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If you are new to computer programming and not sure which programming language to learn first, then you might be a little lost. Seasoned programmers have a solid recommendation, though! You can start your coding journey by learning C#, one of the oldest, most reliable, and most common computer programming languages. When was C# created and why is it so popular? Consider this your brief history of this popular programming language.

woman coding

When Was C# Created?

When was C# created? 2002. That’s right, the C# coding language is only 17 years old. If it was a person, it would be able to drive or vote! But there isn’t anything childish about this programming language. In fact, C# is regarded as a mature computer programming language and is widely used around the world.

There are many different computer programming languages, just like there are many different spoken languages. Make no mistake; learning a computer programming language is just as challenging as learning any other language. C# is unique in the sense that it is actually one of the easier programming languages to learn. Most programmers learn how to code in C# and other C# supported applications. You can think of C# as being a first step or a basic skill. Many programming languages are now modeled after current iterations of C#, which have been updated and fine-tuned.

C# is unique in other ways, too, so we’ve gathered a crash course of everything you need to know about C#.

A Brief History of C#

When was C# created? The origin of C# is actually filled with some intrigue, and it might interest you to know that C# was originally intended to serve a single company. Since its creation, C# has evolved to be a diverse computer programming language that most expert coders view as being an essential, basic skill. Let’s get started with a brief history of C#.


This is a programming language with a unique origin. When was C# created? Between 2000 and 2002, Microsoft created this programming language for their own use. In the beginning, C# was a programming language released alongside Microsoft Visual Studio 2002 as an answer to the Java programming language that was being used with Java Script. Both C# and Java were programming languages for the early era of the personal computer, and both were competing for recognition. In fact, C# and Java borrowed heavily from each other for several years before C# diverted toward a different orientation.

C# has since been approved as an international standard for computer programming and is used with Common Language Infrastructure, which is the technical standard for computer platform communications. C# has also been accepted by Ecma International as a common computer programming language. While used primarily with Microsoft software, you can also see C# used to build client-side programs and even internet platforms.

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C# has many versions. Each version of C# has made an update to the programming language that continues to diversify the use of the language. The first version of C# was designed as a simple multi-purpose general programming language – and compared to what C# looks like today, that first version was almost generically bland. You can think of the first version of C# as being like a BLT without the bacon, lettuce, or tomato.

What about other C# updates?

Version 2

The second version of C# was released in 2005 and began to move away from being generically object-oriented. This update included the ability for programmers to use iterators, which basically allow programmers to look at a larger picture of data at one time.

Version 3

The third version of C# was released in 2007 and was full of new features, such as expression trees, extension methods, and both query and lambda expressions. It is with this version of C# that it began to truly diverge from Java and C# became a cutting edge programming language.

Version 4

The fourth version of C# was released in 2010 and introduced embedded interlop types and dynamic keywords, which addressed issues and gave C# a certain elegance that other programming languages lacked at the time.

Version 5

The fifth version of C# was released in 2012, with a focus on asynchronous programming. The asych and await updates to C# are regarded as language features that elevate the convenience of running long operating codes.

Version 6

The sixth version of C# was released in 2013 and placed a special focus on making C# a productive programming language. This version introduced new filters and initializers, along with a cleaner general command language that made inputting code even easier than before.

Version 7

The final and current version of C# was released in 2017. Along with revolutionary features that make codes cleaner and easier, this version of C# also expanded the reach of the coding language, as this version can be used with the .NET Core and operating systems for cloud and other storage needs.

Orientationwomen at work checking on the laptop

When we talk about when was C# created, we also need to talk about why C# was created. And aside from C# being Microsoft answer to Java, C# was also created with a goal to be a multi-use, general purpose programming language; or, in other words, an object-oriented programming language.

What’s so special about object-oriented programming languages? For one thing, these orientations are more diverse than procedural or functional programming languages. Object-oriented languages allow programmers to both define the object or data and tell the object what to do by setting functions. Being able to do both is usually why object-oriented languages like C# are so popular.

Learning C#

Now that you know the history of C#, you might be wondering how to learn this programming language. Learning C# involves some dedication and experimentation, but many people are self-taught. You actually have a few options for learning C#. Some options are better than others, depending on your computer proficiency and your general understanding of computer coding.

Microsoft Guides

Microsoft offers a few guides to help people learn how to use C# or learn how to use the C# updates. These tutorials are intended for both beginners and intermediate users. Microsoft guides are comprehensive and explain every detail of C#, but new programmers might find the language to be more technical than expected. Learning C# through the use of Microsoft guides and tutorials is a more hands-on approach that is a great fit for learners who are comfortable with trial and error.

C# Courses

You also have the option of learning C# through instructional means, such as through courses offered at colleges or through certification programs. Microsoft hosts a few of these certification programs, such as the Introduction to C# course offered by edX. These programs are typically a month long and teach new programmers the very basic skills of using C#. Better yet, many of these certification courses are free and open to the public.

Books to Help You Learn C#

There are other tools available to help you learn how to use C#, such as instructional books that outline both the very basics and the most complex functions of the C# programming languages. We gathered a few books that programmers swear by to help new coders learn C#.

Cover of Book "C# In Depth"C# In Depth is book that teaches how to use C# and comments on the functionality of the programming language. This is more of an intermediate book that guides programmers through the higher functions of newer C# versions. C# In Depth is continually updated and is available both as an audiobook and paperback.

C#: Programming Basics for Absolute Beginners is a series of step-by-step books that teach new programmers how to code in C# starting from the most basic skills and information. This book is a good alternative for new learners who would like supplemental information on how to code using C#.

For True Beginners

If you’re a true beginner to computer programming, then the previous two books might jump a little too fast into information you have no context for. C# and Algorithmic Thinking is a book that solves this problem by priming you with the basics of programming terminology and teaching you how problems can be solved with computer programming. This book is filled with hundreds of exercises and questions that help self-taught learners how to use C# techniques. This is an excellent option to ease beginners into computer programming.


C# is one of the most commonly used object-oriented computer programming languages used today. In the brief history of C#, this programming language has become an essential basic skill that many seasoned programmers consider indispensable. Although only 17 years old, C# has had a great evolution with several version updates that have expanded the use of the language. While most commonly used with Microsoft software, C# can also now affect operating systems and cloud storage. Learning C# can be done through institutional instruction, self-taught books, and through Microsoft guides and tutorials.

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