Choosing the right programming language from the beginning can be quite a challenge 🤔 I totally agree! It's not just a tuff decision for beginners to make, experienced developers are also struggling with this issue. 🤷
There are a lot of programming languages out there and C# is just one of them. They got different purposes and some of them are doing the same... it's a jungle. 🐒🌴 Choosing the right programming language is important as it takes time to learn a new language.
The key 🔑 to knowing if a programming language is the right for you is to know the advantages and use cases for it before you pick it up and start learning. 🏃 In this article I will make a sharp focus on the advantages C# can provide you with, and why I and many other programmers like this language so much.
Why is C# such a popular programming language? 🔥
C# is pronounced C Sharp or See Sharp. It is a simple, object-oriented programming language created (in the early 2000s) and maintained by Microsoft. The project is led by a danish guy named Anders Hejlsberg (yes, I'm a little proud to be a Dane right now).
Since it was made open-source, the popularity of the language has only been growing ever since. Below are some of my top 5 key reasons why C# is such a popular programming language among many developers.
- It's extremely fast! C# is a statically typed programming language. This means that variable types are known at compile time. If you are looking for a language to make high-performance applications, C# is a great choice.
- Many companies are demanding C# developers. Almost any company out there is using software that was made by Microsoft (it's like IKEA, almost any home got something from IKEA...). It can be the infrastructure of the company, some key applications that are the foundation for their existence, etc...
- It's easy to get going with C# (No I'm not just saying it). C# is actually easy to learn since the .NET framework takes care of many complex tasks you manually have to create in languages like Java or C++. You can just sit down, start learning it and then write awesome applications because you don't have to reinvent the wheel again.
- Ever heard about high-level languages? As I just mentioned you can skip a lot of writing by relying on the built-in functionality. At the same time, you can explore the NuGet library for extensions that makes it, even more, of a breeze to write applications using C#.
- C# supports cross-platform development and you can get a lot of help from the huge community of developers since it is open-source. Check out Stackoverflow for the latest questions tagged with C#. At the very beginning when C# was made available to the public it originally only supported Windows, but now it's possible to build applications than run natively on other operating systems like Linux and macOS.
C# Use Cases - What can you build using C#? 🔨
C# is a very popular language, and it's not for nothing. The above 5 reasons why I think C# is such a popular language are just a few of many. I think we can agree that C# has a lot of benefits to offer? Below are some examples of applications you can build using C#.
Are you dreaming of becoming a game developer? Ever heard about the Unity game engine? Well - it's one of the most popular game engines on the market right now, especially for new developers. Unity was created so it has an editor that makes it easy for new developers to pick it up and get started building games.
Unity is running with C#, hence it would be a good idea to learn C# if you are into game development. With Unity, you can create almost any kind of game. It supports everything from the good old 2d games to virtual reality. Unity powers more than 50% of all games in the world - so it is actually a super popular choice for developers who would like to make games.
Enterprise Applications 🏢
In big enterprises, they are often locked to a specific programming language(s), some have multiple to support their various applications or infrastructure. A lot of web shops on the internet are made using C# and Microsoft tools, as the companies often use Microsoft solutions already, and it is a more seamless experience to join multiple Microsoft products.
If you are looking to get employed in a specific enterprise/company, you might find out what programming language they are using to build and ship their applications, as that would give you a big advantage.
Web Applications 🌐
I primarily create web applications like APIs, etc... using the C#, and the .NET Framework. C# is also a very popular language for web applications/development. Before it was turned into a cross-platform, it was one of the most popular programming languages for creating professional web applications like big enterprise websites, online shops, management systems for industries, etc...
If you like me love Linux, C# will be a good friend of yours. Since C# was transformed into a cross-platform programming language, it has become very popular amongst developers working on Linux devices. You can package your applications into containers using Docker or just ship it to the Cloud since it can run on any cloud platform.
Desktop Applications 🖥️
C# was originally created only to be run on Windows (the OS). This made it an obvious choice for many developers creating applications for the Windows Desktop OS.
C# is still the preferred language for developers creating applications for Windows, even after so many new programming languages have been introduced. Some very popular applications are Microsoft Visual Studio, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, etc...
Mobile Applications 📱
Android apps are usually written using languages like Java and Kotlin whereas Apple apps are written using either Swift or Objective-C. However, with the .NET MAUI platform, you can build mobile applications using C#. MAUI is a great choice if you are looking to create modern sleek applications for both Android and iOS.
Although not that many people are using them, there exist Windows phones too and .NET MAUI also supports publishing the application for a Windows Phone too. You can read more about .NET MAUI at this link or see the video below.
Add-Ins for other software ➕
Since Microsoft Office is made using C#, you can create your own extensions/add-ins for already existing products like Word, Excel, Outlook, etc...
You can also create new modules for already existing applications that support a modular architecture. This could be big ERP applications like Visma.
Is it possible to learn C# from home? 🏡
Oooh YES! A lot of developers out there are self-taught/autodidact. I actually know a lot of developers who are self-taught and don't have a big degree in computer science, and some of the best developers I have met don't have a degree at all. It's 2023 - the times are changing for what certification and long education mean.
I don't have a big computer science degree. I have watched many hours of video, read through many books about clean coding, object-oriented programming, software engineering, and architecture/design principles, made a lot of tries/errors to see what works and what doesn't, and participated in online workshops... I could continue all day.
The key point from my text above is, yes, you can learn C# from home. And no you might not be the best programmer at the beginning, but programmers are in high demand, and you can learn from the seniors by being employed as a novice. A tip from me to you is: to create a lot of projects and add them to your portfolio. This way potential employers can see your work but also your writing style and then participate in open-source projects.
Is it tough to learn C# and how long would it take?
C# is designed to be easy to learn, but it requires dedication. My personal experience is that C# takes several months to learn, but that doesn't mean you won't be writing any code after a few months.
Most of the online programming courses about C# will make you write C# code within the first hour. It will not be a big full-fledged web application with multi-tenancy and automatic subscriptions... it will be small applications, as you will take small steps to learn and understand the concepts of C#.
If you are an experienced programmer, you might learn C# even faster as you already know the concepts of programming.
Wow - you got through my wall of text... Give yourself a high-five ✋ for that, good job! I think it's clear to conclude that C# is one of the most popular programming languages.
You can build almost any kind of application using C# and that makes it easier to get hired for a job since it's a common language in many applications and enterprises in this world.
A great place to learn C# is a Begineer. Begineer is a platform that I have made to make it easier for people to learn tech stuff like learning to program with C#. My beginner platform will introduce you to the concepts of learning to write code using C#. When you feel comfortable you can check out my other courses about creating web applications using the .NET Framework or how to build Desktop applications using MAUI .NET.
If you got any questions or suggestions about the contents of this article, please let me know in the comments below. Until next time - Have an awesome time learning to code in C#! ✌️