Begin to Code with C#

Microsoft Press
Rob Miles  
Microsoft Press
Total pages
September 2016
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Begin to Code with C#


Microsoft has completely reinvented the beginning programmer's tutorial, reflecting deep research into how today's beginners learn, and why other books fall short. Begin to Code with C# is packed with innovations, starting with its "Snaps" library of pre-built operations. It's full of "Make Something Happen" projects that let learners practice and build skills as they create their own programs. Begin to Code with C# balances playful exposition and illustration of programming fundamentals with the readers own creative input. This full-color book will inspire students to start solving problems and creating programs with code, even if they have absolutely no programming experience.


  • First in Microsoft's brand new series of programming books designed from the ground up to empower today's beginners
  • The first beginner's guide to give you creative, hands-on input
  • Packed with "Make Something Happen" exercises to show off growing skills and help students build original code of their own
  • Reflects deep analysis of what hasn't worked in other beginner's guides, and innovative thinking about how to teach programming more effectively

Table of Contents



Part 1:   Programming fundamentals

1 Starting out  

Building a place to work   

Getting the tools and demos   

Using the tools  

What you have learned  


2 What is programming?  

What makes a programmer?   

Programming and party planning

Computers as data processors   

Data and information   

What you have learned  


3 Writing programs

C# program structure   

Identify resources  

Start a class definition  

Declare the StartProgram method  

Set the title and display a message   

Extra Snaps  

Creating new program files   

Extra Snaps     

Creating your own colors

What you have learned  


4 Working with data in a program   

Starting with variables

Using a variable in a program  

Working with numbers 

Working with different types of data   

Whole numbers and real numbers in programs

Extra Snaps  

What you have learned  


5 Making decisions in a program   

Understanding the Boolean type   

Using if constructions and operators   

Creating blocks of statements   

Creating complex conditions using logical operators   

Adding comments to make a program clearer  

Funfair rides and programs   

Working with program assets

What you have learned  


6 Repeating actions with loops  

Using a loop to make a pizza picker

Performing input validation with a while loop  

Using Visual Studio to follow the execution of your programs

Counting in a loop to make a times-table tutor  

Using a for loop construction

Breaking out of loops

Going back to the top of a loop by using continue

Extra Snaps  

What you have learned  

7 Using arrays  

Have an ice cream  

Making an array

Multiple dimensions in arrays   

Using arrays as lookup tables  

What you have learned  


Part 2: Advanced programming

8 Using methods to simplify programs  

What makes a method? 

Making a tiny contacts app   

Adding IntelliSense comments to your methods 

What you have learned


9 Creating structured data types   

Storing music notes by using a structure

Objects and responsibilities: Making a SongNote play itself

Making a drawing program with Snaps  

Creating enumerated types   

Making decisions with the switch construction  

Extra Snaps  

What you have learned  


10 Classes and references

Making a time tracker   

Structures and classes  

From arrays to lists

Storing data using JSON

Fetching data using XML   

What you have learned  


11 Making solutions with objects

Creating objects with integrity

Managing the object construction process  

Saving drawings in files  

What you have learned  

Part 3:   Making games

12 What makes a game?

Creating a video game  

What you have learned  


13 Creating gameplay   

Creating a player-controlled paddle  

Adding sound to games 

Displaying text in a game  

What you have learned  


14 Games and object hierarchies  

Games and objects: Space Rockets in Space

Designing a class hierarchy

What you have learned  

15 Games and software components   

Games and objects   

What you have learned  



Rob Miles has spent more than thirty years teaching programming at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom. He’s a Microsoft MVP, with a passion for programming, C#, and creating new things. If he had any spare time, he’d spend it writing even more code. He loves making programs and then running them to see what happens. He reckons that programming is the most creative thing you can learn how to do. He also reckons that in a battle between us and the Martians, we’d win, because we’ve got Visual Studio and they don’t–and there isn’t anything better in the universe for building software.

He claims to know a lot of really good jokes, but nobody has ever heard him tell one. If you want an insight into the Wacky World™ of Rob Miles, you can read his blog at and follow him on Twitter via @RobMiles.