Thursday, July 19, 2012


With my new internship, I've found myself doing something that I never really considered enjoyable...until now. People always asked me, "So, do you like programming?" I was always stunned at the question, because I had taken one programming course (until my Senior year of college), and I replied, "Well, if there's an application, I probably would like it more. Before, the "application" was trying to find a sequence of numbers line up in a certain way, or somehow creating a Christmas tree while using a for loop (which I thought was such a waste of time).

However, this last Winter quarter, I had the opportunity to program more in Matlab. (Now, I understand that "real programmers" don't consider MatLab a real programming language. But it's very useful for some applications.) Basically, we had to model how a spring-damper system would move based on a certain input. For example, viewing how a rider would move up and down based on how-stiff-the-spring-was and how-strong-the-damper-was. It was a lot of fun. We got to model a motorcycle going over a bump (I know it sounds super simple...but it's not.)

For my current internship, the interviewer asked if I knew Visual Basic (another programming language). I replied that I knew MatLab. Basically, he laughed, saying that people (at least in the company) don't use it, but said I could probably pick up Visual Basic for Applications, or VBA.

So my first week at this new internship, I was given a database project using Microsoft Access.  It's like taking Excel to a different level by creating multiple dimensions of relationships between cells. (For instance, a customer is linked to a product, but different customers are linked to multiple (but different) products). So for the last month or so, I've been learning how to program behind Microsoft Access using VBA. My first three weeks kinda looked like picture below...basically, I had no idea what was going on. But boy! Was I grateful to know how to use for-loops, do-loops, the need to define variables/data types...and so on. I didn't need to learn how to program logic. Instead, I could concentrate on the syntax (basically, the specific triggers for the language) in order to create the program.

So next time you're complaining about how-much-you-loath-programming, think about if you would hate it so much if there were a decent application attached to it. You may change your mind. (Not to mention that you may, simply, be required to program...whether or not you like it!)