How to Learn C#
C# is a great multi-use programming language. Some people use C# to develop websites with help from the .NET platform. You can also build computer games on C#; the Unity Game Engine on which many games are developed uses C#. Pronounced “C sharp,” learning this language is an excellent investment in a tech career.
How do you go about learning the basics of C#? This is the question we shall answer in this tutorial. To start, we’ll talk about what C# is. Then we will discuss the career prospects for C# developers and list some learning resources for beginners.
What Is C#?
Developed by Microsoft and launched in 2001, C# is a programming language widely used for developing applications for Windows-powered systems. C# supports multiple paradigms like imperative, object-oriented, and functional programming. Over the last two decades, C# has been used for building desktop apps, creating websites, and coding games, among many other uses.
C# has become popular for a few reasons, including:
- The syntax is easier to understand than other programming languages. C# offers a good and intuitive development experience.
- C# can be used for a variety of purposes. When you learn C#, you can go on to use your skills in a number of ways.
- C# has been well kept, with frequent updates. The community has remained incredibly active around C#, meaning there are plenty of learning resources available.
- C# is fast and efficient. Speed is a key consideration for many programming languages, especially those in enterprise environments. C# has been successful at meeting the needs of many projects in terms of performance.
C# is commonly discussed in the context of game development due to the fact that the Unity game engine favors C# for programming. If you want to become a game developer, learning C# is a good investment of your time.
Jobs that Require C# Skills
Because C# is a general-purpose language, there is a wide range of jobs that list C# as a requirement. This is good news for you because your C# skills can open up a variety of career paths. To help you understand what kinds of jobs you could access, we have prepared a list of some jobs that require C# skills:
- C# Developer (general developer)
- Software Developer
- .NET Developer
- Game Developer
- Desktop Developer
All these job titles may involve C# to some extent. With the exception of C# developer, the positions above probably require more programming knowledge than just C#. To be a game developer, for instance, you will need to understand how to use a game development tool, the architecture of games, etc. However, C# is a solid foundation for all of these jobs. It’s what you decide to learn after you know the basics of the language that will determine what career(s) you can pursue.
What Companies Use C#?
There is a good chance that you have already used a piece of software written in C#. Because C# was designed for Windows, a lot of popular Windows applications use C# in some way. Here is a list of companies that use C#:
- Microsoft (for programs like Visual Studio)
- GameMaker Studio
- Unity Game Studio
- Stack Overflow
The above list contains many types of companies, from password managers (KeePass) all the way to desktop gaming (ROBLOX), which shows just how versatile the C# language is. If you do a search for C# jobs, you will find many companies that employ skilled C# developers.
Salary for C# Developers
C# developers command excellent salaries. According to PayScale, the average C# developer earns $67,688 per year. .NET developers, who use the .NET C# framework, earn $70,910 on average per year. After getting a few years of experience under your belt, you may earn even more.
What Skills Do I Need to Master C#?
You do not need any programming experience to start working with C#. However, knowing a bit about C, the language upon which C# is based, is helpful. Knowledge of C can help you learn C# faster but is not necessary.
Above all else, you should have a positive attitude and a sincere interest in learning to code. Learning C# will take a lot of patience and time. It is important you have the right mindset going in so that you do not give up when you face challenges. A good problem-solving mindset is useful, too; programming involves solving a lot of problems.
Where to Learn C#
To be as successful as possible in your learning, you should find a resource that you find intuitive and that fits your personal learning style. We have scoured the Internet to find some top C# resources for beginners. Use our list to help you figure out the best place for you to learn how to code using the C# language.
- Author: University of Colorado
- Price: Free
- Type of Resource: Course
Do you want to develop games? If so, this course is worth a look. Taught by the University of Colorado, you will learn the basics of C# programming and how to use the Unity Game Editor. This course consists of a series of short tutorials supported by reading material.
This course is suitable for beginner coders; no prior C# experience is required. With that said, some C# experience would be helpful. Expect to face some challenges as you learn; if you power through and complete the course, you will add an important new skill to your programming arsenal.
- Author: freeCodeCamp
- Price: Free
- Type of Resource: Video
This video course introduces you to the fundamentals of C# coding. You will learn how to install the tools you need, how to work with various data types, and more. You will also work on a few projects in which you will have to apply the knowledge you have acquired.
The instructor walks you through the programs he builds in his code editor. You will see exactly how various features of C# are used.
- Author: Mosh Hamedani
- Price: $60.00
- Type of Resource: Course
This course is a practical introduction to C#, featuring five hours of video and 10 downloadable resources. It begins with an introduction to C# and the .NET framework. Then, you learn about topics such as working with text, working with files, and control flow. You will also learn how to fix bugs in C# applications.
- Author: Codestars by Rob Percival and Rod Vachev
- Price: $60.00
- Type of Resource: Course
This course dives deep into C# programming. Suitable for beginners, it covers a range of important C# topics, from working with the console to using arrays. After the first few introductory tutorials, you will delve into more advanced topics like handling exceptions and constructors.
The title of this course is no hyperbole; you will indeed graduate with a “complete” understanding of not just the basics of C# but also of some more advanced topics.
- Author: Treehouse
- Price: Treehouse membership ($25.00/month)
- Type of Resource: Course
The Beginning C# Treehouse track, which lasts 17 hours, covers basic and intermediate concepts in C# and the .NET framework. The course is split up into three parts: C# basics, next-level C# skills, and C# collections. Each module in the course features detailed video tutorials as well as some coding exercises with learning objectives that you must complete.
Are you looking for some C# tutorials? There are plenty available online which cover everything, from the absolute basics to more complicated concepts. Below you’ll find three sites with well-written C# tutorials.
Microsoft has extensive documentation for C# on their website, including tutorials on various programming topics. For instance, there are tutorials on getting started with C#, object-oriented programming, using classes, using string interpolation, and more. Because these tutorials were written by Microsoft, you can be sure that they are accurate and well-researched.
The C# tutorial website features dozens of tutorials on C#. They are divided into over 10 sections that cover the basics as well as file handling, using XML, debugging, operators, and more. Each article prioritizes clarity and conciseness; there isn’t much preamble before you get to the knowledge you are looking for.
The W3Schools C# tutorials cover some of the basic C# concepts. This site is best suited for beginners with little to no understanding of C#. The articles are well written and get straight to the point. There are also exercises you can try in your browser to further your understanding of what is being discussed in the tutorial.
A Guide to Learning C# Basics
The best way to save time when you start learning C# is to start in the right place. You may be tempted to jump ahead to more advanced concepts if you have a big idea in your mind of what you want to build. However, if you start in the wrong place, you will have a harder time learning the language. Below are the main C# concepts you need to learn:
- Hello World: Start your journey learning C# by working through the classic “Hello World” example. This example will introduce you to the basic structure of a C# program.
- Data Types: What data types can you use to store data in C#? You should be able to answer this question and describe each data type in detail.
- if…else Statements and Loops: You should be able to use if…else statements to control the flow of your programs. You should also be able to use loops—such as the for loop, foreach loop, and while loop—to repeat blocks of code.
- Arrays: Often, you’ll want to store data in lists. You should learn how to represent data in lists using a C# array.
- Mathematical Operators: Learn how to conduct the main mathematical operations on numbers in C# (e.g. subtraction, addition, division, and modulo).
- Methods: Methods are blocks of code. They are used to reduce repetition in a program. You should be able to write your own methods in C#.
- Object-Oriented Programming: As an object-oriented language, C# implements classes and objects. It is essential that you learn about the basics of object-oriented development and how to use this paradigm in C#.
How Long Does it Take to Learn C#?
It is hard to say how long it takes to learn C#. Everyone learns at a different pace. With a few hours of study every week, you can reasonably learn the basics in a month or two. Learning what you need to know to work in a job that requires C# skills is a different story. You would probably need to study between six months and a year before having the knowledge necessary to access an entry-level job that requires C# skills.
Should I Learn C#?
C# gives you a lot of leverage in your career. After learning the basics of C#, you can choose to specialize in a particular area like .NET or game development. You can also choose to work specifically with C#. All of these paths have excellent job prospects and offer good salaries.
You need to spend some time considering whether learning C# is worth it for you. Do you see yourself writing games, building websites, or creating desktop apps? Do you like the C# syntax? These sorts of questions will help you solidify your perspective on whether learning C# is a good decision. If you choose to learn C#, the resources listed above should give you a good place to start.