Production Languages

It is important to understand that C# is a production language - i.e. one intended to be used to create real-world software. To support this goal, the developers of the C# language have made many efforts to make C# code easier to write, read, and reason about. Each new version of C# has added additional syntax and features to make the language more powerful and easier to use. In some cases, these are entirely new things the language couldn’t do previously, and in others they are syntactic sugar - a kind of abbreviation of an existing syntax. Consider the following if statement:


As the branches only execute a single expression each, this can be abbreviated as:

if(someTestFlag) DoThing();
else DoOtherThing();

Similarly, Visual Studio has evolved side-by-side with the language. For example, you have probably come to like Intellisense - Visual Studio’s ability to offer descriptions of classes and methods as you type them, as well as code completion, where it offers to complete the statement you have been typing with a likely target. As we mentioned in our section on learning programming, these powerful features can be great for a professional, but can interfere with a novice programmer’s learning.

Let’s take a look at some of the features of C# that we haven’t examined in detail yet.