Fancy yourself as a computer whiz? Know you bits from you bytes? Know your hardware from your software? The only thing that you are not yet a genius at, or perhaps have not even attempted, is writing your own computer programmes.

I hear you saying "Leave that to the experts!", but in fact you need not. There is no reason why average Joe office worker, Mrs. Homemaker and even the local newspaper delivery person shouldn't be able to take charge and write their own hand-crafted custom computer programmes that can work exactly as required and desired.

It shouldn't take a 'professional programmer' to do the job. You know what needs to be done better than anyone else. Yes, you can do it yourself! In fact, you might enjoy it so much that you discover that you really are good at this it. You might even become a 'professional programmer'.

Visual Basic for Applications, or VBA, is an implementation of Microsoft's Visual Basic language (a complete programming language developed by Microsoft, that is free - yes, some things actually are) which is built into most Microsoft Office applications. It is in fact embedded within individual Microsoft applications such as Word, Excel and Access.

Training on the programme is not a necessity, though it is highly recommended; as with anything in life you will get more function out of something that you are more familiar with operating. There are millions of computers out there in the world that have VBA on them, yet there are probably only a very small percentage of people who actually are aware of its functionality.

So, what might you use VBA for? No matter how many features Microsoft builds into Word, for example, there are going to be things that you will want to do over and over in lots of different documents, such as having your address appear each time you prepare to type a new letter. There may also be functions in other documents, such as part of an Excel spreadsheet that you want to use in your Word document.

If you make use of Excel a lot and constantly need to type in your company name and details, you can create a 'macro' to do that for you. You create the macro using VBA. If you are a sales manager and need to prepare a month-end sales report you can actually develop a VBA programme to do it for you. These are just two very basic examples of what it is possible to achieve with VBA.

What are the benefits of learning to use VBA? They are many and varied, from being able to personalise your Microsoft applications to the way you want them to operate to gaining lucrative employment in a field where knowledge certainly is king.