410 views

PII 012: Succeed by Solving Problems Using MS Excel Visual Basic [How I Started Spreadsheet Programming in Guinness Nigeria Using Lotus 1-2-3 Macros in 1995, Before Discovering Microsoft’s Excel Visual Basic in 1999]

Today I enjoy patronage from buyers within and outside Africa, for my customizable Excel Visual Basic software. But the journey to this point began for me 2 decades ago when I worked as a young graduate trainee brewer in Guinness!

Back then Lotus 1-2-3’s was the industry spreadsheet application standard worldwide and it had a keystroke based macro programming language. 

Guinness had the Lotus SmartSuite installed on all its computers.

By the year 2000 however, the company rolled out MS Office installations across all its sites and relevant personnel received training to begin using it.

SCROLL DOWN TO READ FULL ISSUE

Tayo Solagbade's Performance Improvement IDEAS(PI Squared) Newsletter

Tayo Solagbade’s
Performance Improvement
IDEAS
(PI Squared) Newsletter

Logo - Tayo Solagbade's Self-Development Academy


NB: This PI Squared newsletter will be published weekly, on Mondays, in place of the Speaking/Web Marketing IDEAS newsletter, starting from today – 15th February 2016.
I’m reinventing my Monday newsletter content and theme, to accommodate my vision of serving the growing audience of serious minded individuals and organizations reaching out to me, with information, education. news and research findings designed to help them do what they do better.

**********

View Tayo Solagbade's video tutorials and demonstrations on Facebook Productivity Tips, Web Marketing, and for his Custom MS Excel-VB driven software applicationsJoin the SD Nuggets community on Facebook.comConnect with Tayo on Twitter.comConnect with Tayo on Google PlusConnect with Tayo on LinkedIn.com

PII 012: Succeed by Solving Problems Using MS Excel Visual Basic [How I Started Spreadsheet Programming in Guinness Nigeria Using Lotus 1-2-3 Macros in 1995, Before Discovering Microsoft’s Excel Visual Basic in 1999]

Today I enjoy patronage from buyers within and outside Africa, for my customizable Excel Visual Basic software. But the journey to this point began for me 2 decades ago when I worked as a young graduate trainee brewer in Guinness!

Back then Lotus 1-2-3’s was the industry spreadsheet application standard worldwide and it had a keystroke based macro programming language.

Guinness had the Lotus SmartSuite installed on all its computers.

By the year 2000 however, the company rolled out MS Office installations across all its sites and relevant personnel received training to begin using it.

NB: At the end of this piece, I’ve included a Wikipedia link to read the history of how MS Excel Visual Basic came to life 23 years ago, and how it has evolved since then.

Having always been very adaptable to changing circumstances, I wasted no time in learning to use the new application.

I did that using the Reed Jacobson authored “MS Excel ’97 Visual Basic Step by Step” manual given out to attendees of an 2 day on-site Introduction to MS Excel course facilitated by a representative from a Microsoft partner organisation – Bitrax International.

There were about 15 of us, but I was the only one with any interest in or knowledge of spreadsheet automation. Indeed when the copies of the manual were being shared out, the facilitator actually called out asking:

“Which one of you is Tayo Solagbade?”

When I raised my hand, a bit surprised by the fact that I’d been singled out, he said (holding up a copy of the book):

“I’m told by the managers in the Head Office’s IT department that you are the only one likely to understand what is in this manual.”

It was a great complement, but at the same time a challenge for me to take my game to the next level.

I immediately realized I needed to quickly learn to use Excel VB to control Excel, as proficiently as I used Lotus macros to automate spreadsheet reports.

Indeed the IT department had had to help out in the rollover to MS Office, when users of 4 apps I’d developed to automate daily, weekly and monthly data recording and report generation in Lotus 1-2-3, repeatedly requested for the apps to be converted to versions that would run in MS Excel, if they were to agree to move to the new platform.

Their reason was simple: the apps had saved them hundreds of hours normally spent doing most of their work manually. Not only were they getting work done faster, there was much less occurrence of reporting errors.

Since the company’s IT department had no in-house expertise in spreadsheet automation, my apps had to be sent to the UK office where a developer with skills in use of both spreadsheet development platforms did a great job of converting my apps to versions that worked satisfactorily in MS Excel.

After I got hold of the manual by Reed Jacobson, I dug in and quickly began using the new coding language.

Before I left the company to start my own business (offering custom spreadsheet automation solutions), I built an Excel VB driven Training Records Database that was deployed across the brewery’s intranet for use by departmental heads.

This was a solution I developed as a last resort under 2 weeks in the final stage of ISO 9000 audits being conducted by officers of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

They had requested that every department head show proof of access to “easily retrievable” training records of all members of their respective departments.

I was Training and Technical Development Manager at the time, having been promoted from Shift Brewer less than a year earlier.

Unfortunately we were still waiting for the IT department to get back to us with an app fitting the specifications we’d sent to them. At that point, it became obvious that it was up to the Training department to provide an alternative solution, if only temporarily.

Up until that time, I’d only been practising my new found skills in Excel VB coding privately.

This training database challenge made me get serious about developing an app for users again – and this time around they were to be busy senior managers across the brewery.

Long story short, I got it done – with round-the-clock (weekends included) training records data entry help from my training instructors and engineering trainees (which I facilitated by providing refreshments using my personal funds).

Only when it became apparent that the app worked, did I inform the brewery head (Andy Jones) that we had developed an alternative solution, which I then demonstrated for him to see ob his PC.

The rest as they say is history.

With Andy’s consent, I went round to show each department head how to launch the app from the brewery’s intranet, using shortcuts I placed on their respective desktops.

By the time the audiors went round again, the brewery passed with Zero Non Conformities on that front!

Just to add some perspective for you, it was in 1995 that I first began developing custom spreadsheet software using my self-taught skills.

As I’ve noted in several articles over the years, I discovered spreadsheet automation via Macro Programming while reporting, as a Graduate Trainee brewer to Richard Chambers, a young Scottish manager who worked as an expatriate Training Coordinator in Guinness Nigeria’s Ikeja brewery.

We never sat down one day for a training session on spreadsheet programming. Instead, what happened was that I took an interest in sitting and watching him develop reporting applications for use by senior management personnel in the head office and in the breweries.
After some time he noticed my persisting interest and began giving me his laptop to check the integrity of the many mega (nested) formulas he used in the apps.

In order to do what he asked successfully, I had to study and fully understand how to manually calculate all the different usage rates and Key Performance Indicator ratios used in the reports.

It was his way of giving me more of the training he knew would help me succeed in the Technical Function.

Doing those tasks excited me as I discovered that I was mastering stuff that would enable me reason at the level of, and rub minds with the top minds in the company’s technical function.

My curiousity made me begin studying Richard’s macro programming code and as I got more familiar with them and what they did, I began copying out and making my own modifications in a test workbook.

Over time my confidence and competence grew to the point that Richard noticed I could correctly write or modify code in his app, to remove bugs identified.

That assignment introduced me to Manufacturing Usage Rates as well as Variable Costs Reduction Analysis.

In 1995, I got redeployed to Guinness’ Benin Brewery. One day his counterpart there (Joe Sheehy) called him in Lagos about a problem in the app used for generating brewery month end reports for the Technical Review Meeting.

Richard told him I could help solve the problem. So Joe sent for me, and I did solve the problem. From that day onwards, the training department became my “home” – and news about me and what I could do began to spread.

Today, I’ve used those insights from my time in Guinness to develop custom apps for clients in various industries, with the most popular of them being sold to buyers within and outside Africa – such as my Excel VB Ration Formulator and my Poultry Farm Manager.

My story proves that anyone who is willing to do the hard work required, with undiluted persistence, and who has a passionate desire to solve data handling and report generation problems in any field, will succeed in doing so using MS Excel-VB programming.

If you can read and write, you can learn to code proficiently in any language – MS Excel Visual Basic for Applications being no exception.

I offer learning solutions you can adopt via my Excel VB club and workshop events, as well as my private coaching – all available online in experiential format.

Click here to request details of how to get started with me.

Below is the promised Wikipedia link you can click to read the history of how MS Excel Visual Basic came to life 23 years ago, and how it has evolved since then.

Visual Basic for Applications – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Click here .

SDN Blog

New posts from last week*

Monday:

 

[Tuesday]:

[Wednesday]:

[Thursday]:

N/A

[Friday]:

Protected: Use This VBA Code Snippet to Make MS Excel Remind You to Save Your Work at Regular Intervals, to Avoid Data Loss!

[Saturday]:

How the Excel-VB Driven Poultry Farm Manager is Used (True Stories)

 

 

[Sunday]:

Protected: THE FARM CEO (Issue 45 – International Business Opportunity): Agro-processing Companies in Benin Republic Seek Buyers/Distributors in Nigeria and Other English/French Speaking Countries for their Organic Health Boosting Agro-based Food/Drink Products

 

Tayo K. Solagbade*

Self-Development/Performance Improvement Specialist

*Creator of the Mastering Adversity for Perpetual Success Achievement Coaching Program

Mobile: +234-803-302-1263 (in Nigeria) or +229-66-122-136 (in Benin Republic)

http://www.tayosolagbade.com

Tayo K. Solagbade is a Location Independent Performance Improvement

Specialist and Multipreneur (i.e. a highly versatile/multi-skilled entrepreneur), with a bias for delivering Best Practice solutions to Farm Businesses and others.

Since 2002, he has earned multiple streams of income providing individuals and organizations with personal development training and coaching, custom MS Excel-VB solutions, web marketing systems/web hosting, freelance writing services, and best practice extension support services (for farm business owners).

Tayo is the author of the Self-Development (SD) Bible™ and the popular Livestock Feed Formulation Handbook. He is also the developer of its accompanying Excel-VB driven Ration Formulator™ and the Poultry Farm Manager™ software.

He has delivered talks/papers to audiences in various groups and organizations, including the Centre for Management Development, University of Lagos, Christ Baptist Church, Volunteer Corps, Tantalisers Fast Foods and others.

In May 2012 he was the Guest Speaker at the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development’s Annual Semester Entrepreneurial Lecture at Yaba College of Technology in Lagos.

On 1st April 2013, Tayo (who reads, write and speaks the French language) relocated to Cotonou, Benin Republic to begin slowly traveling across the West African region.

His key purpose is to deliver talks, seminars

and workshops on his key areas of focus and interest to interested audiences (Email tayo at tksola dot com for details).

In a previous life, before leaving to become self-employed, Tayo served for seven years (October 1994 to December 2001) as a high performing manager in Guinness Nigeria. He rose from Shift Brewer to Training & Technical Development Manager, and later acted in senior roles as Production Manager and Technical Manager.

In addition to constantly challenging the status quo and influencing positive work changes, he built a reputation for using self-taught spreadsheet programming skills (starting with Lotus 1-2-3, and later moving to Excel Visual Basic) – in his spare time – to develop Automated Spreadsheet Applications to computerize manual report generation processes in the departments he worked. Over four(4) of his applications were adopted for brewery level reporting.

Tayo holds a B.Sc degree in Agricultural Extension Services from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, having graduated top of his class – with Second Class Upper Division honors – in 1992. He is an Associate Member of the UK Institute & Guild of Brewing, a 1997 National Finalist of the Nigerian Institute of Management’s(NIM) Young Managers’ competition, a Certified Psychometric Test Administrator for Psytech UK, innovator of Spontaneous Coaching for Self-Development™ (SCfS-D™), and Founder of the Self-Development Academy (SDAc).

When he’s not amazing clients with his superhuman skills (wink), Tayo works as the creative force behind his Daily Self-Development Nuggets blog – on which he also publishes The Farm CEO Weekly Newspaper (sent via email to paid subscribers) and his Weekly Performance Improvement IDEAS newsletter.

You can connect with him on Twitter @tksola.com and Facebook.

Visit Tayo Solagbade Dot Com, to download over over 10 performance improvement resources to boost your personal and work related productivity.

====
[IMPORTANT NOTE:====

On 4th May 2014, Tayo’s 9 year old domain (Spontaneousdevelopment dot com), which hosted his website, was taken over by Aplus.net.

Within a few days however, Tayo used his advanced self-taught web development skills to build a SUPERIOR “reincarnation” of it the website http://www.tayosolagbade.com.

But updates are still ongoing to URLs bearing the old domain name in most of the over 1,000 web pages, and blog posts

he’s published.

If you experience any difficulties finding a page or document, email Tayo at tksola dot com.

Click “Tayo, What Happened to

SpontaneousDevelopmentDotCom ?” to read a detailed narrative about how the above event occurred :-))

Here’s an article Tayo wrote, to inspire others to defy adversity, and bounce back to even greater reckoning at what they do EVERY time:

Succeed by Emerging from Adversity Like a Phoenix

(TayoSolagbade.com launches extra Hosting plan with FREE Web Marketing!)

And he wrote the one below, to explain why losing a domain name, no matter how old, NO LONGER determines your online success or otherwise:

A Proven Strategy to Find Profitable Buyers Regardless of Your Domain Name
==================

View Tayo Solagbade's video tutorials and demonstrations on Facebook Productivity Tips, Web Marketing, and for his Custom MS Excel-VB driven software applicationsJoin the SD Nuggets community on Facebook.comConnect with Tayo on Twitter.comConnect with Tayo on Google PlusConnect with Tayo on LinkedIn.com

Home |About | Contact | SD Nuggets™ | Speaking/Web Marketing IDEAS | Web Marketing Systems | Freelance Writing | MS Excel® Heaven™ | Cost-Saving Farm Biz Ideas

 

[IMPORTANT: This blog's contents are being updated following the transfer to www.tayosolagbade.com from my former domain - Spontaneousdevelopment.com. As a result, some parts of it may not work properly for now. Quick Tip: If a link contains "spontaneousdevelopment.com", simply change it to "tayosolagbade.com" - and it should work. This applies to article links as well as image links. Work continues to update the links(in over 500 articles). Tayo K. Solagbade.]

Practical Livestock Feed Formulation Handbook

Available as a PDF ebook, and also as a spiral bound print manual (from me). Click here for details.

You can also get it as an PDF ebook via my online store.

Screenshot of ebook in online store

$82.5 USD to buy it from my online store (PDF download)

N8,000.00 [Eight Thousand Naira] for persons who wish to send payment direct to my bank account.

Payment of N50,000.00 gets you the physical handbook and software on CD with videos etc, PLUS practical one-on-one, in person training with me at a feed mill in Lagos, Nigeria.

Click here to contact me about purchasing this product.

View Tayo Solagbade's video tutorials and demonstrations on Facebook Productivity Tips, Web Marketing, and for his Custom MS Excel-VB driven software applicationsJoin the SD Nuggets community on Facebook.comConnect with Tayo on Twitter.comConnect with Tayo on Google Plus

Your Gifts for Subscribing

When you signup, you'll receive:

Submit the form below to get a download link to the PDF version of my newly revised

Once you submit the form below, you will be taken directly to the downloads page, just as an auto-response message will be delivered to your inbox, with links to the promised gifts.

I look forward to meeting and/or working with you!


Signature image - Tayo K. Solagbade

Tayo K. Solagbade*
Performance Improvement Specialist & Multipreneur
*Best Practice Farm Business Support Specialist
& Founder of the MS Excel Heaven Visual Basic Automation Club & Competition(www.excelheaven.biz)

 

 

Excel-VB Driven Ration Formulator

Click to view larger screenshot

1. Click here to learn more about this app - watch demo videos etc

2. Click here to watch a 4 part video in which I demonstrate how to use this app to formulate rations using real life data sent to me by an Algerian PhD student.

Click here to contact me about purchasing this product.

EXCEL-VB DRIVEN POULTRY LAYER FARM MANAGER SOFTWARE

Click here to download a detailed PDF user guide and watch 15 screen shot user guide tutorials of the Monthly Poultry Farm Manager that I now offer Farm CEOs.

Click here to watch a screenshot demonstration of the Excel-VB Driven Poultry Farm Manager I built for a client farm business in Ekiti state, South West Nigeria.

Click here to contact me about purchasing this product.

Name:
Email:
 
Powered by Optin Form Adder

Leave a Comment Here's Your Chance to Be Heard!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Facebook

Get the Facebook Likebox Slider Pro for WordPress