Why would I want to program?

It’s cool to work with computers and create something that might be useful to you or others and to, for example, automate things you find tedious! There’s an infinite amount of possible things you can build with the number of programming languages that exist. You could make a game, a cool website, a fun app that impresses your friends but just build something you enjoy building really.

Where do I start?

When you first start to get interested in programming, it might be really hard to think of a way to actually start. Where do I program in? Do I need to download anything? And what do I build to start learning? Well, I hope this might actually help you a bit. This is supposed to be as much approachable as possible.

So, where do we start?

I’m going to help you use C#. C# is used to create desktop applications, mobile apps and websites that are used by millions of people daily. It’s a pretty interesting language and you can create some pretty cool things using it! C# is a programming language created by very smart people from Microsoft. It’s been a thing since 2001. C# is part of the .NET (pronounced as dotNET) framework, but you don’t need to worry about that too much right now. If you’re here, and reading this, you’ll probably just want to make a start with programming. Any start will do right?

Our first program

As we want to keep it as simple as possible at first, we’re going to use a pretty cool website called Repl.it. It will allow us to do programming straight from the browser. This way, we can keep it as simple as possible! Our first program will print ‘Hello World’. Try to press that ‘Run’ button. The thing that looks like a play button. Go ahead and press it. What do you see? Cool huh?

Now try changing the text between the double quotes to “such code, very wow” and run it again. You’re programming now.

So what is going on?

The code we’ve started out with consists of a few things.

 using System; 

C# uses types. Mostly everything in C# has a type. For example, our tiny application uses Console.WriteLine to output text to the Console window. The Console part of Console.WriteLine is a type. This type is defined in the System namespace that we reference in our application using using System;. If we wouldn’t, we’d have to type out ‘System.Console.Writeline’ everywhere we want to use that functionality, pretty tedious right? That’s why we use the using keyword to enable our application to figure it out by itself instead of relying on us!

Now, try it yourself. Remove using System; and change Console.Writeline to System.Console.Writeline.