Item description for Microsoft Excel VBA Programming for the Absolute Beginner (For the Absolute Beginner (Series).) by Duane Birnbaum...
VBA Programming for the Absolute Beginner is designed to help readers with no programming experience learn not only the basics of VBA, but also the fundamental programming concepts they need to grasp in order to learn their next programming language. Offering an easy, non-intimidating approach to VBA, the For the Absolute Beginner series was designed by computer science instructors and takes a unique approach to programming. Throughout the book, you will be using programming concepts to create simple games with VBA. Before you know it, you will have accumulated a wealth of programming skills that you can easily put to use in real-world scenarios.
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Duane Birnbaum began programming in graduate school, where he wrote custom software for interfacing the various electronic devices require for his experiments and analyzing the data obtained from them. Since completing his Ph.D. in physical chemistry, he has worked in academia and the biotech industry while continually teaching on a part-time basis. He has been serving as a part-time lecturer in computer science at Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis for seven years teaching courses in programming, data analysis, and database design.
Reviews - What do customers think about Microsoft Excel VBA Programming for the Absolute Beginner (For the Absolute Beginner (Series).)?
Excellent book for beginners Jun 13, 2008
As a self-taught user, with some help from other self-taught users in my company, I found this book excellent. Ideas that I had a fuzzy grasp of are made clear.
I suspect the teaching background of the authors contributes to the clear and concise descriptions of things and to the logical flow of the information.
I also bought their Access VBA book, but haven't tackled it yet. I suspect it to be just as helpful. They are probably too basic for an experienced user, but wonderful for beginners.
A beginners bible May 31, 2008
If you are just getting into VBA and have never tried any type of programming, then this is the book. It is straight forward with excellent examples. If you want to learn VBA but are afraid, this book will walk you through the VBA environment, which can be confusing, and leaves you with an end product. After using the examples you can venture off to use the skills in your own projects.
On the down side, this book is not an end-all-source. After being exposed to the VBA environment you will want to seek out more advanced books to enhance the base that this product provides.
Not for beginners at all Aug 14, 2007
Well, this review is negative, because the title and description very much suggests that this is an introductory book for VBA Excel. It is something along those lines, but the overall excellent and cool idea to program games in Excel is not suitable at all. The idea is nice, but for very beginners it becomes quickly frustrating as tasks and complexity of the content grow exponentially while the readers knowledge and understanding grows linear at best. Simply excercises that introduce the reader to the topic and mofr in depth treatment of the challenges of programming and VBA Excel while dealing more with everyday projects which we normally face would have been a better, but surely more boring approach.
So, I am not sure. For me as a real beginner to programming and VBA this book has been a frustating experience from the second quarter of the text on.
Not for beginners, but very good Jun 24, 2006
I'd have to agree that this book is not appropriately named. I found understanding the code more difficult than several books aimed at a moderately advanced audience, such as Walkenbach's Power Programming.
That said, I found the book offered unique angles and insights not dealt with in other books, and in showing how games can be programmed in Excel, really provided a broad view of the power and flexibility inherent in VBA and the Excel Object model. It was frankly an eye opener to see what Duane was able to do, and I think taking the time to work through the code has been tremendously rewarding, if not particularly easy.
In no way is this aimed at the "absolute beginner" May 21, 2006
This was my first foray into the "For the absolute beginner" series of books, and I understand now why it isn't nearly as popular as the "for dummies" or "demystified" series of instructional manuals. The main problem with this book is that it absolute is NOT intended for people with no previous experience in Excel or VBA, despite the disclaimer on the cover that states "No Experience Required!". A true beginner will be absolutely baffled by the concepts presented throughout, and will definitely walk away with a sour taste in their mouth.
The first chapter starts off solidly, displaying some of the basic things that can be done with Excel. Halfway through the chapter the author then inexplicably throws some code at the reader, without explaining ANY of the concepts behind how the code works, what it is, or how it's syntax is used. As I already had a solid grasp of programming concepts before diving into Visual Basic for Applications, I had a vague understanding of what was going on, but the target audience for this book will be left scratching their heads, wondering what the heck they just did. Each chapter onward becomes exponentially more complicated, throwing even more code at the user without any easily digestible explanations. As a guide to expanding your knowledge of VBA, this book actually does a pretty good job, if you already have a solid understanding of how VBA works. Each chapter ends with an exercise wherein the reader makes a game that utilizes all the concepts presented earlier. It's a rather odd way to teach VBA, as most people will be using Excel solely for business applications, but it does show case how Excel can create a wide range of solutions when coupled with VBA. The games themselves are actually rather fun, starting with a magic number grid and tic-tac-toe, and then eventually moving up to versions of Blackjack and even Battleship! It should also be noted that VBA is not the sole focus of this book, as there is a good deal of instruction regarding User Forms, drop down boxes, text controls, etc. and how they can interact with VBA.
Overall the book was decent and will certainly expand the user's already existing knowledge of Excel VBA. However, it really should have been titled "Excel VBA Programming for the Intermediate to Experienced User", as an absolute beginner won't get much use out of this particular tome.