In This Chapter
Surveying the available versions
Installing Visual Studio
Understanding projects and solutions
Exploring the different types of projects
Much that you most likely have discovered about C# can be run using a command prompt and
cs.exe. Fact is, that's a less-than-wonderful way to program. It's unforgiving and slow, and it's hard to remember the specifics of the language. An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a program that provides a platform for development. It helps make development easier.
Programmers who are used to starting with a blank screen and a command line often dismiss an IDE as a slow, bogged-down waste of time. However, I have never failed to see any of those coders change their tune after working in Visual Studio. It's quick, easy to use, agile, and smart.
It's true that you don't have to use an IDE to program, but if you're going to use one, it should be Visual Studio. It was purposely built to write C# code, and it's made to construct Windows programs. (Sales pitch over — Microsoft, I'll take my 20 bucks now.)
Seriously, ever since I did a deep dive to write Effective Visual Studio .NET, I have been a fan of Visual Studio. It truly makes writing software easier. It doesn't replace knowing the language or understanding object-oriented programming or the .NET Framework, but it sure makes life a little smoother.
This chapter introduces you to the various versions of Visual Studio and discusses the C# projects ...