When I’d use VBA, it’s just whatever I needed to “make it work” – opening workbooks,

Oh when I mentioned “thinking in Excel” I means the formulas, worksheets, workbooks, the location of things, the flow of how it calculates and stuff smile emoticon

When I’d use VBA, it’s just whatever I needed to “make it work” – opening workbooks, pulling in data that I couldn’t pull in directly, or maybe some “out of Excel” large processing of data that really didn’t *need* to be in workbooks per se… or rather, to run a series of programs “out of excel” that processed the data better. [using it as if a batch file]

it has a FANTASTIC help system though. The integration is wonderful.. at least it was in Excel 2000 tongue emoticon I actually haven’t upgraded. When I need bigger sheets, I load up one of the Open Source spreadsheet programs out there… I think Gnumeric or whatever that crashy one is that’s also good… or Google’s – which is nice for some other reasons.


and regarding Excel – YES, very relatable – making custom add-ons with built in help in Excel. That was EXACTLY the kind of stuff I had to do, as this stuff was not ONLY being processed locally, but THEN my “big project” had to automatically send 4000+ customized, interactive Excel workbooks (customized for each district and sales rep) STRAIGHT to each of them on their little IBM Thinkpads, make sure they got them… all timed so it wouldn’t overload the email servers. It was a lot of fun actually, especially having to yank data from IBM mainframes straight into Excel. THAT was an interesting setup to figure out smile emoticon


I started off as a temp copying and pasting and ended up hired as a ‘Systems Analyst” without even knowing what that meant. I didn’t know squat about Excel – I just bluffed my way into the job. Next thing I knew, I had my plate full. It was a fun few years. Corporate America 100%.


Yup. Most of my instructions started off as verbal.

After a while, I’d hand them a piece of blank paper.
“What’s this?” they’d reply.
My answer:
“Draw what you want to see. Include the business metrics on the side. Here’s a few more pieces of paper. Draw your graphs. Do you want it interactive or flat report? Include any buttons you want on there and what you want them to do”.

They’d huff and walk away with blank paper. The next day, I’d get everything in pencil. THEN I could do what they wanted and they got what they asked for.


I liked dealing with mgmt after a while. It was like a Kindergarten. I was the Kindergarten teacher. I was always nice while they were cranky. It was always snacktime. They wanted their apple juice and they’d get their apple juice.


My stuff was pharmaceuticals. Business, Marketing, Sales for Schering-Plough. [I think they were eaten by Merck finally]. It was an experimental division, designed to encourage the sales reps to be more pushy with more data available to them in a form that they could use from week to week and whatever upper mgmt needed to see depending on their whims.

Very high paced, always changing. Data coming in like crazy and NEVER consistent. Some crap from mainframes, some crap on CD-Roms that they somehow acquired… some from scribbles on paper.. and all of these experimental metrics that went WAY beyond standard return on investment stuff.

Everybody was exercising their MBAs I guess. I had to tie it together and accurately (because Feds) and no time to think, or plan. Just “do”. Fun times. Couldn’t do it now but it was fun.

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