• Michael Sena

5 reasons why VBA is the easiest programming language to learn

Updated: Apr 29

Whether you would like to step up on the job market or are afraid of your job being taken by the machines, without a doubt, learning programming is worthwhile. You might have come across some programming languages in the past, be it at school or the famed boot camps. Unless you are now using some of them daily or at your work, chances are that your attempts have been futile.


In this article, I am going to present why VBA (Visual Basic for Applications, also known as macros or just the programming language for Excel) is the missing step on your staircase to more complex programming languages.



What's VBA, and how do I use it?


It's the programming language for Excel and beyond. It lets you automate repetitive tasks, perform multiple structured operations inside MS Excel with just one click of a button. You can also cleanse data, add automated data sense-checks, formatting, produce and send reports (i.e. with Outlook or Gmail), selectively extract information from data and even deploy machine learning algorithms or harvest information from websites. And why is it so easy?

1. You can use VBA inside MS Excel


Excel's Visual Basic Editor (VBE) is a user-friendly interface environment where you can see the code of macros and custom-made functions, among others. You can store your macros there, test and run them.

  • you will already know many Excel functions & properties

  • you will see suggestions as you write code

  • if you make a typo, it will likely be marked


2. You can record your Excel actions

  • press the red recording button

  • perform your operations (i.e. add new worksheets)

  • remove the junk (i.e. scrolling)

  • optimise, test, and you are good to go!


3. It transforms an everyday copy-paster into a God-mode Excel user

  • repeating something 120 times? Just add: "for i=1 to 120" and at the end "next i" and replace the variable part with "i"

  • sending 50 reports to the same people every month? Include the minimum amount of information necessary and get the macro to do send them

  • not sure which files are connected to your dashboards? Extract the links and cell addresses all in one minute


4. It's a complete programming language


You can use Excel macros for, i.e.:

  • sending emails

  • formatting data

  • filtering data

  • generating reports

  • creating pivot tables

  • sorting files in folders

  • VBA is also a powerful tool that can deploy statistical or econometric models and even machine learning!

5. You can develop most of the essential programming skills with VBA

  • learn how to optimise code length

  • use the least computational power needed

  • perfect loops, conditions customisable coding, error finding

6. It's free once you've got Excel, which makes it popular

  • there are also many ready-made building blocks online

  • the user base is enormous and growing

  • you don't need high tech skills to run macros

7. Helps to get a job or promotion

  • great for all sorts of data analysts (financial, consulting, management, especially reporting)

  • very useful for programme managers, administrative roles and financial professionals

  • adds a professional appeal to work of project managers, business analysts, process improvement analysts


How long does it take to learn VBA?

If you are comfortable working with Excel, it could take you just a few weeks to learn to an intermediate/functional level. If you live in Greater London, we run 1/2-day introductory courses that will equip you with everything you need to painlessly continue study on your own, learning what you need most.


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Author:

Michael Sena. The founder of Senacea – MS Excel consultancy & training services provider, based in London, operating in the entire UK. If you are looking for MS Excel Experts or VBA developers to automate and improve your spreadsheet work or help you repair Excel files, contact us now.

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