In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Programming languages” series, we’ll be answering questions you may have regarding what programming language to choose, how much money you’ll be making, what you can do as a web programmer, and where to start.

Would you like to learn how to code, online? Come and try our first 25 lessons for free at the CodeBerry Programming School.

Beginner’s Guide

Uses for C# programming language

C# is an object-oriented programming language that is primarily used for developing desktop, mobile, and web-based applications for Windows and other Microsoft products. By using the .NET framework, you can develop nearly anything for Microsoft with C#. Although the .NET framework supports a wide variety of programming languages, such as VB.NET, C++, and F#, C# is the most popular of the bunch. 

What Exactly Is .NET?

To better understand C# programming, we’ll first need to address .NET, the framework that goes hand in hand with this programming language. Developed by Microsoft, the .NET framework contains a huge number of class libraries (pre-written code) to help developers create applications faster and more efficiently. Because both C# and .NET are products of Microsoft, it’s not very common to see one mentioned without the other. There are, however, a few other frameworks that are used with C#, such as Unity.

Game Development in Unity

Unity is a framework for C# that is specifically designed for creating video games. Today, Unity is the most widely-used game engine, with over a third of top-selling games having been built with it. Unity is also currently used for the development of most VR games. Approximately 90% of all Samsung Gear and 53% of all Oculus Rift games have been developed with Unity. 

This is how game developing looks like with Unity

This is how game developing looks like with Unity

Web Development

One of the main benefits of choosing C# as your go-to programming language is being able to use Microsoft’s huge library of tools for web development. Through ASP.NET (a part of the .NET framework), one can develop websites, web pages, and other web applications with C#.

With ASP.NET you can develop C#-based websites

With ASP.NET you can develop C#-based websites

Although C# and .NET tend to go hand in hand, it’s not necessary to use the framework to program with C#. They simply work well together, due to being developed by Microsoft. 

Mobile Development 

Thanks to the .NET framework, you can develop mobile applications for Windows, iOS, and Android with C#. While previously limited to just Windows phone development, Microsoft recently opened up the .NET framework to cross-platform development, due to the commercial failure of the Windows phone. 

Rather than stay dedicated to Windows phone and see their mobile development tools fail along with it, Microsoft decided it would be better to allow iOS and Android developers to use Visual Studio. 

That’s how developing looks like in VisualStudio

That’s how developing looks like in VisualStudio

Cross-Platform Development

Although they are unaffiliated with Microsoft, third-party IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) like MonoDevelop and Xamarin Studios allow you to use C# and the .NET framework to develop for Mac OS and Linux. 

Because of this added capability, C# programming can now be used to develop just about anything on any platform, from Xbox and Android to Mac OS and Web. 

What Is C#?

In the year 2000, Anders Hejlsberg at Microsoft developed C# to compete with Java, which was created by Sun Microsystems. Despite having much in common with Java, Hejlsberg stated that C# had much more in common with C++. 

Pronounced as “C-Sharp,” the name “C#” comes from the musical notation that indicates making a note one semitone higher in pitch. C# also resembles C++++ with the plus symbols being arranged in a 2×2 grid. 

Following in the footsteps of other modern programming languages like Java and C++, C# is a general-purpose, object-oriented language that aims to deliver both simplicity and performance. 

What Is Programming in C# Like?

Here’s what C# code looks like using the “Hello World” example:

using System;

class Program
{
    static void Main()
    {
        Console.WriteLine("Hello, world!");
    }
}

How Much Do C# Programmers Make?

Because the .NET framework allows you to create a wide variety of programs, the salary of a C# developer can vary depending on their area of expertise. For example, a C# developer who creates websites and web apps may make much less than a software engineer or senior .NET developer, although they both use C#. 

According to data from indeed.com, C# developers in the United States make an average of $67,970 per year, which is $5664.17 per month before taxes and have worked in their current position for 1-4 years. This, of course, includes many salaries from expensive areas such as San Francisco and New York where salaries are inflated for cost of living.

How Do I Learn C#?

There are a variety of paths you can take towards learning C#, such as online courses, university programs, and coding bootcamps.

Online Courses

One of the best (and cheapest) ways to learn C# is directly from Microsoft themselves. Through Microsoft’s Virtual Academy, you can learn how to program in C# and use the .NET framework for free with their series of tutorial videos and resources. 

Just visit Microsoft’s page to start watching the tutorials and follow along. You can even get certification from Microsoft Virtual Academy that you can place on your resume. 

University

As we often tell our students, a university education will always give you a broader picture and teach you the underlying concepts of programming. However, studying Computer Science doesn’t guarantee that you’ll know how to code upon graduation. 

During your 4 years in university, you’ll spend the majority of your time learning about mathematics, electronics, and the fundamentals of how computer languages work. If you want to learn a specific language, such as C#, you’ll still have to invest your own personal time into studying it.  

Coding Bootcamps

For those of you who are interested in skipping a formal education and pursuing a career right away, online courses and bootcamps provide a much more accelerated learning path. They also focus on teaching you the skills you need to perform your job, rather than fully understanding every line of code.   

How Long Does it Take to Learn C# programming for beginners?

Just like any skill, the time it takes to learn a certain programming language can vary greatly from person to person. If you already have a background in coding, you can expect to take anywhere from 2 to 3 months to learn the very basic of C# programming. 

Building the skills and knowledge you need to get a job as a developer, on the other hand, will take you around 1 to 2 years of practice. 

Unlike web development languages, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, it’s difficult to absorb all of the content needed to get a job as a C# developer in one concentrated, 14-week course. For this reason, it’s much less common to find coding bootcamps that teach C#. 

And while a coding bootcamp will definitely teach you a lot about C#, it’s recommended that you take additional time to study and practice before launching yourself into a career as a C# or .NET developer.  

Is C# Right for Me?

Before deciding whether or not to learn a programming language, it’s always best to first figure out how it lines up with your long-term goals. 

C# is considered by many programmers as a rather difficult language to learn, making it a less-than-optimal choice for first-time coders. This isn’t to say that it’s impossible to learn from scratch, but it does carry a rather steep learning curve. 

Because you’ll want to have previous experience with programming before learning C#, we would recommend that beginners start with more basic languages, like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

To learn if C# is a good fit for you, please check out our article, “Which Programming Language is Right for Me?”. There, you’ll learn about a variety of other programming languages and what you can do with them.

In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Programming languages” series, we’ll be answering questions you may have regarding what programming language to choose, how much money you’ll be making, what you can do as a web programmer, and where to start.

Beginner’s Guide

Would you like to learn how to code, online? Come and try our first 25 lessons for free at the CodeBerry Programming School.