Hi everyone,

At my new workplace, I've been learning and making a few scripts/macros in VBA to help out with work processes and so forth. Nothing major, but I've taken an interest in it and really want to take it a step further. A lot of this might be amateur-ish to many of you.

I guess I have two questions:

1) My programming is currently in VBA. I know things are different depending on the language used, but are there any general tips and DO's and DO NOT's that would help someone somewhat new at this? Example: I do comment often, but am not sure of certain conventions, like what makes a useful comment, or how to name functions/methods, etc. Things like that.

Are there language-independant guides to help me develop the right habits from the start?

2) Where do I go from here? I know VBA is like, novice-territory (at least where I'm dabbling in). My boss has mentioned to the extent that we use VBA, we would benefit from moving to something like C# (with Visual Studio as the IDE there), as compiling code+program execution time would decrease significantly.

We do a lot of things in Excel, and I've heard you can use datasheets or something like that to emulate that sort of UI in C#/Visual Studio.

Do I start looking at Visual Studio? I mean, who hasn't dabbled in the idea of making a quick RAD app for a smartphone these days? That would also be neat to look into. Maybe I'm 5 steps ahead of where I should be, but any insight would be helpful at this point.

My experience:

  • I did take some programming courses a fair time ago, covering C++ and Java. I know some basic concepts, but it has been some time.

  • I love design work and have put what little I know into websites in the past. A lot of it these days is customizing existing CMS templates with some code and Photostop (for aesthetics).

well welcome to the coding world. First of all I would recommend you take courses on algorithms and flowcharts. This is the fundamentals of programming. A good algorithm makes a software development cycle easy. Most people who learn programming are too either and neglect the fundamentals. Make sure you dont. But I not saying you should stop your vb coding. But you later go fully into c sharp or java. It all depends on your interest you gain in the language.

Also double-checking the level of your problem solving and analytical skills can't be a bad idea.

First of all I would recommend you take courses on algorithms and flowcharts

Yes, flowcharts and other such diagrams are damned useful. Being able to code to fix a problem is just fine, but communicating or documenting the method by which you did so or how to prevent similar problems to non-coders are situations where diagrams are damned useful.
On top of that, sometimes you've written a program to solve a problem, but it's not doing what it should. This happens to me sometimes when writing my OS, and being able to get out pen and paper and collaborate with my programming mates, with fresh minds, who don't know Assembly is just so useful.