Upcoming C# lecture

The semester is coming to end, which means that the season of practical lectures is upon us. This term I am giving the lecture on programming C#, which is the first time in a year.

The time from February to April at the University of Regensburg is dominated by some practical lectures. For the first time in a year I am giving my lecture on programming C#. This time I will most probably change the lecture. This change is motivated by some reasons, I want to lay out here.

  • The lecture should be less dependent on a certain UI framework (previously Windows Forms has been used).
  • Other interesting technologies like WPF, programming for the Windows Phone, ASP.NET (MVC), the Windows Store and cross-platform (Mono) should receive more attention.
  • The Task Parallel Library and important helpers like async / await should be mentioned.
  • LINQ has been excluded previously, however, LINQ is such an important technology that it has to be mentioned.
  • Extension methods and lambda expressions should be more important.
  • The lecture should not stop at C# 2, but go on up to C# 5.

That certainly sounds like more work than before. But I will try my best, to focus on the important steps. In my opinion this will be possible by leaving out .NET-Framework specific topics. It is already the case, that those topics are too much for most students. There are too many names, too many different ways for different objects to be used and less learning motivations present in this area.

The exercises will be changed as well. Right now I am not sure if I will hand out fixed exercises, or if I will use something now in form of so called "mini projects". Each mini project would be enough for one afternoon. The incentive for using a mini projects are the following:

  • By solving a problem where only the goal is given, one will learn to use the technologies and features of the language more intuitively (by thinking).
  • It is always hard to give fixed exercises without telling the students exactly what to do. Now only objects they could use, e.g. names of probably helpful classes, will be given.
  • Making artificial exercises is pointless, and the ones which result in something that could be already use (like a small paint program) have been proven to be a lot more fun.

So that's the plan. The course will begin at the 18th of March and end on the 28th of March.

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