vba as in visual basic for applications? I was a pro at that (in Excel). Nice things about it: Complete integration with Excel so no worrying about display (it’s going to look like Excel no matter what you do). Recording uncertain bits is great as is the context sensitive valid bits after each .
Drawbacks? I dunno. I did everything through Excel for like 5 yrs straight and got paid good for it, so no complaints here. Good for what it was good for.
It’s spaghetti code but that’s how I like it. Never cared about the next person, although training 3 people to replace me in only two weeks was… interesting. They took lots of notes.
I loved it. It was way back – late 90s-2002. Mostly Excel2k. I loved pushing it to its limits – and I started as a temp bluffing (I didn’t know Excel). Next thing, I’m pulling data from mainframes, web, messy text files and odbc, pumping out interactive excel applications in the thousands weekly straight to reps through Outlook… and I made it start with a push button. Fun stuff. Hogged up multiple computers during crunch times, got me hired in a job I didn’t really want.
They tried to replace me with Microstrategy data cube thingie, barely involving me in the process, wasting $2 million on them in the end. I left in 2002 and they used my stuff until at least 2010, modifying it for new drugs as they came out the pipeline.
[I don’t know after that as they finally merged with Merkk].
Excel’s my scratchpad for stuff still.
I do the impossible (improbable) on a regular basis with duct tape, bubble gum and spaghet (code). If someone wants it to look pretty, they’ll just have to decipher my brain as its spilled out over the systems and do some abiogenesis in *their* way.
The IT ppl hated me there. Business ppl loved me. I was “IT the way business people want IT to be” whereas IT was… “document it”
Funny thing is, i believe in appropriate standards. Good engineering, esp for mass produced stuff, codes etc, and any systems that are going to be in use for any length of time by a number of people should be documented.
But it can get in the way when busy.
I guess I just always like pushing on to the “next thing”.
But yeah, SQL. Main thing with me and SQL was mentally translating “How does this compare in Excel?” and I had to accept that SQL is crippled in some ways (it’s not a spreadsheet) in exchange for speed, fast lookups and volume of data – when properly prepared.
Exactly! Different solution for different problems. Educating the SQL folks WHY my stuff wasn’t going to work in databases (they tried and it didn’t) was a pain. Excel is always open for last minute change. It’s raw and available – and dangerous. Some things do best in a relational database. Some things don’t belong in one.
aw I loved being given a mess to clean up. I liked teaching the biz folks how to improve their skills so they could a lot of what I did on their own. It wasn’t officially part of my job but they wanted to learn and I’d find time to teach during coffee breaks and stuff.
My era is XLS so I’m guessing this is XLSX XML corruption? I’ve had to fix bad XML on my own for my own projects and it’s a pain in the ass.
Ah you’re lucky in that you’re at the tweaking-for-peak performance level. Mine level is a few mumbled words, a lot of guessing what they want, and produce an automated miracle in three days tops their assistant can run complete with instructions. So what was under the hood had to be solid and work but efficiency wasn’t something I got to work with much.
Oh eww. But you’re on a team with other Excel folks right? I was flying solo, kind of made my own position there for a small experimental biz ops dept at Schering-Plough (that’s how long ago it was). They didn’t need what I did until they had me and made a bunch of stuff for them, so when I cut my temp hours down to 4 a day (so I could go to college as I wanted to be a special ed teacher), they got nervous I was gonna leave (I was), and found a way to keep me. ($$$).