Excel is used by a range of employees from the data entry staff to the company's CEO. However, users are often afraid to delve into the mysterious world of macros and their managers usually have the IT staff or outside contractors write needed code. Basic programming skills aren't hard to learn with Excel Visual Basic training courses. It is more cost effective for employees to create their own simple macros than going outside the department.

Start With Training

While an employee isn't going to inadvertently trigger a nuclear war with a misplaced IF statement, an untrained employee could destroy a carefully constructed spreadsheet with an improper entry.

Excel Visual Basic training gives employees the basic ABCs of creating macros, starting with simple keystroke recording and moving on to actual code editing. Employees will come away with a toolkit of skills that will get them started on their path to greater skills and utility to the organization.

Training also helps employees overcome anxiety about delving into the inner workings of software. Many people don't understand how computers do what they do and need a bit of hand holding when they venture into this new world. With the help of a certified instructor, they get comfortable with what they do and build confidence in their abilities.

Implement Programming Best Practices

Attending Excel Visual Basic training is only the first step on any employee development program. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and your new programmers will need some guidelines to use their skills effectively and safely.

Attendees learn some basic "best practices" in their Excel Visual Basic training courses such as using Option Explicit so that a mistyped variable name doesn't become a frustrating source of problems. Your organization will need to add more rules unique to your business and the employee's duties.

For example, create a standard naming convention for your organization. Variable names created using a set of rules make a program easier to read because the variable name itself now contains a lot of information. By creating a company-wide convention, macro programmers can look at each other's code and comprehend it right away.

Walk Before You Run

Employees fresh from Excel Visual Basic training shouldn't run rampant through all of their spreadsheets, adding tons of features. At first, have your newly trained staff create very simple applications that deal with actions such as formatting or data verification. Let them get comfortable with proper code creation and debugging before moving on to other projects.

As a user explores more aspects of Visual Basic, confidence and ability will increase and new ideas will open up. Each user will find an individual comfort level for the level of programming they will want to complete. Company spreadsheets will run more efficiently and workers will appreciate the broader responsibilities and skill set.