Having been out of IT for the grand total of three months now, I had an opportunity to stretch my technical muscles again recently. Nothing too complicated; I just tweaked the template for this blog so that the number of posts per month was displayed (to make it easier to track my NaBloPoMo progress) and added some Ravelry progress bars. The progress bars weren’t much of a challenge since they just involved copying the code that Ravelry provided to the right place (although working out what the right place was took a little brain power). However, at that magical point in the future “when-I-have-some-spare-time”, I plan to customise them at least a little to match the rest of the template better. It was also reasonably straightforward to add the code to display the number of posts per month but still strangely satisfying. It’s nice to know that my skills in that area haven’t disappeared completely already and that I can still find uses for them.
My current employer asked me last week would I like to go on a course to learn to program in VB. I think they thought I was kidding when I said “Not this year.” I think changing career, sitting 5 exams, buying and renovating a house, and getting married, all within the space of 15 months is enough to be going on with. The idea of being taught a programming language does appeal somewhat, having worked with them for seven years without much by way of formal teaching. Part of me wonders though if it wouldn’t just be better to persuade them to let me buy an O’Reilly book and spend a couple of days teaching myself. Of course, I’m still having to restrain the urge to tell them that writing VB macros to manipulate data held in Excel spreadsheets is a really bad way to handle the amount of data that we’re trying to work with. That might be a good reason for not doing the course. I can just see a VB instructor cursing me under his breath as I put my hand to ask once again “Would it not be better to do that using (insert name of almost any other language here)?”