Illustrated infographic "All the Tones of C Programming Languages" with data and history on C, C#, and C++.

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To the uninitiated, the programming languages C, C++, and C# might sound like they’re the same. But to those in the know, each conjures different applications and contexts. Follow along to learn more about how each tone of C has its own unique melody. Understanding these differences will improve your programming knowledge and use of expanding technologies, which gives you greater opportunities to enter new enterprises.

The Scale

C, C++, and C# not only have their own functions, but their relative usefulness to developers too.

C C++ C#
Pronunciation “See” “See-Plus-Plus” “See-Sharp”
Primary Function System programming (2) Software development (3) Web app development (2)
Can create Operating systems, low-level computing aspects, legacy programs (4)


iOS, Android, and Windows Phone kernals (9)

Industrial programs, financial software, video games, transportation systems, manufacturing systems (5) Windows client apps, XML web services, distributed components, client-server, database apps (2)
Use by Developers (1) 23% 25.4% 34.4%
Loved by Developers (1) N/A 46.7% 60.4%
Connected Technologies (1) C++, Assembly



C, Assembly


Unreal Engine, Mozilla Firefox & Mozilla Thunderbird (10)

Xamarin, SQL Server, Azure, Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio, .NET Core, Windows Desktop or Server, VB.NET


While the developments of C, C++, and C# are all somewhat interrelated, they nevertheless represent distinct advancements.

  • 1969: C invented by Dennis Ritchie for system programming (2)
  • 1979: C++ invented as “C with Classes” by Bjarne Stroustrup for software development (3)
  • 1989: C standardized (6)
  • 1998: C++ standardized (2)
  • 1999: C#, a hybrid of C and C++, invented as “C-like Object Oriented Language (COOL)” by Anders Hejlsberg for developing web apps (2)
  • 2000: C# finalized and renamed (2)
  • 2002: C# standardized (7)
  • Today: C# now at version 7.3 (8)

Playing in C#

Learning C# in particular comes with its own unique advantages. C# is an object-oriented language that uses the .NET framework. It runs natively on Windows, Mac, and Linux. (2)

C# is: (2)

  • Third most-popular object-oriented language
  • Top 10 most-loved language
  • Backed by Microsoft, which includes:
    • Visual Studio with free licenses
    • .NET with open source

Following version 4, C# features: (2)

  • Multiple inheritance from classes
  • Declaring objects on the stack
  • Deterministic destruction
  • Allows for default arguments to function as parameters

Finding Your Harmony

In a survey of more than 100,000 developers: (1)

  • 33% learned to code in the last 5 years
  • 30% learned in the last 2 years
  • 34.4% used C#

Learning any computer programming language comes with benefits, but it’s evident that C# is one of the most popular programming languages in use today. It is widely applicable in a variety of different contexts. Seasoned developers tell new programming students that C# is an incredibly useful language capable of: (2)

  • Garbage collection
  • Type safety
  • Simplified type declarations
  • Versioning
  • Scalability support

These features make programming applications and software in C# faster and easier.

Beginning your career as a developer by learning this versatile and in-demand language will undoubtedly set you off on the right foot. Start your journey with The Software Guild’s .NET/C# bootcamp.

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