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Going to C# from heavy Python experience

c# python learning noob

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#1 astropheed

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 00:23

Hey there! I'm a noob and I need help.

 

 

I've been given certain liberties on my companies next GUI adventures and after enough research I've decided I'm going with Visual C#. The ease of Visual Studio with the friendliness of C# seems like an excellent combination. The only problem is.... I don't really know C#. I get the basic Syntax, it's pretty straight forward as I have quite a bit of experience with PHP (and less so with C) but I know I need to drastically improve. Partial Classes, for example, scare me. Although so does this odd thing known as compiling and strong typing.

 

 

Answer Guide:

Keep in mind I'm a visual person and have never been very good with books. Sure I can read and comprehend but I have a much easier time with watching by example and taking apart other peoples code on github or something. This doesn't mean I don't want books, just that they are second fiddle.

 

Question:

As a heavy Python3/Qt4/MySQL programmer where is the best place to start learning C#?

 

Are there any projects you know of written in C# that would be easy for me to dissect?

 

Do you have any experience with both Python and C# and know a thing or two about important differences / "gotchas"?

 

 

Thanks a ton!




#2 Andre S.

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 01:02

If you've done a lot of any object-oriented language then the syntax of C# should not be a huge issue. Stackoverflow has an awesome C# community, if you ask a question there it usually gets answered in 5 minutes. I'm an expert on C# and .NET so I can probably answer most of your questions as well.

 

I think the bigger change from Python is getting to know .NET, the underlying platform: how code is compiled into assemblies, how assemblies can reference each other, how garbage collection works in regards to reference and value types, all the basic types in the root System namespace (Object, String, Type, etc.) that sort of thing. .NET is a wonderful development environment with excellent documentation, comprehensive, high quality libraries, and this is reflected in many independent open-source projects that build on the platform. Personally, I'm totally spoiled and wouldn't use anything else these days. C# was consistently designed as a "pit of success": usually the most obvious thing to do is the best thing to do (unlike in some other *cough languages).

 

If you're going to do GUI programming, WPF can be a pretty tough pill to swallow. Try to focus on one thing at a time.

 

Coming from Python you're likely used to exploratory programming inside the REPL. Visual Studio doesn't provide a C# REPL, but LINQPad is a great alternative.

 

I'm not convinced of the value of learning by reading other code; perhaps you can understand it but it'll be hard for you to figure out why it was coded this way. A really good book for experienced programmers is C# in a Nutshell. For an in-depth treatment of the .NET platform (once you have some experience with it), read CLR via C#.



#3 OP astropheed

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 01:31

. . .

 

I'm glad you're an expert. For the most part I'm fairly self-sufficient but I may ask direct C# questions from time to time (so long as I haven't found something on S.O. yet).

 

I agree on C#, it looks like a wonderful language so far and I'm a bit disappointed I overlooked it the first time around. I believe there were some issues with Linux compatibility at the time that immediately removed it from my "check it out" list. Now that's no longer of concern.

 

I've been working out the Windows Form Application but haven't touched WPF; I'll stay away for now. WFA however is very straight forward and simple.

 

I don't really touch the REPL much these days but I agree it was a big help in the beginning, I'll take a look a LINQPad. Thanks.

 

I read other peoples code not to understand the syntax but the reasoning. I don't generally get into that until I have a firm grasp of the language, but the one thing I don't want to happen is code Python in C#. There is a C# way of doing things and in general other peoples code are a good indicator of those methods. I've never been formally taught so I have to learn formalities and methodologies the hard way, unfortunately.

 

Thanks for the help. I'll check those books out.



#4 Andre S.

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 03:01

I've been working out the Windows Form Application but haven't touched WPF; I'll stay away for now. WFA however is very straight forward and simple.

It's usually referred to as WinForms. ;)



#5 OP astropheed

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 01:48

.NET is a wonderful development environment with excellent documentation, comprehensive, high quality libraries, and this is reflected in many independent open-source projects that build on the platform. Personally, I'm totally spoiled and wouldn't use anything else these days. C# was consistently designed as a "pit of success": usually the most obvious thing to do is the best thing to do (unlike in some other *cough languages).

 

I'm having a really good time with it so far. I wish I got into this much sooner.

 

Update:

I enjoy the type system. I didn't think I'd like strongly typed languages (I didn't like it in C) but I actually find it gives a certain peace of mind after a while. I'm not a fan of using the 'new' keyword to instantiate a new object reference (and arrays), but, I guess I'll just have to deal (I'm not a big fan of the explicit 'self' parameter in Python methods either, so...win some, lose some).

 

I've got the basics down, including Structs, Enums, Classes, Arrays and anything easier than those. Having a heck of a time. I haven't touched generics or threads, but I don't think they'll be too difficult. Time will tell.



#6 Andre S.

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 01:59

I'm having a really good time with it so far. I wish I got into this much sooner.

 

Update:

I enjoy the type system. I didn't think I'd like strongly typed languages (I didn't like it in C) but I actually find it gives a certain peace of mind after a while.

To be precise, C# is statically typed whereas Python is dynamically typed, i.e., every identifier has a fixed type which can be figured out just by looking at the code, whereas in Python types are assigned and can change at run time. The terms "weak" and "strong" typing don't have well-defined meanings.

 

Glad to know you're having fun with it!



#7 spacer

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 01:59

I always recommend csharp-station to people looking to learn C#. The tutorials are well written, short enough not to feel overwhelming, but long enough to give you all of the basics that you need. And as Andre suggested, Stack Overflow is an invaluable tool. Definitely consult that site when you run into a problem.



#8 OP astropheed

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 02:04

I always recommend csharp-station to people looking to learn C#. The tutorials are well written, short enough not to feel overwhelming, but long enough to give you all of the basics that you need. And as Andre suggested, Stack Overflow is an invaluable tool. Definitely consult that site when you run into a problem.

 

Right now I'm reading "C# Yellow Book" by Rob Miles. I like the way he breaks things down with some light humor thrown in. After which I will read "C# in a nutshell" which I've ordered online and just waiting to arrive. If by the end of that 1000 page "nutshell" I need a bit more I'll take a look at your suggestion. I'm also reading "Code The Hidden Language" and "The C Programming Language" in the meantime as suggested by Joel Spolsky from Stack Exchange. 

 

I just can't take on anymore books right now lol. I will however look into it.

 

 

C# is statically typed whereas Python is dynamically typed

 

Sorry, still not very good at terminology. I'm a decent to pretty good programmer, but as I was all self taught the terminology sometimes escapes me; if I even know it at all.



#9 elenarie

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 02:30

Update:

I enjoy the type system.

 

Small note about that. The types in C# are aliases for the actual types in .NET. In that fashion, int is an alias to Int32, long to Int64, and so on. You might find it sometimes to be more appropriate to use the .NET types, particularly if you share code with non-C# .NET developers (VB.NET, F#...). They would know exactly what the types are, instead of going through C# documentation to read on what "long" means.

 

It is something so simple, and it really depends on your usage, but it is something to give a thought or two about. Personally, I've started to use the .NET types, thus I'm getting a clear distinction between types and other C# keywords (they're not with the same colour). Not that it matters that much, but still, I like my cake this way! :laugh:



#10 Andre S.

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 04:08

I personally go by what the language specification recommends:

 

Each of the predefined types is shorthand for a system-provided type. For example, the keyword int refers to the struct System.Int32. As a matter of style, use of the keyword is favored over use of the complete system type name. http://www.ecma-inte...ST/Ecma-334.pdf (page 18)


#11 OP astropheed

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 04:11

Personally, I've started to use the .NET types, thus I'm getting a clear distinction between types and other C# keywords (they're not with the same colour). Not that it matters that much, but still, I like my cake this way! :laugh:

 

I personally go by what the language specification recommends

 

 

I have to take one of your sides, and Andre is Green. If Ruby Rod taught me anything it was that it must be green. Thanks guys though, I'm glad I know it's an alias.



#12 roosevelt

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 16:02

It seems like you are well on your way with C# and the .NET framework. My story was different... I started with C# etc... but switched to Python because of its no brainer syntax. However, my days with C# is far from over and I still sometimes go back to it when I am building a web based enterprise application. .NET has some awesome libraries that makes things much faster.

 

Anyhow, I would feel really bad if you found the following tools later than now. I don't want you to spend your wheels and waste too much time because the following tools and resources made my applications look super awesome even though I was still a complete noob ;)... don't tell that to my employers now!

 

DevExpress

https://www.devexpress.com/

 

Excellent .NET controls for ASP.NET and C# desktop applications.

 

Total Training for .NET/C#

http://totaltraining...cations-bundle/

http://www.youtube.c...5CE22D4AA564934 ;)

 

Probably the best video tutorial series I came across for .NET stuff. The basic C# was well enough but the ASP.NET part also made me very comfortable toward the web.



#13 Kami-

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 11:58

<snip>

 

DevExpress

https://www.devexpress.com/

 

Excellent .NET controls for ASP.NET and C# desktop applications.

 

<snip>

 

Personally, I'd stay away from those if at all possible, far too much bloat ;)



#14 OP astropheed

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 23:12

It seems like you are well on your way with C# and the .NET framework. My story was different... I started with C# etc... but switched to Python because of its no brainer syntax. However, my days with C# is far from over and I still sometimes go back to it when I am building a web based enterprise application. .NET has some awesome libraries that makes things much faster.

 

Anyhow, I would feel really bad if you found the following tools later than now. I don't want you to spend your wheels and waste too much time because the following tools and resources made my applications look super awesome even though I was still a complete noob ;)... don't tell that to my employers now!

 

DevExpress

https://www.devexpress.com/

 

Excellent .NET controls for ASP.NET and C# desktop applications.

 

Total Training for .NET/C#

http://totaltraining...cations-bundle/

http://www.youtube.c...5CE22D4AA564934 ;)

 

Probably the best video tutorial series I came across for .NET stuff. The basic C# was well enough but the ASP.NET part also made me very comfortable toward the web.

 

Ah, thanks for that. I may at some point actually use devexpress, very pretty.

 

As for the video series, thanks but I have little interest in using ASP.NET.



#15 wrack

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 00:09

Not sure if someone has already posted this or you have already looked at but check out http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/

 

You can pretty much get any code sample by filtering it from the left.

 

For 3rd party WinForms controls, I can vouch for DevExpress controls. Been using them since 2003. Great controls and excellent support and cuts down a lot of development time.