I’m going to be starting a new series of posts, documenting my progress as I try to teach myself VBA for Excel via the vast amount of resources on the internet.
Why Bother Writing Any of This Down?
To see how my skills and knowledge have improved over time (if at all). I’d like to see if there are any changes to my thought processes and mindset, if I would approach a problem any differently as time progresses. I also want a place that I can easily reference any notes I’ve written about the useful things that I’ve learned, any useful code snippets that I find or create, as well as any personal projects that I’ve worked on. Working on this series also makes it less likely for me to give up on learning as well as provide a reason for me to continually push myself in figuring out and understanding new techniques. Since I’m going to be self-taught (using video and text resources only), writing things down would help provide some sort of structure and hopefully grant some insight into the learning process that I can make use of when learning other programing languages in the future (like Python and R, both of which are on my list of languages to learn).
Why Do I Want to Learn VBA?
I want to improve my Excel skills, mostly so I can land myself a better job. The current end goal is to work as a Data Analyst. I understand that the tools used by Data Analysts vary from company to company and that a lot of places don’t use Excel as their primary means of data manipulation/analysis, but some places do and VBA feels like an easy introduction to programming. I’ve also read in a few places (Reddit mostly) that knowing VBA was a useful skill to have because it allows for easily automation of repetitive tasks. Any company that I go work for will likely have Excel on their computers so I don’t have to get permission to install a bunch of other programs for me to write scripts. VBA will also have the most immediate impact/application in my life as I can start applying what I’ve learned to my current work place right away. Even if I’m not able to implement as much automation as I would like, this (and programming in general) seems like a fun thing to get into, so there’s that.
When Will I Start and How Will I Learn?
I actually started learning late November 2015, but didn’t decide to start documenting anything until now. I’ve picked it up and put it down a few times, mainly due to how unexpectedly busy my work life can get. I’ve taken a few breaks from learning here and there, but I’ve mostly kept up with it. The current plan is to spend at least an hour a day working on a project of my own or learning something new. My first few posts of this series will be about things that I’ve learned and projects that I’ve worked on at the beginning of my journey so I can have as complete of a progression record as possible.
I expect most (if not all) of my learning to come from the internet. I started with the first twenty videos or so of the WiseOwl Excel VBA Introduction series to learn syntax, how to use control structures, and how programming works in general. From there, I transitioned into Googling my issues and trying to find people who have ran into similar problems and what their problems were (a lot of time was spent on Stack Overflow). I plan on working through the rest of the series and then start reading John Walkenbach’s Excel VBA Programming for Dummies.
Let’s see how this goes!