Hiring the next team member can be complex without clear hiring goals or detailed steps. Preparing ahead of the search makes hiring accurate, simplified, efficient, and cost-effective. We will help you learn precisely when and why you need a C# developer, how to assess C# developers, and avoid hiring unqualified candidates.
C# represents a component-oriented, type-safe, object-oriented programming language created by Anders Hejlsberg in 2000 as part of Microsoft. The first official version of C# was approved as an international standard by Ecma (ECMA-334) in 2002 and ISO/IEC (ISO/IEC 23270) in 2003.
C# is also deeply integrated with the .NET framework because all C# programs are built on .NET and run on it securely and successfully. C# is used mainly for Windows, but developers can also use it for macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Regarding the usages, C# is popular for creating desktop, web, and mobile apps, enterprise software, VR and games, cloud-based services, websites, web services, and data apps.
This language always ensures a clear program structure and reusing of code. It is also very closely similar to Java (syntax-wise) and C++. Because of the code reusability, clear structure, and easy switching between languages, C# is preferred and practical for many developers.
However, C# is not to be confused with other C languages. Here’s the correlation explained – once the C language was created (back in the 70s), what followed was the creation and releasing two more languages: C++ and C#, and they are all different and separate. But, C is a procedural language, while both C# and C++ are object-oriented languages, thus similar in this sense.
The program compiling with C# is to CLR (common language runtime), and the program compiling with C++ is to Machine Codes.
C# can be used in the following frameworks:
.NET Core – (Multi-platform supporting Linux, Mac, and Windows) mainly used for RESTful services development, enterprise systems, and web apps.
.NET Framework – (with Windows only). Similar to .NET Core, except it comes with more Windows-only features
Unity – The most frequently used game engine for developing games for Sony, PC, Xbox, and more.
.NET Standard – With a library in .NET Standard, we can use it with all apps mentioned above
Xamarin – Used for developing native mobile apps for Mac, Android, and iOS.
Basic requirements and skills of a C# developer
For the job position of C#, the developer needs to fulfill specific technical requirements to do their job well, as listed below:
➨ A degree in computer science, IT, or computer programming
➨ At least a few years of professional experience, a minimum of three
➨ Excellent proficiency in C#
- Clean writing of C# readable code
- Excellent grasp of the C# concurrency patterns
- Experience with writing C# libraries that are reusable
➨ Excellent grasp of the .NET framework and .NET Core
➨ Experience with other programming languages (Java, PHP, C, C++)
➨ Great knowledge of tools for code versioning (TFVC - Team Foundation Version Control, Mercurial, Git, and SVN)
➨ Great knowledge of OOP (object-oriented programming)
➨ Solid understanding of principles behind designing scalable apps
➨ Good expertise with database diagrams for a business process
➨ Good knowledge of CI/CD
➨ Excellent knowledge of all aspects of CLR (common language runtime)
➨ Solid grasp of architectural and design patterns
➨ Usage of unit tests and platforms for automated testing
➨ Usage of integration tests
Also preferable to have/know:
Excellent knowledge of Relational Databases (MSSQL, PostgreSQL)
Excellent grasp of the Mono framework
Solid understanding of Windows Presentation Framework
Job responsibilities of a C# developer
The C# developers should fulfill the technical requirements above and do a good job on certain regular tasks. The typical, usual responsibilities of a C# developer include the following:
✅ Create, build, and also maintain a C# code that is reliable, reusable, and efficient
✅ Make apps through the .NET framework or the .NET Core
✅ Translate app storyboards
✅ Implement use cases with Unit/Integration tests
✅ Develop various C#, .NET or .NET Core solutions
✅ Debug code
✅ Maintain great quality, responsiveness, and performance of apps
✅ Resolve .NET or .NET Core project issues
✅ Recognize bugs, technical issues, and bottlenecks, and offer solutions for them
Required soft skills
Great developers are more than just technical skills and experience in a resume. Professionalism also consists of soft skills because these skills contribute to the overall attitude and communication of the developer. When recruiters and hiring managers recognize these soft skills during the interview, they almost entirely know if that candidate is the perfect match for the job.
First of all, the developer has to be on time for the interview and suitably prepared too. This means punctuality, a neat, organized, well-equipped space, and good presentability overall.
Second, they must be proficient in English and be a good communicator. For a good understanding between both sides, the developer needs this proficiency and good listening and responding skills for a productive, pleasant conversation. This is crucial upfront because it tells you how you will regularly communicate with the developer once you hire them.
Third, a proactive and curious attitude goes a long way toward a successful collaboration in the long run. The developer should show they genuinely care for the job position and the obligations included for the overall mission and goal of the company and project too. They should also have good critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are beneficial for any challenges in the work dynamic.
Generally, certain soft skills will always stand out when choosing the right candidate, as Sefa Teyek, a Tech lead and C# developer, stated:
“The developer needs to exhibit great problem-solving abilities and critical thinking, but they should also be a great listener and communicator. They should also manage their time efficiently, which is very important for development. And, they need empathy and understanding for their client and manager.”Sefa Teyek
Required technical skills
Sefa also listed the must-haves and must-knows for C# development or the required technical skills that the candidate must have:
➡ Extensive experience with WCF (Windows Communication Foundation)/Web API to construct SOAP or RESTful web services.
➡ Advanced knowledge of OOD (object-oriented design) and OOA (object-oriented analysis)
➡ Advanced knowledge of SOLID (design principles for object-oriented development)
➡ Good knowledge of source control systems (Git, Stash)
➡ Good knowledge of databases (MSSQL, PostgreSQL, Mongo)
➡ Good knowledge of Docker (an open-source platform to develop and run apps)
Further, there are certain must-know tools and libraries that the C# developer has to be very well familiar with:
- Visual Studio
- Visual Studio Code
- Azure DevOps
- Cloud (Azure, AWS, or Google)
“And, for the C# developer to do their job well, they should also try to use different patterns and closely follow all updates as they get released, especially about .NET Core, .NET, Docker, and Azure.”Sefa Teyek
How would you differentiate between a good and a great C# developer?
Among the C# developers that are a good fit for the job, there will always be someone that stands out more from the rest.
One thing they stand out with is code quality and expertise foremost.
“The best C# developer should write clean code. No duplicate or unclean code. But, also, they should efficiently apply patterns in the project without spaghetti code.”Sefa Teyek
But other things also affect how C# developers stand out. There is more to the evaluation process, and it goes beyond just focusing on code quality. Another thing some developers stand out with is the overall communication. From a tech lead’s point of view and assessing potential hires, Sefa adds what else is crucial for a great C# developer to be shortlisted:
“Soft skills are more important for me – quickly understanding, communicating, and listening. Also, the developer should explain in detail which parts they know about C# without short memorization. They should explain their previous projects with technical details. For example, what did they use in the project? Why did they choose to use it? How did they use it? and similar.”Sefa Teyek
Interview questions to assess a C# developer
For interviewing a C# developer, we recommend the following assessment questions containing simple and advanced questions.
1. Elaborate on the entry point in the program context, location, and time.
Expected answer: The primary method of the C# Windows app or C# console is the entry point. We can see this present in every app that is executable. This entry is also a location where we start and end a program control. In any C# program we choose, we can use just one entry point per program.
2. Define C# classes.
Expected answer: There is heavy usage of classes when we use C# because this is an OOP language. The class represents a basis (or blueprint) for defining a program's structuring, managing, and storing data. The methods and properties are the essential parts of a class and are called class members. The class members can be private or public. The private class members can be accessed just the class. The public class members can be accessed from other program parts as well.
3. Explain the basic principles of OOP.
Expected answer: During OOP, a problem gets decomposed into several smaller objects (entities). What follows next is the building of functions and data for these entities. OPP is based on four main principles:
Abstraction (when we hide all data that is not relevant regarding an object)
Encapsulation (when we bundle data and methods intended for working with that specific data from one single unit.)
Inheritance (when we derive one class from another) or when a child class gets specific properties of the parent class. These inherited properties from the parent class are all the protected and public properties and methods.)
Polymorphism (simply explained, polymorphism is a property with many forms. It means access to various types of objects but through one same interface)
4. Explain the C# Access Modifiers.
Expected answer: There are four access modifiers in C#. they are keywords used for specifying a type or member accessibility that is already declared.
The four types are:
Public (we can access them wherever in the code)
Private (we can access them only when in the specific class)
Internal (we can access them when in a current class assembly point)
Protected (we can access them just through a class member and through a class that inherits from this modifier)
5. Compare Response.Redirect and Server.Transfer.
Expected answer: When we want to transfer users from one page to another, we use both Response.Redirect and Server.Transfer. With Response.Redirect, we arrive at a completely new page, the address bar is updated, and we can see this in the browser's history. With Server.Transfer, the address bar is unchanged, but we cannot hit “back” if necessary.
6. Describe C# file handling.
Expected answer: When we open, write, append, or read files, we call that file handling. Two majorly and commonly used types of file-handling operations are writing and reading. We convert the file's data into a bytes stream with these two. Then, when we use the output stream, it means we write to a specific file. When we use the input stream, we read from a specific file. We must use the namespace System.IO to access static methods intended for file handling.
7. Define LINQ.
Expected answer: LINQ stands for Language Integrated Query, a query syntax in VB.NET and C#. It is a uniform query syntax, and we use it to retrieve data from various formats and sources. We can use this integrated into C# or VB.NET to avoid databases and language mismatching. Also, we can use this to provide one query interface for various data sources.
8. Elaborate on Nullable Types.
Expected answer: Whenever we see an underlying value type, there is also an undefined value there. To represent that undefined value, we use the nullable value type. With this nullable type for value assigning, we must use either the “?” operator or the keyword Nullable. Also, If we have a VarType variable, we cannot use the nullable type.
9. Elaborate on GOD class.
Expected answer: A GOD class represents class objects that either do too much or know too much than they should. This makes the code very hard to follow and maintain. The GOD classes are intended to track ample information and effectively break down an app. Just one code change will significantly affect the rest of the class parts, similar to a domino effect. This results in a vast complex mess of code to maintain. The GOD class should be avoided when possible.
10. Describe the C# lock statement.
Expected answer: The lock statement in C# represents a lock keyword. We use the lock statement when we have some critical code section with a thread in it, and we need to ensure that no other thread enters this code section. When a code is locked, but a thread attempts to enter it, this thread will first wait, then block, but only until the release of the object. At the very start of the block, the lock keyword will call Enter, but at the end of the block, it will Exit.
11. Compare parameters ‘ref’ and ‘out.’
Expected answer: For passing arguments to methods as a reference type, we use the keyword “out” in C# to pass arguments to methods as a reference type. Generally, this is used whenever a method returns multiple values.
For passing arguments by reference, we use the keyword “ref.” Also, we use this when there are changes in a method that reflect in that specific variable, but only when the control returns to the calling method just for this argument.
12. Compare and differentiate between ‘constants’ and ‘read-only.’
Expected answer: During declaration, the const fields have to be initialized. Also, const variables are declared in methods. With static modifiers, we cannot use const fields, and the const field also represents a compile-time constant.
In comparison, the read-only fields are initialized in the constructor or at declaration and cannot be declared in methods. We can use read-only with a static modifier, and we can use them just for run-time constants.
13. Differentiate between value types and reference types.
Expected answer: On the stack, we store the value types, and on the managed heap, we store the reference types. Value types variables contain their values directly. But, reference variables have just the reference to the object location created on the managed heap.
14. Explain more about ‘protected internal.’
Expected answer: This is a member type we can access by any assembly code declaring this. Or, also we can access it from the derived class of another assembly.
15. Differentiate between ‘interface’ and ‘abstract class.’
Expected answer: A class may not only inherit from an abstract class but also multiple interfaces, but the interface inherits just from another interface. Also, the interface declares just methods and properties, but in turn, abstract class may have full-code methods and properties.
The abstract class elements may have access levels just like the normal class, but this is not the case with interfaces, and they don’t have this feature.
When we add this to the abstract class, we can automatically apply the method to all subclasses. But, when adding a method into an interface, we should implement this to every subclass and with full code.
The abstract class contains a constructor, but the interface doesn’t. While the interface is not a class, the abstract class is one of the class types.
Why do you need to hire a C# developer?
Below we list the reasons that make C# a good choice for implementing in your business. At an enterprise level, it’s an excellent choice because
➨ It is a secure language – Because C# is based on OOP, security is always ensured. The developers can easily define the structure and the type of data before they apply certain functions to this. Any app can split into smaller parts easier because OOP efficiently gets the data into objects. These smaller app parts are further managed and combined much simpler and easier. Apps produced with OOP languages are readable and easier to test.
➨ It offers an extensive choice of .NET frameworks and cross-platform runtimes – On its own, C# is limited to Windows, but with .NET, the usages broaden for more platforms. C# developers use the various runtime environment types of .NET, like Microsoft CLI and Mono.
It’s worth mentioning that there is also the benefit of interoperability, where a code in C# easily interacts with apps that developers write in F# or C++, among others. The practicality further continues with the many class libraries and numerous components that are all customizable too.
➨ It has excellent capabilities for memory access – The syntax of C# makes it a unique language because it is easy to read and incredibly understandable. Like human language syntax, this makes C# a high-level, readable programming language. Developers like working with such languages because of the syntax simplicity overall.
➨ It makes other language learning simpler – The languages of the C family are connected to C# so that if a developer masters C#, they can further understand and work with Java, C, or C++ much easier.
➨ It offers better app performance maintenance – C# has an inbuilt garbage collector, improving memory allocation management and app performance. When developers rely on automatic memory management, they no longer need to write additional, special commands for unused object claiming. They also no longer need to do memory cleansing as well.
➨ It offers detailed documentation – C# comes with extensive and detailed documentation, like .NET. Microsoft provides an upgraded, pleasant development with the improvements done over the releases of .NET over the years. This includes informative videos, tutorials, and detailed explanations and answers that make the developer’s job easier and better.
➨ It is type-safe and dynamic – With C#, the variable will stay with an unchanged type in the code, and its behavior will be upfront predictable. The result is a source code that is way less prone to errors down the road. With the dynamic typing in C#, the developer can easily catch an error occurring at runtime too.
➨ It has broad community support – Because C# is intertwined with .NET, the community of developers, in this case, doubles, thus ensuring great support, idea sharing, and collaboration.
What do you get when you use C# for your business?
Once you hire developers that will use C# in your line of work, you can expect the following:
➨ High-speed open-source apps – Thanks to all the solutions for app maintenance, and tools available with C#, the developers will work much better and be more supported toward the end goal.
➨ App safety – Since the developers don’t need to do any “type conversion” with C#, they will track data better and ensure it won’t be lost anywhere.
➨ Logical structures – C# always ensures that structures are logical and well-organized. All information will follow a clean hierarchy, resulting in a nicely-built document.
➨ Scalability and easy updating – C# is easy to use and update, and it is scalable too.
Both from a developer’s perspective and for the company’s benefits overall, using C# is incredibly beneficial, and Sefa confirms from his own experience with using this language:
“With C#, you can expect great security due to the OOP and amazing memory access capabilities. It is functional, runs on more platforms, and has many useful .NET frameworks/.NET Core. Also, the Visual Studio as a native IDE is a big plus, along with the memory allocation management and the broad support community.”Sefa Teyek
Popular brand names that rely on using C
Many famous brand names rely on using C# in their work, such as
- Stack Overflow
- Service Titan
- Alibaba Travels
- Test Gorilla
- City National Bank
Different industries and applications of C
Many industries and businesses use C# in their work, but a few stand out, as Sefa noticed:
“Foremost, we see the usage of C# in Microsoft products and collaboration SaaS platforms like Stack Overflow. C# is also used with companies for review platforms, tourism and hospitality applications, finances, and the banking industry.”Sefa Teyek
Possible challenges when hiring a C# developer
The hiring process of developers, like any other hiring process, comes with its potential challenges. These challenges may differ slightly from one industry to another, but they overlap in most cases, especially in IT.
Initially, there may be a vast pool of developers and job seekers to choose from, but mostly filled with unqualified candidates. This may make your search difficult, considering the number of applicants and finding out they don’t all fit your criteria for the job.
Another scenario is a large jobseekers pool but only a few well-qualified C# developers. In such a scenario, you should expect the process to take longer to complete fully with the hiring because of a slower interviewing pace. Remember that the fewer well-qualified developers there are, the chance of them asking for a higher salary is a possibility. Scarce skills or skills in demand usually go hand in hand with higher compensation due to the high demand and lack of qualified developers.
Regarding expenses, recruitment costs are something to keep a close eye on. If you rely on in-house support and hiring methods, expect this process to be much longer than other hiring models. A more prolonged recruitment and interviewing process also costs more money, and even despite this, the ideal outcome still needs to be fully guaranteed.
While speaking of costs, don’t forget that competitors might offer more than what you provide for the job. Along with salary, they might offer more perks and benefits to make the candidate more attracted to their ad. Try to be as informed as possible about the job market and hiring of C# developers – research and browse professional platforms and professional social media to discover trends and hiring methods of others as much as you can.
The good news is that a multisolution covers all the challenges listed here. It’s companies for staffing and distributed team formation that ensure you save time, and money, without deducting from the quality of the development you get.
When you’re better informed about the hiring process of a C# developer, you’ll prepare much better for any upcoming challenges that are always expected during recruitment and hiring. You’ll also know what to expect when you finally hire a C# developer – both for the team and company benefits in the long run.
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Why use C#?
C# (C Sharp) is a general-purpose programming language similar to Java. Its distinctive features are type-safety that reduces the number of errors in code; support of modern features like garbage collection, automatic memory management, and debugging tools, that simplify developers’ work; interoperability that makes C# compatible with other languages; and high performance that makes it a good choice for resource-heavy software.
What is C# used for?
Initially, C# was meant for Windows desktop applications development. Now, it’s often used in video games and VR apps built with the Unity game engine. In mobile development, C# is used to create cross-platform apps with the Xamarin framework. Apart from that, internal enterprise software is often written using C#.
Why is C# so popular?
C# is in the top five programming languages in the TIOBE index. It gained popularity thanks to the strong support from Windows and the active community committed to the continuous innovation and introduction of new features. Being used in trending domains of the game and VR development, C# will continue to grow in popularity.
What language is C# based on?
C# belongs to the C family of languages. Its syntax is close to C/C++. On the feature level, it’s very similar to Java.
Do you need .NET for C#?
C# was initially created at Microsoft as a .NET compatible language to create apps that run in the .NET ecosystem. C# code doesn’t compile to native code and requires .NET runtime to get executed.
Is C# good for web development?
As a programming language, C# is one of the more popular options for web development, being a Microsoft programming language and a part of the framework .NET, which supports more than 45 programming languages.
Certain features make C# suitable for web development because it is object-oriented and straightforward. With the purpose of CLI (Common Language Infrastructure), it consists of a code that you can execute efficiently. It also offers a suitable runtime environment that allows for various wireframes and architectures.
A developer can use C# for game development (most popular usage), backend services, web development, and Windows applications. Still, developers like it because it is a user-friendly program and not dependent on the computer's hardware. For a web developer, it is also crucial that C# allows them to locate errors on time due to the easy and early check of the code through the framework.
With the usage of C#, perks are coming along, easing up the web development process, such as broad functionality features, a rich library, good integration capabilities, a flexible and accessible system, and easy managing of native code blocks.
As a popular app-creation tool, C# is mostly a fantastic option for developers interested in game development and virtual reality, among other things in the development context.
Is C# similar to Java?
C# is used to create GUI-based, web-based desktop applications, web services, and web applications at a large scale and is majorly famous for game development. On the other hand, developers use Java for building applications for multiple platforms—tablets, mobile phones, televisions, desktops, servers, and web browsers.
The mutual connection point between C# and Java is that both are object-oriented languages, and their mutual influence is the programming language C++. Both C# and Java have similar features and syntax, but C# stands out with a more significant number of features since it is pretty new, released in 2000, compared to Java, released in 1995.
A similarity they also share is the dependence on a third-party framework and reusable components. Still, a difference between the two is that C# has fewer frameworks than Java and is less portable.
Additionally, if a developer decides to build an application with one of these two languages, in that case, it means the developer can create the same application with the unchosen language—affirming a certain similarity regarding usability.
These two languages differentiate when compared, of course, and anyone with expertise will see the differences and various purposes of the two, even with the overlapping points mutually.
Can C# be used for AI?
In mentions of programming languages that are the best for AI development, C# appears occasionally but less frequently than Java or Python. On the other hand, Python is great for AI, with special libraries dedicated to this exact purpose, compared to C#. Despite this fact, C# looks promising with its steady pace towards AI in general and the rise of popularity for this usage.
But at the same time, a developer can use C# fully for AI or for creating learning models with .NET by Microsoft. Yes, an expert can use C# to write AI, but preferably if that expert is not new to coding and has some medium or advanced expertise. For AI applications, now Microsoft is using C# too. But how is this done? All .NET developers have multiple options for incorporating AI into their apps through pre-built tools, CNTK (Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit), Tensor, and Azure Machine Learning.
To sum up the information, C# seems to be suitable for AI if you place gaming into the AI category, so if you are familiar with the gaming development or interested in it, and the gaming engine Unity too, you should be good with using C# in this context.