-2020-Developer-Skills-Report.pdf). It is also one of the top 10 best-known languages. According to the PYPL (popularity of programming language) Index, it remains one of the languages for which tutorials are most often searched on Google.

What Are My Career Options With C#?

Becoming proficient with C# can put you on the path to becoming a C# developer or programmer. According to Salary, the average C# programmer makes about $105,378 (https://www.salary.com/research/salary/posting/csharp-programmer-salary). In addition to working for larger companies or in game development, C# developers can also work in a freelance capacity or become independent game developers.

What Are The Different Types of C# Courses That Are Available?

The popularity of C# means there's no shortage of both free and paid resources available to those who want to learn the language.

Free Courses

The official Microsoft website is the best place to get free courses, tutorials, videos, and more about learning C# (https://dotnet.microsoft.com/learn/csharp). The site features extensive information about what C# is and how to get started with the language even if you are a complete beginner to programming. It is also a great place to learn what are the new features and enhancements in C#. There are also extensive video tutorials available from freeCodeCamp (https://www.youtube.com/c/Freecodecamp/videos) on YouTube to get started with C#. Other free resources include C# Station, which has several free lessons (http://csharp-station.com/Tutorial/CSharp/SmartConsoleSetup.aspx).

Paid Courses

As with all programming languages, plenty of paid options are available for those who want to study online. These courses range from the basics for beginners to intermediate for those already familiar with programming. In addition, since C# is used for Unity game development, there are also a number of paid courses that are explicitly focused on creating 2D or 3D games with C# in Unity.

Degree Programs

While it is hard to find degree programs, specialized certificate programs are available for C# programming that can be completed online in as little as one year. Some of these programs might require preparatory courses, such as C# programming for beginners or Introduction to Visual Studio and .NET Framework.

Conclusion

While it may not be popular as JavaScript and Python, C# will certainly not go away anytime soon. Data have proven that C# continues to be in demand, and learning the language is beneficial for any career in the programming field.

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