Course Outline for C# Programming Fundamentals

Week 1

Lesson 1- Computer Basics and the History of Programming

C# is a fantastic programming language that combines the best parts of C++, Java, and Visual Basic all into one language. In our first lesson, you'll get an idea of where we've come from by taking a look at a brief history of programming languages. We'll then explore the .NET framework and get a better feeling for what makes C# so special.

Lesson 2- The C# Compiler and Your First C# Program

Armed with some background, you'll now proceed to installing the C# compiler, and then we'll write, compile, and run our first C# program. Although we'll start with a small program, you'll see that even small C# programs can be a bit tricky. Today's lesson gives you a great opportunity to practice working with the compiler, something that you'll be using for the remainder of the course.

Week 2

Lesson 3- Data Types and Mathematical Operators

Now that you're comfortable with compiling and running simple programs, we can take a look at math. Don't worry, we won't be running calculations for launching the Space Shuttle. But you will be learning about the basic math operators that C# provides. And because we'll need some place to save the results of our calculations, we'll also talk about variables and their data types.

Lesson 4- Value Returning Methods

Today's lesson is our first step into modular programming with methods. Methods are a helpful tool because they allow us to break up big programs into smaller, more manageable parts. We'll start by looking at a few built-in methods that are available to us to use in our programs. But then you'll learn how to write your own methods and call them in your program. Hopefully you'll agree that this way of programming makes it easier to tackle large problems.

Week 3

Lesson 5- Void Methods and Overloading

In today's lesson, we'll continue building on the concept of methods by discussing methods that don't return any value. While these methods may not seem as important, they still help in making your program more modular. We'll also talk about method overloading, which can help improve the readability of your programs by reusing method names within the same code file.

Lesson 6- The <em>if</em> Selection Structure

By this point in the course, you'll be comfortable doing the basics of C#: working with variables, math, and methods. So now we'll turn our attention to the first programming structure: decisions. In this lesson, you'll learn about the if statement and how you can use it to let the computer choose which set of statements to execute based on some condition.

Week 4

Lesson 7- More About the Selection Structure

We'll continue our investigation of the decision structure in today's lesson by taking a look at more complex if statements. You'll also learn how to use the switch statement to make decisions in your programs as well. This ability to have multiple programming structures is sort of like having another tool in your tool belt. Sometimes a job is far easier to do if you just use the right tool. You may not always need to use every tool, but it's good to know what tools are there and how to use them. You'll find the same is true in programming.

Lesson 8- The Repetition Structure

Keeping with the theme of programming structures, we'll now take a look at the repetition structure. Just as there were different ways to implement the decision structure, there are a couple of ways to work with loops. Specifically in this lesson, we'll talk about the while loop, the for loop, and the do loop. Each structure works the same in that they allow you to repeat statements, but each one is a little different. Here you'll learn their differences and add to the tools in your tool belt.

Week 5

Lesson 9- Arrays

One of the most useful applications of loops is arrays, so it makes sense for us to build on your knowledge of loops and explore array variables in this lesson. You'll learn how to create and access array variables. We'll also see how to work with arrays and methods.

Lesson 10- Classes

Object-oriented programming is a big topic, and C# is an object-oriented language. We'll spend some time in this lesson going over exactly what an object is and how it relates to a class. Then you'll write a class that will store the data necessary to keep track of the time. Since you're writing this class, you'll have the ability to take this code and add it to any program that needs to store information about the time, such as appointment books and scheduling programs.

Week 6

Lesson 11- Exceptions and Files

Obviously, computer programs are big time savers and really help us to automate things. But in order for a program to be really useful, it needs to be able to save data for use later. That's why we'll go over data files in this lesson. Today, you'll learn how to read from and write to external data files so you can store your user data forever.

Lesson 12- Graphical User Interfaces

For our final lesson, we'll look at programs with a Graphical User Interface (GUI). While C# has an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that gives you the ability to easily create GUI applications, the code that's generated is buried deep in the file structure. So to show you that there's no magic going on, today I'll show you how to build your own GUI without an IDE. By doing this, you'll be far better prepared for working with IDEs in the future because you'll know exactly what's going on behind the scenes.

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‘Being a COBOL programmer, I got the impression that C# is a complicated, intimidating programming language. But when I took this course, my impression has totally changed.’

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