The brainchild of programming legend Anders Hejlsberg, C# is the leading language within Microsoft’s .NET Framework.

As you would expect of a language pushed by such a major player in the tech world, there is a substantial number of supporting tools available that both make your job much easier and allow you to do some cool things.

In this post, we will be looking at some of the most popular tools and resources that are invaluable to anyone seeking to get into C# programming.

MSDN Programming Guide & Tutorials

First things first, head on over to the Microsoft Developer Network and work your way through the extensive collection of C# Programming Guide and Tutorials that are on offer.

It might be a little overwhelming at first, but there is plenty of great stuff in there so don’t give up.

Visual Studio

Getting a copy of Visual Studio should be at the top of any budding C# programmers list.

An IDE from Microsoft, it is used to develop websites, applications and services. Offering features such as intelligence and syntax highlight, Visual Studio is also fully integrated with various other Microsoft tools as well as supported by the development community as a whole.

Essentially, Visual Studio provides developers with an extremely powerful, fast code editor that works perfectly for everyday use.

The good news is that as a student you’ll be able can download and use a free version of the software.

Resharper

Part of the Resharper Ultimate family, Resharper is a productivity extension for Visual Studio.

In a nutshell, it automates many coding routines, finds numerous kinds of errors, such as runtime errors, redundancies and compiler errors and suggests intelligent fixes for them.

With Resharper any developer who uses Visual Studio will find it much easier to write better code, and also examine and refactor existing code bases.

Resharper is available both on a yearly or monthly subscription, with the yearly subscription offering more value for money.

There is also the option of Resharper or Resharper Ultimate, with the difference being the features on offer. The latter comes with Resharper C++, DotTrace, DotMemory, and DotCover.

GhostDoc

Another extension for Visual Studio, GhostDoc generates XML documentation comments for methods and properties.

It comes complete with XML templates, quality and maintenance tools and intelligent source code spell checker.

GhostDoc is really useful as it helps you simplify the documentation of your code, which saves valuable time, being able to automatically generate a starting point for your help documentation, a code spell checker, and a build help file.

It’s worth pointing out that certain features are only available in GhostDoc Pro, such as XML comment preview, code spell checker, documentation themes and documentation quality and maintenance.

At the moment, a pro license for GhostDoc is around $50US, which is quite a bargain if you’re serious about programming with C#.

Want to learn more?

This article has hopefully provided you with a short insight into how you can get started programming with C# and some of the useful tools you can use.

If you're interested in a career in programming, using C# and other ASP.NET technologies then get in touch with us here at AMES.

For 25 years we’ve been the standard bearer for IT education in New Zealand, and we’ll be happy to put you on the same path that thousands of students have gone down before you to a fulfilling career in IT both in New Zealand and overseas.

Get in touch and we can discuss your options with you today.