How to Learn C#: Top Learning Resources
C# is a modern object-oriented language meant to create desktop applications and games. It is extremely popular for creating apps for Microsoft-based platforms. If you are into game development using Unity, C# is one of the top requirements to be able to build complex and advanced games.
In this guide, we will take a look at some of the top resources that you can use to learn C# well enough to build a career in C# based application development.
What is C#?
C# is an object-oriented programming language that finds its use across a number of domains. It is one of the programming languages that focus on increasing developer productivity. Features like the null-conditional operator, indices, and ranges allow C# to be a language packed with modern features.
C# is designed to run on the .NET runtime by Microsoft which is an outstanding piece of engineering. It offers great ease in critical operations like memory management, compilation, and thread synchronization. With your application running on C# and .NET, you can rest assured that your business is in safe hands.
Why Should You Learn C#?
Having discussed how C# makes application development super simple and powerful at the same time, it is evident that C# is an important skill to pick up as an aspiring application developer. C# helps you build applications for various kinds of platforms including desktop, cloud, and IoT devices. C# also supports cross-platform application development, which means you only write code once but it runs everywhere.
C# is a crucial skill for software development of any sort. PayScale lists the average annual salary for the C# skill to be $67,688. This indicates that investing your time and energy into learning C# is eventually going to pay off well. However, with added skills like Unity and the .NET runtime, this number is set to blow up.
The Best Books for Learning C#
Here are some of the top books available to help you learn C# well, and serve as a good source of reference as well:
Learn C# in one day is a great way to begin your journey into the realm of C#. The book dives deep into the topic with the help of adequate examples. It also couples the examples with actual outputs, so you are not compelled to run each example to watch it in action. The book also has a unique project that tests the understanding of all topics that it teaches to the readers.
The Head First series by O’Reilly is a collection of some of the most beginner-friendly resources for breaking into technical domains as absolute newcomers. Head First C# is a fun, detailed journey into the various aspects of C# as a programming language. The book explores a number of possibilities with C#, which include game development with Unity, data querying with LINQ, and more. Head First C# is packed with puzzles, quizzes, and hands-on exercises to give you the best learning experience.
Alt-text: C# 8.0 Pocket Reference book cover
C# Pocket Reference is one of the highly recommended books for a quick crash course on C# if you have some prior knowledge of the basics of other OOP languages like Java or C++. The book features LINQ throughout its course, and all the examples that are used throughout the book are available as interactive samples in LINQPad to help you get going quickly. If you are an absolute beginner to C#, you might want to go through one of the other books in this list before this one.
The Best Courses for Learning C#
Learn C# by CodeAcademy is a free-to-take, descriptive course on the C# programming language. The course teaches the basics of C# from scratch and ends the discussion on complex topics like interfaces, inheritance, and references.
The course is divided into bite-sized chapters that focus on explaining a small yet important topic in detail. This 30-hours long course has absolutely zero prerequisites, and you can get started with it as and when you want.
Introduction to C# Programming and Unity is a 28-hour long online course offered by the University of Colorado on Coursera. This is one of the most popular courses on the platform on this subject. The course uses Unity as the medium of expanding into the practical applications of C# and can be a great resource for aspiring game developers.
The course assumes you have absolutely no prior experience with C#. This makes it a perfect place to begin your journey into the world of C# and game development.
edX has turned out to be a good marketplace for technical lessons and courses lately. At the moment, it offers two courses on C#, both from reputable creators (Harvard University and Universitat Politècnica de Valencia).
Both courses are focused on building games with Unity and C#, and they offer a solid primer on the multidimensional programming language. These are great courses to take if you wish to settle as a game developer down the line. If you are looking to learn C# in general, you might want to look at some other courses from the list.
The Best Tutorials for Learning C#
What’s better than learning a technology directly from its developers? Microsoft’s Learn C# series has some serious learning material on the object-oriented programming language. It offers a bunch of tutorials that you can take. Each tutorial is identified with its difficulty level and covers a certain aspect of the language in detail.
W3Schools is often considered the Bible of web development. They are among the oldest content providers on the various technologies that make the web work. Very recently, they have added a section on the C# programming language. The fluency that W3Schools has in explaining web-related technical content fits well in the C# scenario, and readers get a descriptive walkthrough of the entire programming language.
TutorialsPoint offers a tutorial on C#, which is meant for absolute beginners to the programming language. The tutorial feels more like a glossary of topic-wise articles that address each aspect of the language in detail. However, they are structured well enough to provide the feel of a curated journey through all the technical jargon. The tutorial seems like a great place to begin your C# journey if you are more into written content than any other type of resource.
Now that we have seen a detailed list of resources that can help you get started with the foundation of application development with C#, it is crucial to select the best one for yourself. It is certain that not every resource will suit you equally well. You may be able to resonate better with some instructors, while with some you may simply not find your connection.
It is totally natural to prefer a certain type of resource over others. However, with technologies like C# that require hands-on practice along with learning, a guided tutorial will serve the purpose better in most cases.