Sunday, June 16, 2013

Book Review : Excel Programming with VBA Starter by Robert Martin

This blog will focus on a book review that I was invited to join in helping out in doing a technical review with publisher Packt Pub (2010-present).

Robert Martin (2012) "Excel Programming with VBA Starter" [accessed 10 June 2013] has done a good job of laying out a pathway  for beginners to pick up the pace of doing Excel formulas into becoming a VBA programmer.

The book cover these broad topics into sections.

The first section discusses what is Excel's macro and shows possibilities to simplify complex using the power of macros. Introduces the reader the macro environment known as the Visual Basic Editor (VBE) and how would the reader go about in finding out where to create their first macro.

Once the reader develops confidence of creating macros with the macro recorder and learning the "words" of the macro language so to speak. This macro language are described as objects. Objects are represented to perform specific actions as formulas do in calculation or to alter the way information is displayed or presented like changing colours of cells in a spreadsheet.

Next sections covers modules which are a grouping the similar tasks and/or macros. The book discusses how to create modules and functions that returns information after working out a complex maths formula. Variables are mentioned which are often used by programmers to track how many times certain information has been processed. Variables do differ according to their type so the author has done well to expand the reader understanding of what type of variables are used for many things.

The same section assists understanding that there many types of tasks as there are variables which macros can be used to perform on Excel's data. To provide an example, the reader will appreciate how to follow down a large list of financial data in a sheet using a loop that examines the totals with a calculation of a discount in the next cell.

Lastly, the understanding of what objects is and how they affect with each other is expanded to help readers learn more about complex topics of VBA such as Classes and Enumeration.

The book contains good examples to guide the reader through and offers a comprehensive list of website links for readers to seek further on their own art of programming.

Til then,
Peter.