You've recommended that I learn Visual Basic. What are some resources to help me get started?

23 Feb, 2006 By: Robert Green

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Robert Green replies: The answer depends on your level of programming expertise.

For those with no programming experience: I highly, highly recommend taking a classroom-style course over several weeks or even months so you can learn not only Visual Basic syntax but the general approach to structured programming. I was able to learn AutoLISP and Visual Basic on my own only because I had a good background in FORTRAN and Pascal languages. (Anybody out there old enough to remember those?). There might be exceptions to this, but I can almost guarantee that if you don’t have any programming experience, you won’t be able to pick up a book and learn Visual Basic on your own.

If you already know AutoLISP or a similar high-end programming/scripting language: You might be able to get started using one of the many books available from an online bookseller or your local book store. I recommend doing some online research to see which sort of book is targeted to your particular learning style. I used the Weekend Crash Course series of books by Richard Mansfield to jump-start my Visual Basic learning -- even though the books did require thought, debugging skills and perseverance to navigate.

No matter what your skill level is: Another learning strategy is to periodically hire a consultant or instructor to provide a few hours of tutelage to you as you hit plateaus in your learning curve. As you struggle through self-taught instruction, you’ll build a list of questions that a tutor could help you resolve and take you to the next level in your learning. Tutors cost money, but they can help you conserve valuable time.

No matter what path to learning you take, it’ll require work and persistence on your part. Getting started now is the single best thing you can do to speed up the learning process.

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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