I’m looking at taking an online course in .NET, preferably C#, preferably one using SharpDevelop, or at least not requiring Microsoft Visual Studio.
Has anyone tried one of these before? Did it work for you? Any recommendations on where to sign up? My reasons for C# and .NET are that they’re fairly marketable skills, and the company I work for is tending in that direction. The online thing I figure would be more time flexible that an actual class at the local college or university. And the SharpDevelop thing 'cause I’m cheap and don’t want to lay out the cash for tools if I don’t really need to.
I feel I could teach myself to program in the language of my choice (I have some experience with C++ already), but I lack any real problems to tackle. It is like I want to learn how to use this hammer, but I don’t really have any nails.
So is there a list somewhere with various programming exercises I could work on? Anybody have any ideas I could try?
As Dervorin mentioned, there’s a free version of Visual Studio. I’d strongly suggest going with that; knowing the ins and outs of Visual Studio is a necessity for a C#/ASP.NET developer IMO. Spending time learning some third-party IDE that most .NET shops have never heard of is a waste of time.
Right now I think the .NET API, language, and files involved are of more use. I have Visual Studio at the office, but the IDE isn’t super-important to me. If you can’t code SQL given pgadmin instead of Query Analyzer, you probably weren’t that great to start.
To take DrCube’s analogy further, I don’t need a hardware store and a stack of blueprints, I want a few bits of plywood, a handful of nails and a brochure on how to build a birdhouse.
The Universidad de Valladolid has a large problem set, and accepts a wide variety of code languages for submission. There are some simple problems there.
If you know it already, then fine, use what you want. Though I still don’t understand why you wouldn’t use the free version.
The IDE might not be super-important to you, but were I hiring a .NET coder, I would expect them to be able to:
Create a new project of the major types (web, Windows, dll, etc)
Know how to use the debugger, including the not-so-obvious features (attaching to a running process, set up remote debugging if needed, be able to check memory, view the call stack, etc)
Know how to use the integrated source control
Know how to change project settings (which debugger to use, change between debug and release builds, set up dependencies in non-default directories, etc)
and that’s just off the top of my head. Like I said, if you know that, fine. But if you don’t, I’d be wary of your C#/.NET knowledge. I just can’t think of a good reason not to use Visual Studio, unless you are only interested in C# as a hobby and really don’t care if you’re marketable or not.