As a developer, you have certainly heard about many programming languages, such as C#, Java, C++, C, PHP, or Ruby. In all of them, you can use various data structures, as well as implement algorithms, to solve both basic and complex problems. However, each language has its own specificity, which could be visible while implementing data structures and accompanying algorithms. As already mentioned, this book will focus only on the C# programming language, which is also the main topic of this section.
The C# language, pronounced as "C Sharp", is a modern, general-purpose, strongly-typed, and object-oriented programming language that can be used while developing a wide range of applications, such as web, mobile, desktop, distributed, and embedded solutions, as well as even games. It cooperates with various additional technologies and platforms, including ASP.NET MVC, Windows Store, Xamarin, Windows Forms, XAML, and Unity. Therefore, when you learn the C# language, as well as getting to know more about data structures and algorithms in the context of this programming language, you can use such skills to create more than one particular type of software.
The current version of the language is C# 7.1. It is worth mentioning its interesting history with the following versions of the language (for example, 2.0, 3.0, and 5.0) in which new features have been added to increase language possibilities and to simplify the work of developers. When you take a look at release notes for particular versions, you will see how the language is being improved and expanded over time.
The syntax of the C# programming language is similar to other languages, such as Java or C++. For this reason, if you know such languages, you should quite easily be able to understand the code written in C#. As an example, similarly as in the languages mentioned previously, the code consists of statements that end with semicolons (
;), and curly brackets (
}) are used to group statements, such as within the
foreach loop. You could also find similar code constructions, such as the
if statement, or
Developing various applications in the C# language is also simplified by the availability of many additional great features, such as Language Integrated Query (LINQ), which allows developers to get data from various collections, such as SQL databases or XML documents, in a consistent way. There are also some approaches to shorten the required code, such as using lambda expressions, expression-bodied members, getters and setters, or string interpolation. It is worth mentioning the automatic garbage collection that simplifies the task of releasing memory. Of course, the solutions mentioned are only the very limited subset of features available while developing in C#. You will see some others in the following parts of this book, together with examples and detailed descriptions.