Today we embark on our first tutorial series, Introduction to C#. C# (pronounced C Sharp) is a wonderful language from the .NET framework, Microsoft’s main collection of programming languages. I find it more intuitive to use than Java, and I have more experience with C# than Java, which is why I chose to use C# for this series.
The Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
The first step when learning most new languages is setting up the IDE, or Integrated Development Environment, which we use to develop our applications. Since C# is part of Microsoft’s .NET framework, the most common IDE used in C# development is Microsoft’s Visual Studio. There have been new versions of Visual Studio every 2 or 3 years since I believe 2008. Although I personally use Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate, this is a very expensive piece of software and not what I recommend for beginners.* Instead we will use the more recent free version, Visual Studio Community 2015.
Installing Visual Studio Community 2015
First we need to download Visual Studio Community 2015 (from here on, I will shorten this to Visual Studio). To download Visual Studio, go to the download page for Visual Studio.
As you can probably guess, I want you to click on “Download Community 2015.” This will download the installer, an exe file that is named something like “vs_community_ENU.exe.” Most browser’s will now show a box at the bottom of the page, with an option to Run, Open Folder, or View Downloads. Go ahead and click Run. (You might get a message asking if you want to give permission to this app. Make sure the publisher is Microsoft Corporation, then click OK)
Next, a window similar to the image below will appear.
I recommend you keep the default options and click “Install.” It may ask you for an administrator password. Enter your password, and then Visual Studio will begin downloading. It may take a while, the program takes up about 8 GB of space.
Once the download is complete, save any data in other open applications, then click “Restart Now.”**
Congratulations, Visual Studio is all set up! To make sure it opens correctly, wait for your computer to restart and search for “Visual Studio” in the Search box of your computer.*** Run “Visual Studio Community 2015” to make sure it works. Soon I will release Part 1 of the Introduction to C# series, so check back often! I should release Part 1 within 4 days.
*Although I use the expensive Ultimate edition, I got a free copy from being an engineering student at the University of Oklahoma. Otherwise, I would use the free Community 2015.
**I am not responsible for any data loss which occurs by pressing Restart Now. I gave you fair warning.
***In Windows 8.1, press Windows Key + S. In Windows 10, press Windows Key, and then you can begin typing your search query.