VBA and JavaScript: good uses of my time

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! 


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