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-   -   Best way to learn VBA. (http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/showthread.php?t=88423)

IMP 08-09-2006 10:55 PM

oops, i took the poll before i read the post. i voted help, meaning live help from coworkers.

Bama Gambler 08-09-2006 10:57 PM

Bottom Line
If you have never used Excel VBA, then you will pick up more useful stuff in a shorter amount of time with a good book on Excel VBA vs. playing around with the macro recorder. I don't care if you have never taken a programming class or have a Phd in computer science. It is the fastest way to learn the stuff you will actually use. The books are dirt cheap too. Hell, you can check one out at your local library for free.

Now if all you need is one little macro and you don't plan to do anything else with VBA, then you can most likely find a quick and dirty solution faster with the macro recorder than reading a book. Although, in this case I'd recommend just posting the question on this forum.

Griffin 1 08-09-2006 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bama Gambler (Post 1684057)
Bottom Line
If you have never used Excel VBA, then you will pick up more useful stuff in a shorter amount of time with a good book on Excel VBA vs. playing around with the macro recorder. I don't care if you have never taken a programming class or have a Phd in computer science. It is the fastest way to learn the stuff you will actually use. The books are dirt cheap too. Hell, you can check one out at your local library for free.

How about just leaving at "what works for one person may not work for another", since many people who are just as knowledgeable and skilled in VB and VBA as you would disagree?

Bama Gambler 08-10-2006 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Griffin 1 (Post 1684067)
How about just leaving at "what works for one person may not work for another", since many people who are just as knowledgeable and skilled in VB and VBA as you would disagree?

Normally I would concede that. In fact, all my "how to kick course X's ass" have that disclaimer, but in the case I feel too strongly. A good VBA book (vs. the macro recorder) is by far and away a much better place to start for someone that is looking to learn VBA. Why? Simple - there is tons of code for the reader to scan in the book. And guess what, that code is going to be a HELLUVA lot better than the code from the recorder. So if you learn by reading code, then read the code in a good book (vs. reading the code produced by the macro recorder). You will learn more and faster.

MNBridge 08-10-2006 08:24 AM

MrExcel.com is a must use site for anyone who programs in VBA.

The free advice there is unreal!

I also use the VBA recorder.
Here's the twist:
Goto the site above and say:
I used the recorder and got this, but I want to choose the column not the cell, how do I?

Within 15 minutes someone will rewrite your 'recorded' macro and give you the 'proper' coding.

P.S. Search is your friend there, I try not to bug them with stuff I can figure out on my own.

Bama Gambler 08-10-2006 08:28 AM

MNB, we can do that for you here too. :)

MNBridge 08-10-2006 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bama Gambler (Post 1684278)
MNB, we can do that for you here too. :)

Yes, I often use this site as well and cross post.

Bama Gambler 08-10-2006 08:30 AM

Btw, I want to remind everyone the question isn't what do you use to write VBA code. The question is what is the BEST way to LEARN how to use VBA?

Bama Gambler 08-10-2006 08:37 AM

To those who voted for macro recorder - have you read an Excel VBA book? If so, which book?

MNBridge 08-10-2006 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bama Gambler (Post 1684284)
Btw, I want to remind everyone the question isn't what do you use to write VBA code. The question is what is the BEST way to LEARN how to use VBA?

Here I think the question becomes, at what level?

I used to think I was pretty good at VBA. I could generally get it to do what I wanted it to.

Simulation macros
Building functions (Public) etc.

But my code would typically not be more than say 1 page and efficiency didn't matter.

-This could be done from my 9th grade level of BASIC programming and VBA recorder.

I'm quickly learning I suck at it. I have no idea why I get object errors, etc. (I really don't even know what an object is :) )

So to get to the next level I will need to get a book (or take a class) and understand the language better. I would guess 99% of all Actuaries never get to or will ever use VBA at this level.
Yet many of them do consider themselves experts.

This level would include stuff like:
- Writing a platform for outside users that is pretty and can't be wrecked. (An outside user may not even realize they are in excel)
- Building a dynamic model. (Never need to hit the 'run macro' buttons)
- etc.


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