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Monday, July 23, 2001

(C) Sharp focus on .NET success
Sumesh Raizada

EVER since the computers were put into commercial applications in manufacturing, accounting, marketing and several other utilities, continuous efforts are being made towards improvisation in hardware as well as in the software to run those applications. Earlier, computers had mostly limited applications and languages like Cobol, Pascal, and Fortran were in use mainly for scientific and engineering applications. Later on, simpler packages like WordStar and Lotus became popular because of their adaptability in PC applications. However with the introduction of the Internet, rapid advancement in the field of software took place.

Within a short span of time, several new operating systems and specialised hardware were developed to meet the growing Web applications. Similarly, new programming languages and software were introduced, most popular among them being Java and C++.

Considering the importance of the Internet in everyday life, Microsoft has now come up with a new programming language, which has several inherent Web features. The new language is C # (pronounced C Sharp), which has been developed to work on the .Net platform created by Microsoft Corporation.


The Indian software industry that is extremely sensitive and quick to respond to any development in the worldwide software market, has taken this new language with full enthusiasm. Several companies have also begun working on applications and software around C #. Though for .NET applications, there are other languages also but the real success is expected to come from the C#, which shall play vital role in utilities like e-commerce, e-mails, mobile computing, GSM, etc.

Since the Internet-based applications are bound to gain popularity in the coming years, need for Web programmers shall correspondingly arise. Opportunities are therefore in abundance for C # professionals.

C # is an object-oriented programming language and has been specifically developed to suit the Internet-based applications. It incorporates some features of Java and therefore considered to be Microsoft’s answer to Sun Microsystems. It can also operate on operating systems other than those of Microsoft when fully functional. C# is considered to be a combination of languages like C, C++ and Visual Basic.

It is ideally suited for programmers who develop Web-based software in applications for e-commerce, Web marketing, e-mail based services, ERP, Call Centre and much more. It can be used for applications that can work on any language or operating system across the Internet. Applications written in C# are used by .NET severs, and available to users along with Microsoft Visual studio 7.0. Even though C # is a new language, it has complete access to libraries that are used by tools such as VB and visual C++.

Software developers in C# first create code in intermediary language (IL) that is compiled before execution. Execution can take place locally or on a server and is delivered as browser content.

Similar to Java, C# also has a garbage collection function and there are no templates. As C# conforms to CTS (Common type System) unlike C++, it is best suited for .NET application. C# compiler are not distributed separately and have to be downloaded from the Microsoft Web site. The SDK contains compiler, documentation, code samples and quick start pages to help the beginners. Besides, a number of Web site have also come up, which provide articles and tutorials on C#. For those who are already working on Java, C++ or visual basic, it is easy to shift over to C# and applications based on this versatile and multipurpose language.

Demand for C# professionals is bound to grow in the USA as well as other countries, including India once the .NET becomes fully functional. In India, foreseeing the future demand already several computer training institutes and software developing companies have started providing training on C#. A Chandigarh-based Softspec Software Pvt.Ltd., is providing short course of 50 hrs duration on C#. The course contents include introduction to C#, structure, basic concepts, attributes, codes, interoperability, etc. and includes extensive practical training.

Maxutil Computer Skills, an organisation-based at Lucknow formed by software experts from the USA is also conducting courses on C# based on international standards. NIIT has partnered with Microsoft in a strategic alliance to provide C# courses through its nearly 500 centres around the world. The purpose is to provide exposure on C# language and also to enable professionals to develop software and web based business applications based on it.

Almost all leading computer institutes are providing broad curriculum on C# to meet the expected growth in .NET applications within coming period of time.

Since C# is based on a number of existing programs, it is easy to understand and apply in varied applications. It utilises SOAP or Simple Object Access Protocol, which helps programmers to write software much faster. This also helps in introducing new products and services in a much shorter time and at a lesser development cost. NIIT has global presence in nearly 37 countries, including the USA, China, Japan, Europe, Middle East, etc. and has strategic alliances with several companies. Its client includes Citibank, IBM, British Airways, Sony, etc.

A trained C# professional can also be employed by Web based or e-commerce companies which want to develop .NET based applications.

Employment opportunity also exists for programmers and software developers to develop C# based software or to provide consultancy services on the projects based on its applications. They can also get an opportunity to work at any of the offices of Microsoft in India and abroad for projects undertaken by them.

Those interested in learning C# language or wants to build a career around it can also refer to some important Web sites and can collect lot of relevant information regarding educational and training resources, career opportunities, available tools, codes, tutorials, etc. One can resolve his query through e-mail or can post his resume online for possible career opportunity as a C# developer.

Some of these sites are www.c-sharpcorner.com, www.csharp-station.com, www.csharphelp.com, etc. Detailed information on books and other relevant learning material is available on these Web sites.

Those going in for a career in C# needs to be at least graduate with mathematical background, for basic applications. For specialised software applications, a professional has to be an engineering graduate or an MCA. Existing programmers in C++ or Java can also change over to this somewhat more versatile Web or e-commerce based language. Earnings for C# professionals are more or less at par with those of the other software professionals. However those who learn it now, shall have an advantage over others later on, when more applications based on C# are introduced in the market and availability of experienced professionals shall be scarce.