Common Sense Software Engineering: Letter to a Young Woman (Part III)

Author Notes:

This is the third and final part of a three-part series.   It is a huge piece of writing.  It resulted from a conversation I had with a young woman who showed interest in learning how to program and possibly enter the IT profession.  It is also an attempt to bring the realities of the Information Technology profession as it is today into perspective so that a young woman interested in this field can make informed choices as to how she may be able to enter the field either professionally or for self-interest.

Those who read this piece and would like to pursue further study are more than welcome to contact me with their questions and requests for assistance at

I will do everything I can to help you on this long but potentially exciting journey while also offering advice on how to avoid the most serious pitfalls you may encounter.

In addition, since this is such a long piece, it is also available in downloadable PDF form at the following address…!AnW5gyh0E3V-g2bQ4UCq4Df-V2tf


Since this paper was written, Microsoft has released its latest version of Visual Studio, Visual Studio 2017.  This replaces Visual Studio 2015, which has been noted throughout this paper.  Please note that both Visual Studio 2015 and 2017 are completely compatible with each other regarding development processes.  As a result, notes pertaining to Visual Studio 2015 will be just as applicable to Visual Studio 2017 and visa versa.

If you want to download the installation for Visual Studio 2017, please use the following link…

Select the Community Edition (Free Download)


Requirements for Installing Visual Studio 2015 & the .NET Framework

The minimum requirements for installing Visual Studio 2015 and the .NET Framework is a machine running Windows 7/Service Pack 1. If you have a brand new machine you will most likely have Windows 10 on it, which is fine.

Installing Visual Studio & the .NET Framework

With a single installation package you can install both the Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition and the .NET Framework Version 4.6. Depending on the deployment of the Visual Studio Community Edition that you download you may get version 4.6, 4.6.1, or 4.6.2 of the .NET Framework. All of these latest frameworks are capable of supporting any application type you wish to create.

To get the download package, go to the following site address…

On this web page you will see a button entitled, “Download”. This will bring you to a secondary page where you will be provided with the option to download the file labeled, “vs_community.exe” or the one labeled, “VS2015.com_enu.iso”.

The “vs_community.exe” file will allow you to install the package over the web after you have saved the file to a selected directory on your computer.

The “VS2015.com_enu.iso” file is the complete package in downloadable form. Like an “exe” file, the “iso” file can also be launched by double-clicking on it. However, this file will immediately request that you burn it to a DVD since “iso” files cannot be directly executed.

The download page(s) will also provide you with detailed descriptions for either type of installation package.

Either installation method will provide you with all the tools you may require to study and learn C# and application development.

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