Chapter 03   The Cell Master.  Dave Hawley  from Australind, Australia :

interview date:17.Dec.2002
Please introduce your self. You may be as thorough as you wish. Feel free to include or omit any detail about yourself.
My name is Dave Hawley, I'm 39 years old and very happily married with 2 girls, Aleisha 7 and Kate 5. Our family has a crazy Staffordshire bull terrier called Rex who has a major chewing problem. My hobbies are running and music, mainly blues and rock and writing code.

When do you remember using Excel for the very first time? Can you remember any specific details from that first time?
That would have been about 10 years ago while working for a company that produces tio2 (Pigment for paint).

I started to automate a log sheet we were required to fill out daily. I think it took me a while to work out that formulas required an equal sign :o)

When do you remember writing your first formula or VBA code for Excel?
A: It would have been just over a year after using Excel for the first time. I wrote loads of VBA functions to replace some deeply nested functions I written.

This was also the time I realized not matter how well written they were, they would never calculate as fast as Excel Functions. :o(

On average, how many hours per day do you spend working with Excel formulas and/or VBA code?
At least 5-8 hours, although this is decreasing as our business grows into new areas. It's good to be the boss:)

Which do you find most rewarding to work with: Formulas or VBA in Excel? Please tell us why?
At this point in time it is VBA.

I love the challenge of writing code in the most efficient way possible. Normally this means using Excel's built in features (and avoiding range loops) such as Find, AutoFilter, AdvancedFilter and SpecialCells to name but a few.

If you were going to give a novice, just starting out with Excel, some advice, what would it be?
Learn Excel from the ground-up and learn from those who use Excel on a very frequent basis. Do not learn Excel VBA until you have mastered Excel itself.

Please provide a sample of your first work (either as a formula or vba code) in Excel and tell us about it.
One of the first bits of VBA code I wrote was a UDF that is used to sort by color. It can be seen here:

This is still one of my most popular UDF's to date.

What is your mental attitude when you are preparing to write formulae or VBA code? And what is your working environment?
When writing VBA code I resist from using those horribly sloooowww loops unless absolutely necessary.

When writing a mega nested formula I will often write each Function into a separate cell, then simply copy and paste it together.

Finally, please give us something to think about - a reminder of your words here; a phrase that has helped you; a link to your own website. Anything that you think is important for the readers to remember.
Never learn Excel VBA from a VB code writer, they have very little knowledge of Excel's super fast built in features (written in the much faster C++). ALWAYS 'Think outside the box'.

Kind Regards
Dave Hawley
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Thank you very much for answering the questions.

This Black belt is yours...

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