How can I get started?
Some tips on how to get started programming and how to get more experience
Author: Jens G. Balchen

The easiest way to start Visual Basic programming, is to buy the software, get a good book that teaches you VB, and lock the door. You won't unlock the door for at least 2 days. There are many of those books in the bookstores, take a look at the Bookstore for more info on those.

But, you may be the kind of person that doesn't read manuals. In that case, do what I did: Start VB, press Help|Learning Microsoft Visual Basic... and read on. You'll find the info there cryptic, strange, hard-to-understand and written-for-pros, but that's not the case at all. If you've ever used Access, the interface will prove familiar. The code-syntax matches QBasic, and the Properties part isn't all that hard. Just relax, don't panic and try as hard as you can to understand events, properties and methods.

Once you've done that, you can try to make your own VB program. If you use a book, they will come up with ideas for you. But if you don't, ideas are hard to get. Here are a few:

  • picture viewer
  • file browser
  • phone directory
  • dialer
After all these ideas have been exploited, take a look at the VB\SAMPLES directory, and see how the guys at Microsoft solved the problem (NO! Don't do that NOW!).

Once you're sure you've beaten MS in ways of speed, interface and functionality, you can move on and explore the uncharted areas of VB. And later on, you can move on the Pro's section.