Archive for February, 2013

VBA and JavaScript: good uses of my time

February 19, 2013

19 February 2013




Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin companies, says that he believes blogging is good for one’s health.  I’m going to give it a try, as writing a journal (a.k.a. “blog”) is a good outlet for contemplation and good opportunity for reflection.


Since I majored in English in college, I might as well admit to myself that I *can* write.  If I wanted to become a professional writer I could, except I’m way out of practice.  Well, maybe that’s not entirely true – I last wrote vigorously up until 2010, the year I completed my master’s degree in educational communication and technology.


Since then, I’ve been wary of technology.  I’ve been skeptical about how much of a difference the computers we us today (2013), different from ten years ago (2003), or even 8 years beyond that (1995).  18 years ago, I was on the Brave New World of technology using the “start” button to launch into applications from Windows 95.


Windows 98 was a significant improvement, and then Windows XP (circa 2001), after that.  I’m still using Windows XP today, even though we’re up to Windows 8.


Knowing what I know now, about how quickly and slowly things change, I would invest more of my time on the common languages, namely JavaScript and UNIX. (Linux, BSD, OS 10).


Interestingly enough, I have these powerful skills in the desktop applications space:  VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) via Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access.


These MS Office programs don’t get a lot of credit for their programmability because they are commonly known to be used by non-developers, rather than expert tools for the software engineer, database administrator, and application developer.


For myself, and anyone else who cares to go “against the grain”, I pick these technologies as my primary focus (for prototyping).  To save time in the long run, I will continue to use the tools that I’ve mastered, and practice new languages, initially JavaScript towards more flexible languages and applications that run online via a web browser.


So, these are my thoughts for today to avoid letting technology making me unproductive by sucking up my time.  On to JavaScript!