It’s a great way to start a new year: the PYPL index has named C# the language of the year . This index focuses on the leading indicator of learning a language. It’s nice to see that there’s been increased interest in over the past year. In the spirit of learning something new, here’s what we suggest you check out if you’re looking to learn a new trick.

  1. Learn to program with Async. Async is finally unleashing the power of multicore hardware. Where I/O is involved, we expect almost all new platform APIs to be exposed as async versions. This new language capability ensures that you can quickly build highly scalable and highly responsive apps for the cloud and devices.
  2. Learn to build a Store App. All of our favorite Windows Store apps were written with C# – yours can be too . Many of the new Windows APIs are based on WinRT , which means that all of these new APIs are amazing with C#. To top it off, you can use XAML or DirectX .
  3. Learn to build (or use) cross-platform libraries. .NET is now integral to every platform builds. And with so many platforms to target, we’ve made it easy to write portable libraries so you can distribute your binary once for all of them. Many of these libraries are available on NuGet such as Json.NET . Not to mention that your C# code also works on billions of non- devices thanks to tools from Xamarin .
  4. Learn about the performance advantages of .NET. One of the best aspects of programming with C# is that your apps get faster by just upgrading to the latest version of Windows or .NET Framework. With Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 and .NET Framework 4.5 your app can see significant improvements in garbage collection and startup time . Bing saw some amazing performance wins from .NET too.
  5. Learn about cool libraries that build on top of C#. What makes C# so cool is that our innovations in the language have inspired new programming patterns and libraries. LINQ is awesome and it’s led to the Reactive Extensions (Rx) . Just spend some time understanding how to use Rx and you’ll take your programming game to a new level.

What new C# skill would you recommend everyone learn? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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C# is the “Language of the Year”