Professional Excel Development, the long-awaited book by Bullen, Bovey and Green, arrived at my house yesterday. That makes two, count ’em, two books in which my name appears. Watch out Rupert Murdoch, I’m well on my way to dominating all media.
I did some technical reviewing for this book, thus the mention. I didn’t review all the chapters, so I will hold my detailed review of the book until I read the ones that are new to me. What I have read is absolutely amazing. If you have ever, or plan to ever, write a macro with more than 50 lines, you should own this book. As the title implies, the book will show you how to make professional applications in Excel. It is full of useful information for the intermediate level programmer. Don’t think this book covers just the advanced stuff. The real gems in the books, in my opinion, are applicable to all VBA – naming conventions, error handling, and the list goes on.
On the other hand, if you don’t write macros or the most complex macro you write assigns a hot key to the Paste Special operation, don’t bother with this book. If you want to start using VBA, start with a different book (like Walkenbach’s Power Programming) and move up to this when you’re ready – it won’t take as long as you might think.
Doing a technical review for this book was quite a bit different than the one I did for Excel VBA Programming for Dummies. In the latter, there were only a few topics with which I wasn’t 100% comfortable in my knowledge. In this book, there were a only few with which I was. It wasn’t just a matter of opening Excel and testing the code that was written there. I had to load software, like Visual Studio Tools for Office, to test some of the code. I had to learn stuff, like how to create an ActiveX DLL, to test some of the code.
It’s pretty sad when the technical reviewer has to learn the material before he reviews it, but I think it gave me an interesting perspective. If I couldn’t learn the material by reading the text, then I had a pretty legitimate review comment. It’s one thing, I think, for an expert on the subject to assert that the text is technically accurate. It’s another to have a neophyte look a the material and say “It may be accurate, but I don’t get it.” Both are beneficial in there own way. I hope my wide-eyed innocence was helpful in that regard.