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What is C# (c sharp)?
C# (“c sharp”) is a general purpose, object-oriented, component-oriented programming language that is a hybrid of C and C++. C# was developed by Microsoft and is primarily used to create software components suitable for distributed environments.1 Microsoft's primary programming language, C# is a key skill needed by developers working with Microsoft tools.2 C# coding can also run on Linux, Android, and iOS devices.
What is C# used for? C# programming can be used to build interactive websites, mobile apps, video games, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), desktop applications and back-end services. Mobile games such as Pokémon Go and websites like Stack Overflow are built on C# (Unity and ASP.NET, respectively).3
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C# online course curriculum
There are numerous online C# courses and C# tutorials for programmers to learn at their own pace, ranging from foundational concepts to advanced skills.
For example, an introductory C# programming course will typically cover the “C sharp” language and the world of .NET programming. Designed for beginners, these types of classes set learners up for future programming language learning opportunities within computer science.
A more focused C# class on algorithms and data structures will expand a learner’s working knowledge of C# programming, providing a solid foundation in the use of data structures and algorithms, as well as algorithm implementation.
A longer C# program may include a course on object-oriented programming that builds upon working knowledge of C sharp and lambda expressions. Learners may focus on core object-oriented programming concepts, how to use classes and objects in a C# data types application, and resource management in C sharp and the .NET framework. Learners can also build a working knowledge of encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism.
Other C# online course offerings cover a wide range of topics to facilitate C# learning, including common language runtime (CLR), open source concepts, entity frameworks, visual studio, and more. These additional source code courses can help learners understand the role of C#, how it works with programs like Windows, and how to implement its features into programming tasks.
Discover C# jobs
Many industries have roles that use the C# programming language, including the gaming industry, financial institutions, national security agencies, and more. Being a C# programmer with proficiency in C programming language skills can open up the door to numerous career paths. Positions that may seek applicants with C# experience include:
Machine learning engineer
How to become a C# developer
Because of C#’s longevity and popularity in the industry, there are many resources and classes available to educate interested learners about the programming language. There is no single path to becoming a C# developer. Consider your prior experience and explore the various offerings on edX and elsewhere to identify what you need to pursue a career as a C# programmer.
For example, online bachelor’s in computer and data science programs may include coursework covering algorithms, data structures, and programming languages. Online master’s in data science degree programs may build on that knowledge to teach learners data visualization, data management, machine learning, and user experience fundamentals. An online master’s in engineering will likely focus specifically on computer engineering, artificial intelligence (AI), and engineering management.
However, learners aren’t limited to traditional programs. To help a learner on their path to becoming a C# developer, many C# training programs will include lessons on working with classes, structure types, and variables.² Once they’ve mastered the basics, learners can dig deeper into the essential features of C#, discovering how to create better C# programs by using efficient algorithms and how to build better code by leveraging design patterns in C#.
Experienced C# developers suggest a good place to begin putting knowledge to practice is by learning how to make a console application.4 An example problem could be searching through a Windows directory and writing all filenames matching a given pattern to a text file. The next step is learning how to use databases, such as Entity Framework, followed by learning how to write automated tests, such as xUnit.