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C# — pronounced “see sharp” — is an object-oriented and statically typed computer programming language created by Microsoft for use on its .NET platform. Its name comes from the C language, from which it inherits a similar syntax.

C# was created by Microsoft and standardized by ISO and ECMA. It was officially released in 2002. Since then, the language has seen numerous improvements with the most recent version being C# 6.0.

C# developers are frequently referred to as .NET developers since the C# language is almost exclusively used with the .NET Framework. It is quite a popular language, generally ranking among the top five on many different popularity charts. It is most commonly used in enterprise software development but also has a thriving open source ecosystem.

Technical details

C# was designed to run on on the CLI (Common Language Infrastructure) and utilize the .NET Framework. It was built for multiple programming paradigms, such as oject-oriented programming (OOP) and functional programming. The language is compiled. It is statically typed, which means that the type of every variable is checked by the compiler. However, in version 4.0, C# did introduce a keyword, dynamic, for dynamic variable binding.

While originally built to run on Windows, C# was quickly ported to Linux and macOS by the Mono project. Today, C# is open source and runs on the cross-platform .NET Core.

Getting started with C#

Modern C# and .NET development can be carried out on a variety of platforms. The most common usage on Windows is through the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) but there are other tools available as well, such as the lightweight, cross-platform VS Code editor.

Operating System Recommended Tools
Windows Visual Studio, VS Code, or Command Line
Mac Visual Studio for Mac, VS Code, or Command Line
Linux VS Code or Command Line

Where next?

There is a wealth of C# information online, but here are a few links to get you started:

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