LESSON FIVE: Where To Go From Here

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Building On Your Foundation

Hopefully after reading the previous lessons I've provided you with enough information to give you a good start in taming the beast that is VBA.  I threw this last lesson into the mix with the hope of giving you some solid resources that you can use as you continue to learn how to write VBA code.  

Challenge Yourself!

The number one reason I have the knowledge I do about Microsoft Office is because I kept challenging myself on a regular basis.  I have taught so many people who had took a few of my classes and got absolutely no where afterwards because they weren't putting into practice what they had learned.  The BEST way to learn this stuff is to keep using it on a regular basis.  I can guarantee that if you use Excel that there are literally hundreds of automating macros that you could create to make your work faster and more accurate.  I have a co-worker that I have written a bunch of VBA procedures for and jokingly says that pretty soon all he is going to have to do in Excel is press a bunch of buttons that run macros and his work for the day will be done in 15 minutes.  The real funny thing is that through VBA I have saved him hours of manual work per day that he spent copying & pasting, reformatting, and double checking his numbers.  This is the power of Visual Basic for Applications and why knowing how to use it can almost guarantee you success in the future!

Resources On The Web

The following resources are sites that I used on a daily basis for education, inspiration, and troubleshooting while teaching myself Visual Basic for Applications.  Hopefully this list will save you the time  and effort of digging through the web to find your answers.

Google - Google is my go to search engine and I find that its results provide the best sites to answer my questions.  When I search for a question, I always begin my search by typing in "VBA Excel" or "VBA PowerPoint".  I have found that by starting your Google search with the words VBA and the program you are trying to target,  you can usually find the answer you are looking for within the first couple of results.

Chandoo.org - This is one of my favorite Excel blogs currently.  Chandoo is a very talented guy who knows so much about Excel and also has such a great sense of design.  His blog has taught me so many techniques and also has given me a lot of inspiration to make my work not only functional but also look visually appealing.

MrExcel - This site is run by Bill Jelen who is probably one of the famous gurus out there when it comes to Microsoft Office.  MrExcel has an awesome forum that is used all over the world.  If you have a question and can't find the answer, post on this forum and you will get multiple people trying to answer your question (usually within minutes).  This a great community and I am proud to be a part of it.

CPearson - This website is run by Chip Pearson and his consulting company.  He has graciously published a ton of in depth articles about VBA.  If you ever need to know anything about a super complex VBA functionality, chances are you will find it on CPearson.  I will warn you though, that some of their writings can get pretty technical.  So make sure you take the time to read the content carefully!

Take A Class!

I can't stress enough how much taking a 2-day long class exponentially grew my knowledge on VBA and its power.  While it was a lot of information to take in, it opened my eyes as to what VBA is truely capable of.  I would definitely recommend going to a live class whether its in person or over the web.  The benefits of attending a live class are that you can ask questions that pop into your head right then and there and usually the teacher is willing to tailor the lecture to hit some areas that pertain to your specific line of work.  While I do not currently offer any classes, this form of education is definitely on my long-term goals list as I believe this can be a very important resource in helping people understand coding in VBA.

What Do You Recommend?

I'm excited to hear from you and discover what has helped you become a VBA Guru!  Drop me a note in the comments section letting me know your most valuable VBA resources and I will try to put together a community list of everyone's suggestions in this post.  I will keep checking back to make sure the list contains the most current and best resources available.