Can you write a program? Is a question I get from my colleagues quite often. I guess if they are asking this, there could be two possibilities: there is a need for someone who can write a program, or I look like someone who can.
Just a couple of days ago I was asked to write a simulation in Excel to calculate the cost of a transportation job. It involved some VBA, and a whole lot of IF functions and cell references. In a day I sorted out a beta version for my colleagues. They were fairly excited about it and suggestions for improvement poured in. I picked up some of their excitement and started to think about all the possibilities I could do with this simulator.
Maybe I could turn into a more powerful program, that pulls data from other existing programs’ databases. Maybe I could share this program with different users. I would want an interface that is so friendly, that users can use my program the whole day and not feel tired. I want…
Then I realized, I don’t even know what language it should be written in. So I turned to my regional office’s IT guy for help.
“Help me! Should I write in Python? C++? Visual Basic?”
He coolly advised me to use VB after asking the background, with how many users I wanted to share with, and what are my future plans for the program (I did not tell him, the near future plan is to wow my colleagues. I have no idea about the “far” future plan).
Good thing is, there is a free course on VB for absolute beginners by Microsoft, so I’m going to go for it.
My first program, here I come!