Learning C# and .NET

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    Andrew Cooper

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This blog has moved

Posted by drewjcooper on June 17, 2010

So I got this blog going on WordPress and was pretty happy with the ease of setup, configurability, etc.  And then I discovered, after I wanted to format some source code nicely for my third post, that WordPress wanted me to pay for the privilege of editing my blog’s CSS.  Being the cheap guy that I am, I’ve now moved the blog to Blogger, where I can play with CSS to my heart’s content and not pay a dime.  Hope to see you there.

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Hello, World! – again

Posted by drewjcooper on June 4, 2010

In 15 Exercises for Learning a new Programming Language, Prashant Mhatre kicks off with:

First of all, get familiar with Compiler, compiler option, editor shortcuts or integrated development environment (IDE). Start with a simple ‘Hello World’ program. Compile it. Use basic functionalities of debugger like setting break points, printing variable values, moving to the next or specific position, stopping debugger etc.

Let’s jump straight into the code first.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Where to begin?

Posted by drewjcooper on June 1, 2010

So the first thing to do when learning a new language is obviously to find some reference materials. In this post I’ll look at C# references.  I’ll leave .NET to later, when we start to get into it.

C# was created by Microsoft so the logical first place to go would be the MSDN Library.  As typical in MSDN there’s a full reference, including tutorials and the language specification.

A quick Google search turns up a large number of on-line tutorials and reference cards, a few of which are:

I’ll link some of these in the side-bar as I use them.

As well as a language reference it’s also a good idea to have an idea of how you want to learn.  For me, I learn best by doing.  A month-or-so ago I heard, I can’t remember where, about a blog post detailing the 15 exercises the author went through in learning a new language.  In searching for this post last week I also found a series of follow-up posts by another programmer with some more advanced exercises.

So I figured it would be a good idea to work through these exercises myself, and document it all here.  As I complete each exercise I’ll blog about it, including the code, and highlighting the aspects of the language learned in the exercise.

I also have an idea or two for a couple of actual projects that I’d like to complete, but more about that later.

Next time I’ll be getting started on actual code.

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Hello, world!

Posted by drewjcooper on May 28, 2010

That’s an appropriate title for the first post, on the first blog, of a guy who’s starting to learn a new programming language.

Hi, I’m Andrew.  Earlier this year I was told that the company I work for is closing the site I work at in late 2012.  So I’ll be looking for something else to do around that time.  I’m a computer systems engineer and all-round geek with pretty good sys-admin chops.  I’m a fair programmer and I’d like to take my career down the Software Engineering track.

The catch is that most of the programming I’ve been doing in my current job is scripting and system customisation stuff (anyone need a SMARTeam programmer?).  I haven’t really had an opportunity to do much serious application development.  In thinking about my future it became clear that I need to brush up on my skills and familiarise myself with modern languages and programming environments.

To this end I have decided to learn C# and the .NET environment.  I’ll probably dabble in other areas as well, but this will be my focus.  I’ve always found that I retain stuff better if I’m able to teach someone else what I’m learning as I go.  Hence this blog.

The idea of this blog is to document my learning experience and, hopefully, to help others who are learning as well. I’ll be posting about the process I’m following, the development setup I’m using, and, of course, I’ll be posting the code I develop through the whole process.  I hope someone out there finds this helpful – I know I will.

I think that’s enough for my first post.  The next will be approach I’m planning to take as I delve into the task of learning C#, and some resources I’ve found to help.

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