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Introduction

Introduction

Every so often in the programming world, a new idea is introduced that threatens to change everything. Although this is often a matter of hyperbole, the reality is that the world of programming changes with dizzying speed. If it is difficult for practicing programmers to stay current with the latest language developments, it might seem impossible for beginning programmers to work with the latest and most powerful languages.

Microsoft promises a groundbreaking development with the introduction of the .NET architecture. This programming environment clearly has the potential to be a major player in the programming universe. The .NET framework promises all kinds of things that advanced programmers have been clamoring for, such as a simplification of the C++ syntax, an easy-to-use object model, and integration of databases into programming languages. However, the languages of the .NET framework are not only for advanced programmers. Many of the innovations of C# make it an ideal starting place for beginning programmers. C# is much safer and simpler to start with than many of the other variations of C, and it has a visual interface and powerful editor that provide tons of help. The features that make C# a more advanced language often make it simpler to learn, not more complex.

I will show you some serious programming, but you’re going to have a lot of fun along the way. C# is a powerful, professional language, but learning it doesn’t have to be boring. I’ll teach you to program the same way that I learned–by writing games.

Games are a practical, yet fun way to learn how to program, because they are motivating and interesting. Games also enable you to explore some fascinating concepts that you don’t always see in other forms of programming.

Even though you will be writing a lot of games, I’ll be sure to show you a lot of more serious programming concepts along the way. You’ll learn how each of the concepts can be applied to real-world programming.

The best way to learn programming is to write programs. You shouldn’t simply read this book; you should also use your computer. Look at the source code from the CD-ROM. Change the code around. Kick the tires a little bit. Try the challenges I give you at the end of each chapter. Use the examples to spark your interest and write something all your own.

If you do these things, I promise you that by the end of the book, you’ll know a lot about the process of programming. You’ll also have a firm foundation of the .NET framework and the C# language.

I had a lot of fun writing this book, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you when you succeed, so turn the page and get started!

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