C# (that’s C “Sharp”) is a programming language created by Microsoft. It is popular as an introductory language because of its ease of learning and freely available tools. It is also incredibly popular among businesses. It may not be new and shiny like other languages, but it is battle-tested and is what is running behind the scenes for many, many companies.

NOTE: C# is one of the .NET (pronounced “Dot Net”) languages, along with F# (AKA: F Sharp) and Visual Basic. Since its introduction, C# has really become the de facto .NET language. As a result, you will find a lot of resources talking about C# and .NET almost interchangeably, since most people who program in .NET are using C#.

Getting Set Up

There are a number of different editors for C#, but I highly recommend Microsoft’s own editor: Visual Studio. While there is a very expensive paid version for companies, the so-called Visual Studio Community Edition is 100% free. Does it lack some of the advanced tools that the full version has? Sure. Will you need those tools as a solo developer who is trying to learn to code? Probably not.

Visual Studio can be used to program in a lot of languages. When the installer runs, make sure you select the “.NET desktop development” option. This will include all the tools to create the sorts of C# programs covered on this site. If you ever want to branch out and try other things in Visual Studio, you can customize your installation by adding other pre-made packages by re-running the installer, or by selecting individual components. If any of our tutorials require you to install anything beyond the “.NET desktop development” package, we will let you know.

Alternatively: If, for some reason, you cannot or do not want to install any software, don’t fret! While it won’t have the fancy features of an editor like Visual Studio, you can use free online tools like .NET Fiddle to

Wait Patiently

The installer is going to take a long time to run, so be patient. While you wait, you can check out the documentation for C# on Microsoft’s website. There is an overwhelming amount of information about C# and all of its functionality. If you ever want to know more and go beyond the tutorials here at Let’s Make a Program, the C# documentation is very thorough and can be a huge help. Microsoft posts their own tutorials and videos that you can use instead of or in addition to the tutorials here.

Start Coding

I recommend starting with something simple, like our Hello World tutorial. It will get you to make your first project, write your very first lines of code, and then branch out from there.

Have Fun!

I wouldn’t be a programmer if I didn’t enjoy it. Coding can be frustrating, and the problems we software engineers face can seem daunting, but there is nothing like the satisfaction of tackling a big issue or seeing the code you wrote come to life on the screen. While you learn, don’t lose sight of that - programming is like some sort of techno-wizardy, and that magic can be very fun and satisfying. So enjoy yourself, and good luck in your coding journey! 😀