First experiences with Visual Basic

Starting today, Sable Systems is doing a Week of Code where all developers are tackling issues related to our primary software. Even though the software is written in Visual Basic and C#, I am a part of this. Considering my lack of experience in these languages, I spent a large part of my day just understanding the structure. I wasn't able to truly get started for several hours and just spent the time poking the code.

I was tasked with a fairly trivial new feature, but it still took me most of the day to get done. And now I can add Visual Basic to my portfolio tools. I'll give it a very generous one star for now; I won't kid myself and pretend I could do this full time immediately. But, it is very satisfying to finally add a language that is completely outside of the LAMP stack in every way.

It wasn't as challenging to get started as I had feared, but I also didn't do anything particularly complex. I added a form element; added a function that did a RegEx parsing of what was typed in and returned an object; and I modified the main loop to check that object.

Of course, I truly wrote PHP in syntax that Visual Basic understands. That doesn't detract from my accomplishment; it merely keeps it in perspective. I hope by the end of this week I will have done enough Visual Basic to start to understand a few things about the language itself and I can write true Visual Basic.

When I started at Sable Systems at the beginning of the year, I knew that I would not be writing pure PHP forever. SableOPS is not a large enough project to keep me occupied at all times. But since the company's core competency is in the metabolic research equipment, that is where my attention will begin to shift. There is a lot of stuff there to work on - both firmware and software.

I always am interested in learning new technologies, and my outside-of-work focus right now is on JavaScript game development and Python web development. Add in this Week of Code and the Visual Basic / C# application development and I will broaden my horizons significantly in the next few months. And that is something I will never complain about experiencing.