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What is the C# programming language?

C# is a programming language that has a vast array of uses, from writing applications, to creating websites, games, and more!

Jun 08, 2023 • 5 Minute Read

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  • Software Development
  • c#

Cloud computing is all about choices, including that of programming languages. In this Programming Languages for the Cloud post, we’ll get to know C#, one of the most popular and versatile of the bunch. C# is a cross-platform managed language that has a vast array of modern use cases, from writing applications, to creating websites, games, embedded firmware, and more. Let’s jump in!

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History of C#

Originally called Cool, C# was invented by Microsoft’s Anders Hejlsberg and launched in July of 2000. C# was designed from the ground up to suit both hosted and embedded systems. For example, C# can run both on your desktop computer and on an IoT device like a Raspberry Pi. C# is the primary language used in the Microsoft .NET Framework, which runs on millions of devices all over the world. And, owing to the latest version of .NET, C# can now be used to write Linux and macOS applications as well.

What can I use C# for?

C# is useful in writing applications for Windows and macOS, and for creating websites, games, embedded firmware, and a whole lot more. By being compiled into Intermediate Language, or IL, C# can run on any device that has an interpreter for IL. 

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Thanks to Mono, C# isn't only for Microsoft-based projects. Mono is an open-source implementation of the .NET Framework, making cross-platform applications feel right at home with C#. Tools like Xamarin and Visual Studio Code make C# a first-class citizen for app development on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and the majority of Linux distributions.

What makes C# popular?

Here are three reasons C# is so widely adopted:

  • Easy to learn because it’s managed

C# is a managed language, which means complex tasks such as memory management (critical to any application) and garbage collection are taken care of for you. Being managed makes C# much more approachable and easier to learn.

  • Excellent libraries for fast development

The Base Class Library, or BCL, is an extensive code library of common functions that have been developed, tested, and provided free of charge by Microsoft. The resources within the BCL let you focus on specific business problems rather than how to convert a string to uppercase or deal with type conversion. When you use C# effectively, you’ll enjoy a faster development timeline and simplified solutions.

  • Cloud compatibility

All major cloud platforms support C# as a primary language and it is currently used in millions of cloud applications. 

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Why should I learn C#?

C# is an incredibly mature and popular language. Here are a couple reasons it’s worth your while to learn it:

  • Widespread adoption and versatility

The 2020 Stack Overflow Developer Survey showed that 32.3% of professional developers use C#. You can use C# for any modern application, whether it’s on a mobile device, a major microservice architecture, or the latest rent-a-llama SaaS product.

  • Future-proof your skill set

Learning C# is a great step towards future-proofing your skill set. With C# under your belt, you’ll be developing for the latest machine learning, gaming, console, and native mobile applications, plus … just about anything else. There's even a version of C# for quantum computing!

Hope you enjoyed this tasty slice of C# cheddar! Keep it here for more content in our Programming Languages for the Cloud series. In the meantime, start your ACG free trial or check out this month’s free cloud training. You can also subscribe to A Cloud Guru on YouTube for weekly cloud news, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and join the conversation on Discord.