The Cell Mistress.
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 Monika Weber. I live in Switzerland. I work in the printing industry.
The location of our parent company is in Australia. It's a very big concern named Amcor with locations throughout the world. I work in the Swiss office in the IT department.
But unfortunately I rarely use Excel in my job.
My job is to support and to teach our users in our large-scale system named BaaN, based on Unix. It's something like SAP. The plan is that I'll become a programmer in this system soon - we'll see.
In my free time I spend a lot of time using Excel and answering questions in the Microsoft Newsgroup.
In this way in 2002 I became an MVP (Most Valuable Professional). I like Excel, because it's so interesting and many-sided.
In 2001 I started to work as an author for Pearson Education (Addison-Wesley). I do this job in my free time.
Das Excel-VBA Codebook (ISBN: 382731979X) HTML & CSS lernen (ISBN: 3827320674)
Not yet published:
Das Excel-VBA Codebook - second edition (ISBN: 3827321018)
When do you remember using Excel for the very first time? Can you remember any specific details from that first time?
No, I can't remember. My first computer was a Commodore 64. It was without a mouse and I used it in playing games :-). We worked with 5 1/4" disks and it was really funny.
One day, many, many years ago, my brother, the owner of a little company, asked me to work for him. He brought a computer to my flat and asked me to study
Microsoft Word, because he needed a teacher in this software. I think it was the Word Version 6.x, with the black background and the white characters.
So I worked many years with Word before I started with Excel. A few years later I left my brother's company to become an AS/400 programmer. But I didn't like this job and so I changed again.
In 1995 I became a teacher for a software Company. Maybe in this time I had my first real contact with Excel. I started to teach beginners.
Here's where I started in Excel. But my favourite Software was still Word. This changed in 2000 when I started my study to become a Dipl.
Office-Supporter (it's a study in Switzerland).
At this time I also discovered the German Microsoft Newsgroups for Excel. It was a pleasure to help users in this group and
I completely turned to Excel. Most of my knowledge is based on the Microsoft Newsgroups. I learned by trying to help others and I still do.
When do you remember writing your first formula or VBA code for Excel?
I guess that my first formula was written in 1995. I created my first VBA code Excel Version 95 or 97, by using the Macro-Recorder. But I didn't really use it seriously.
On average, how many hours per day do you spend working with Excel formulas and/or VBA code?
As I said, at work I rarely use Excel, but in my free time I think, that I use Excel between1 and 8 hours per day.
Which do you find most rewarding to work with: Formulas or VBA in Excel? Please tell us why?
The functions and possibilities in Excel without VBA are limited. So sometimes it's really efficient to write VBA code. I admit that my knowledge in writing formulas could be better.
If you were going to give a novice, just starting out with Excel, some advice, what would it be?
Excel is very powerful software. Please really start with little steps. It'll take time to use it professionally, but I think from the first hour it is a pleasure and challenge to use.
Try to understand the Online-Help in Excel. Press the F1 button on your keyboard and insert your question. The first time it will be difficult to understand the help-text, but don't give up and try to understand.
If you can't find a solution for what you'll create, don't despair. Use the Microsoft Newsgroups or some other Forum in which you'll find lovely and sympathetic people who will try helping you.
Please provide a sample of your first work (either as a formula or vba code) in Excel and tell us about it.
I don't remember my real first code. It was something created by the Macro-Machine and I remember when I saw this code I was shocked, because there where so many lines of code and I thought, that I'll never understand VBA.
My first self written code could have been something like "Hello World" - and I was very proud of it ;-) - and I've shown it to some of my colleagues in my company.
MsgBox "Hallo Welt"
The improvement was to create an InputBox and to show the inserted text in a MsgBox *lol*.
In addition I was absolutely fascinated in creating coloured Command-Buttons *smile* and I couldn't understand why I it isn't possible to change the colour of a Button from the Toolbar "Forms".
What is your mental attitude when you are preparing to write formulae or VBA code? And what is your working environment?
I think that I'm not a shining example for someone to show how I'm creating my VBA code. Usually I sit down without any plan, just with an idea and I start in writing the code.
Sometimes (rarely) I sit down, take a piece of paper and a pencil and I make a plan.
My environment must be quiet. I can't hear any music if I'm at work. So I prefer to work at home in my office. I live in an attic flat and my ceiling is made of wood. It's cozy.
I prefer to work on a fast machine with a big flat screen. I like it if the sun is shining and it brightens my room. It's good for my soul. :-)
If there special preparations that must be in place before you can begin, what are they?
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.
When I start working, I like to have tidy table, but mostly it isn't, because I use a lot of paper to take notes and I have a lot of books on my table.
I like Confucian Analects (Lunyu) very much. Constant learning:
"In learning, if you have not reached proficiency, you are apprehensive lest you should lose it again. (8.17)"
If you are a beginner in working with Excel, then if you ever think that nobody has learned from nothing, it means that everybody who has a good knowledge had to work hard to get it.
As I said, if you need some help, look at the Newsgroups and don't hesitate to ask your question there.
The link to the Microsoft Newsgroups:
On my website you'll find some samples in Office especially in Excel. It is a German spoken website, but there are some samples in English too and the VBA-Code - of course - is always in English. :-)
Thank you very much for answering the questions.
This Black belt is yours...