C# (pronounced “C-Sharp”) is a programming language by Microsoft. C# combines the computational power of C++ and the ease of Visual Basic, Microsoft’s event-driven programming language and environment. C# gets its foundation from C++, has features similar to Java and applications across many areas in software development. There’s a high demand for C# developers in the job market. Developers can use C# in many areas of software development including game and app development.
While a typical programming language solves only one particular problem or applies to a specific niche, C# is more versatile. Microsoft built C# with businesses in mind. The language helps businesses scale quickly by shipping software rapidly using a single programming language. In a sense, C# grows with your company. You might start your business by making a website or a console app but when it’s time to go mobile or incorporate AI into your business, you can still use C# instead of adapting to new languages.
How Does C# Work?
C# is a multi-purpose programming language developed by Microsoft. Behind the scenes, every C# program runs through the Microsoft .NET framework. The .NET framework is the runtime platform for C# (and other languages, such as Visual Basic).
The .NET framework comes with base-class libraries that consist of reusable code. The functionality that comes with the .NET framework varies from something basic, such as string manipulation or XML parsing, to more complex networking protocols, such as SOAP. These code libraries let developers use existing solutions instead of spending time reinventing the wheel.
C# Syntax and Tools
C#’s syntax is reminiscent of C++, Java and Pascal. There aren’t any complex or unstructured language features in C#, which makes it distinct from C, wherein you have to take care of complex memory-management in the code.
C# and all of its related tools (such as the compiler) are open source. The open-source nature of C# means anyone can help improve the language by contributing to C# GitHub repository.
What really makes C# stand out is the large community behind the language. There are more than 100 active contributors in the C# language design repository. Useful improvements and bug fixes are coming in all the time. These updates help the language reflect the modern-day development style and needs.
Is C# Hard?
The short answer is: kind of but here are some key features that make C# a valuable language for any dev to learn:
C# Is Beginner Friendly
The C# language is an easy language to start with. It’s another high-level language similar to C++ or Java. If you have experience with these or other programming languages, learning C# is a piece of cake. Even if you’re new to coding, C# is fairly easy to learn. To put it into perspective, C# is not as easy to learn as Python but not nearly as hard as C.
C# Is Popular for Web and Desktop App Development
C# is a coding language that powers many desktop and web apps, such as Paint.NET or Microsoft Visual Studio. If you are looking to create apps on a Microsoft OS, C# is the way to go.
C# Is Good for Game Development
C# is a popular programming language amongst game developers, too. C# has a built-in garbage collector, it allows for using code interfaces, and is object-oriented by design. This makes the language ideal for game development.
C# Has a Large Community
C# has been around for more than 20 years. The community is mature and there are many tutorials and helpful developers at your disposal. The community helps keep the open-source language in its prime by reporting or contributing changes to the language’s GitHub project.
What Is C# Used For?
C# is like the Swiss Army knife of programming languages — it has a wide variety of applications. You can use this multi-purpose language to build:
- Windows client apps, libraries, components and services
- Web apps
- iOS apps
- Android apps
- Interoperability tools (such as Excel widgets and scripts)
- Gaming systems
- Machine learning and AI programs
As you can see, there are many opportunities for developers when it comes to C#. That said, as a first programming language, C# isn’t the easiest one to learn but it’s definitely worth it, especially if you already have coding experience.