Introduction to the C# programming language for ICT students

What is C#, and where did it come from?

The C# programming language is an easy-to-use, powerful, object-oriented language created in 1999 and 2000 by Microsoft, and standardized worldwide through ECMA and ISO. Anders Hejlsberg is the lead architect and principal designer of C#.

It may surprise you to learn that it was basically Anders and three others who designed and created the language. Its design was intended to be close to C++, but include deep object-orientation, and component orientation.

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What’s the origin of the name, C#?

Of geeky interest, your professor offers the following collection of facts and educated guesses about the origin of how C# got its name:

  • Around 1960, the programming language Algol 60 was created (you can consider this to be the language  “A” for our purposes here)
  • In the UK, an extended version of Algol 60 was created, and was referred to as the Combined Programming Langauge (CPL)
  • This terminology was refined to “basic CPL”, or, BCPL
  • Dennis Ritchie, while at Bell Labs in the late 1960′s, transformed BCPL into a programming language named B
  • Dennis and Brian Kernighan later (early 1970′s) enhanced its ideas into the C programming language
  • Around 1980, Bjarne Stroustrup, also with Bell Labs, created C++
    • Taking hints from the ++ iterator, C++ was “one up” from C
  • Around the year 2000, Anders Hejlsberg of Microsoft created C#
    • Taking hints from music, C# was “one semitone higher” [than C]

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What can you expect?

In this BTI420 course, if you pass, you will become proficient at an entry level in C#. Rest assured that you can develop your concepts and skills further to create software that scales down to the tiniest of devices, all the way up to the most powerful computing systems.

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This document was updated in January 2014.

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