With dozens of “C” family program languages in existence, it’s easy to confuse them with each other when first learning to program. When it comes to comparing C# to C, it’s important to remember that each is a language useful in its own regard, and each has strengths over the other depending on the needs of the programmer. One isn’t necessarily better than the other; programmers use both C and C# for various tasks to meet today’s programming needs.

What are C# and C?

Let’s begin with C#. Pronounced “See sharp,” it is a widely used coding language that allows software developers to create secure and user-friendly applications that run on the .NET Framework. C# is used to create Windows client applications, XML Web services, distributed components, client-server and database applications and more.

The language is actually a hybrid taken from C and C++. Comparable to Java, C# is an object-based language that is designed to help coders improve productivity when developing web applications. Seasoned programmers will tell new programming students that C# is an incredibly useful language capable of garbage collection, type safety, simplified type declarations, versioning and scalability support. These features make arriving at solutions to application and software issues faster and easier.

History of C#

A man named Anders Hejlsberg is largely credited for the creation of C#. In 1999, he built a team to develop a new language they initially named “Cool.” The project was finalized and announced in July 2000 at the Professional Developers Conference, and the language was renamed C#.

C is also a popular programming language used to create computer programs. It is considered a foundational language that demands the coder understand the full stack of its technology. Learning C will guarantee a much better understanding of computers for new programmers.

C is lauded by programmers around the globe, because it is efficient and allows coders a great deal of control. It is a compiled language, meaning that once a program is written in C, it must be run through a C compiler in order for the computer to execute the commands of the program. Its functionality is vast — the language is used to create everything from video games and hardware programming to embedded systems and operating systems.

History of C

C’s origin is closely linked to the development of the Unix operating system. A man named Dennis Ritchie designed C over the course of four years, beginning in 1969. Twenty years later, C was standardized by the American National Standards Institute, and then by the International Organization for Standardization.

A new student of programming will learn that both C# and C are worthwhile languages to add to their range of coding skills. Employers within the computer programming industry list these two languages as two of the most valuable a new developer or programmer can know. The best way to go about learning these languages is to begin with C. C#, as a hybrid of C and C++, will come much easier if a programmer first knows and can use C.