Great Scott!! Don’t use Visual Basic – Meme Monday May 2012
If I could go back in time and meet myself on Day one of my IT career, I would advise myself not to use VB 5.0.
I can almost say I was an accidental developer – let me explain. I had a degree in Mass Communications and found myself interested in computers enough to land a job as a Layout Designer for a local newspaper. I began to dabble in HTML soon after as I was able to afford my first Packard Bell P1. When I left the world of Newspaper and Media, I took a job as a computer operator in the automotive industry and learned to use a product management application on MS Access. There were inconsistencies in the engineering department I worked in with our, *cough, cough* database and the data coming to us from an AS400 application networked from Detroit and Japan. So my curiosity took me to explore options and I discovered I could use VBA within Access, or Excel mind you, and create an ODBC connection to a datasource. All this was mind boggling and I resulted to learn programming and create our own application to connect to the Access data as well as the AS400 data. My first question was, “Where do I begin?” Seeing that I worked in the engineering department, I pursued advice from the engineers as they recommended C or Java (cerca 1997, 1.1 or 1.2). It was Visual Basic that caught my attention.
I wish I could have done that. It was pretty, it was easy, it was just the thing a newbie could have done. From that moment, I became a Visual Basic developer; luckily, there was .Net in the next three years. The problem was, old habits die hard. VB is not an OO language; it’s procedural and event driven. I spent most of my development going back to VB.Net during its inception or used C# as I did VB – event driven. Object oriented design and development was beyond foreign to me.
Programming languages don’t make the programmer, but learning the right language where other major languages are derived from and are the foundation to pattern design, would be a good start. I develop in C# now, and have dabbled in PHP as well as Java. But learning Object orientation design and development took a reboot in my career. I am happy where I am now, but it could have been a shorter trip given the opportunity to go back in time and meet myself on Day One of my IT career.