How to start programming

In this post I would like to write my point of view about how to start software programming.

How I began

In my case, I was a Windows user, so, the right choice was to learn Visual Basic 6 (VB6) and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). That was my starting point, several years ago, when a did a GIS MSC. One of the topics we cover during the course was VB6. I like it, so I decided to go further, reading two books: Active X programming in VB6 and Databases applications with VB6. I learnt a lot and my skills were growing as well.

Of course, some one who works with VB6 can do it as well with VBA, a “limited” version included within Microsoft Office and other software, such as AutoCad, o ArcGIS.

I cannot imagine working on Windows not having to use an “Excel macro” never ever!! And that code is onle VBA, just pressing  ALT+F11!

Amazing IDE and a quick start with VB

In my opinion, the most positive aspect of VB is the Interface Developme Environment (IDE), and with a few lines of code, a beginner can see the results!

I think this “feature” was very important for a lot of programmers, that started programming thanks to Microsoft and Visual Basic.

Start programming today

Microsoft decided to “kill” VB6 and bet everything to the .NET platform, and everything that was easy and intuitive inder VB6, it wasn’t withint .NET: you need more knowledge and the learning curve was steep: the more complex, more likely to drop.

My conclusion is that Microsoft’s option, VB, was a good starting point. Now there are several good alternatives I good like you to try: Python, is the “cool” language in this moment, now mature, and with a lot of people behind, and a great community ready to help you. If you want to do web development, you are forced to learn HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Is it worth learning VB6 o VBA?

My advice is No (with all the pain of my heart, because VB6 is my favorite language!), except if it’s absolutly neccesary. Obviously, VB6 now it’s not a demand language, if you’re looking for a job, although some companies still havee their system under VB6 softwares. the truth is that Visual Basic (VB6 and VBA) is a language that Microsoft want to remove, and at the end it will occur, so a god choice is C# or Python, although they are very different between them.

I hope you enjoy and tell me what’s your opinion!

Un saludo y buen día.