For many programmers, generics will be an entirely new language feature. As such, it is important to establish a foundation of concepts that will clarify the role and significance of generics in the overall scheme of the .NET platform. This chapter provides this fundamental, conceptual view of generics that should provide you with a solid base of ideas that can be built upon in the chapters that follow. Along the way, you'll get the opportunity build your first generic types and get some exposure to the basic mechanics of generic types. This chapter also introduces a set of new terms that are used when referring to common generic concepts. You'll need to have a clear understanding of these terms because they are used throughout the book. Naturally, if you're already comfortable with the basics of generics, you may want to skip over this chapter.