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Where is it possible to get a real experience with C# and .net programming? Open source teams usually don't want to deal with newbies, making projects with other students is problematic too, because of the lack of volunteers.

So, what's the solution for this problem?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 31 '11 at 13:41

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6 Answers 6

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As a software developer much of your time will be spent self-teaching ('ramping up' on various technologies). The more familiar and comfortable you are with that, the better off you'll be - so the biggest thing is to just sit down and do it. Write your first Hello World in a language, figure out the basic syntax, get familiar with it's objects, go through some tutorials. Once you've grasped the basics, you'll start to get used to what common tasks you'll use to learn a new language (e.g. file read/write and regex, database connections, etc.).

On a more personal note, the biggest thing about learning a language you're unfamiliar with will be motivation. If you've got a project (for school, work, an open-source application, etc.), that will typically provide that motivation; with self-learning, you'll have to come up with something that will keep you motivated.

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To help the motivation problem, you can also specifically target projects for what you're trying to learn, unless it's a school requirement that says, "thou shalt write this in {some other language}", of course. –  Paul Mar 31 '11 at 14:27

Make your own applications is pretty much it. Alternatively, find internships, etc.

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If you wanted to take a small feature for an open source project, I'm sure they would have no problem taking it.

Otherwise you need to take on a pet project. Write your own blog. Or if you have some other interest, just start working on it. I've had dozens of pet projects, and I don't think I've finished more than 2 of them. But the experience stays with me. I've probably learned more working on projects I was interested in than I have on the job. Because when you work, you tend to be doing the same things over and over, or working on a code base that is several years old and frozen in time as far as technology goes.

Just think of something you want to work on and do it.

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I hate all the "pet projects" I have and don't finish... great experience... horrible follow thru. –  WernerCD Mar 31 '11 at 17:58

ImagineCup competition sponsored by Microsoft. Since it is sponsored by Microsoft, you will end up using .NET a lot in it. They also have specific goals for you to achieve, so you do not have to come up with something yourself. You also get the advantage of seeing how well you rank against others.

Disclaimer: I do not work for Microsoft; I participated in ImagineCup one year.

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I think one of the best ways to learn a web development framework would be to just go ahead and write your own blog/other type of site. Of course you will be needing to look up various tutorials and stuff, but the best way to learn any language/framework/api is to write up a program in it.

Then, is you want practice using external APIs, integrate twitter/facebook into it somehow.

The possibilities are endless :)

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Are there local .Net User Groups near you? Are there local groups for Web Developers that may use ASP.Net and C#? Those would be my suggestion for a way to get some experience as well as building up contacts that may be useful for finding those that use such technologies. Of course do be careful about how you approach people in such groups as they may want some form of compensation for their trouble in helping you here.

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