Microsoft’s .NET platform (and the related C# programming language) were formally introduced circa 2002 and have quickly become a mainstay of modern-day software development. As mentioned in the book’s introduction, the goal of this text is twofold. The first order of business is to provide you with a deep and detailed examination of the syntax and semantics of C#. The second (equally important) order of business is to illustrate the use of numerous .NET APIs, including database access with ADO.NET and the Entity Framework (EF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), and web service and web site development using ASP.NET MVC. The last part of this book covers the newest member of the .NET family, .NET Core, which is the cross-platform version of the .NET platform. As they say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step; and with this I welcome you to Chapter 1.