How often do you use it? Is it greatly appreciated i.e. rewarded by your employer?
Daily. Helps productivity and stops me from doing tedious and monotonous things manually. It’s rewarded by my employer in that I get to keep my job because I get things done. They don’t tend to give a sh1t how I do it. If you don’t have time to learn it to a high proficiency it’s at least worth looking into what it can actually do. Then compare it to regular tasks you do at work, learn some basic syntax and then just google a solution, where chances are someone has made a procedure, and you can just copy the code.
Just wrote several short codes in the last few weeks, probably saved me a week of sleep. When it is do or die, it is better to do and sleep. That is the best reward.
Very important, if you aren’t a Quant and you know VBA then it should fetch you extra points IMO!
If you’re good at VBA, you can do basically everything that packaged quant software can do (though it will probably be much slower).
I do not know how to write it, should add it to the quickly growing list of stuff I need to do.
VBA is good in a lot of ways, but I only use it if I MUST do what I’m doing in excel. I just recently picked up R. There are some great materials on line. I still have a place in my heart for Matlab, but R is free and there are some great finance/quant packages out there.
^ There’s lot of free stuff in R, but flexibility in MATLAB is simply amazing, nothing even close to it!
I just know how to simple codes…can anyone tell how do I extract data from a third party application … Is there any website where I can find these codes??
Depends on what the third party application is…
I use ISM (pretty douchey platform by IBM) and want to write a couple of macros around it to make my life easier…
supermario Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I use ISM (pretty douchey platform by IBM) and > want to write a couple of macros around it to make > my life easier… This ISM thing is actually placing one more layer between user and database, so I don’t think ISM commands will work in VBA. What yo can do is, you can find out which database engine it’s using and what’s the path of database. For this you can ask any IT guy in your firm, he will tell you, it’s IT’s work. Tell the IT guy to write a sample code to pull up some data, he will define the database connection object (which is what you need) in VBA, and once you got that, you just need to know which SQL (to write the query). After that, you can use that same code in all your macros by just changing what you need to pull up in that SQL query. Just find an IT guy and relax!
The googling/macro recording methods are nice if you need to put a simple script together, but I would suggest doing a bit of VB programming on your own, or taking a few classes related to programming languages in general. The VB/VBA language is very basic (hence the name- Visual Basic) and so the syntax is easy to pick up. But it’s still nice to understand some core programming concepts- functions, recursion, sorting, arrays, etc. 9 out of 10 of the macros I write are very basic, but the 10th one involves thought and knowledge of the programming process. Plus, it’s nice to know how to cut down on lines of code and how to do something in the most efficient manner possible.
I was thinking about taking an intro Computer Science class where they teach VB or taking an advanced Econometrics class which would give me the credits to get a Bus. Economics degree (already Acct/Finance). What would you recommend (comes down to what would help me more, knowing VB/VBA or the Econ. degree)? I’m also thinking about getting a Masters in Finance if I can’t get a job.
The Economics degree will have negligible returns. People tend to assume that Finance and Economics people have similar skills. Programming skills, on the other hand, are super useful.
I bought a 1000 pages excel bible to learn it myself, I’m sure it will help me in the future.
luisg99 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I was thinking about taking an intro Computer > Science class where they teach VB or taking an > advanced Econometrics class which would give me > the credits to get a Bus. Economics degree > (already Acct/Finance). What would you recommend > (comes down to what would help me more, knowing > VB/VBA or the Econ. degree)? I’m also thinking > about getting a Masters in Finance if I can’t get > a job. I would say do both. VB is obviously useful if you work with excel, but it might be better to take a C++/Java/Python class instead. Once you have the skills of a stronger language, every other language is pretty easy. My first programming language is Matlab and I think I could have learned it on my own with the online resources that are out there. If the decision is between a single major and a double major, it can’t hurt to have one additional class to be able to say you double-majored. A lot of advanced statistics involves packages with their own programming languages. While you may not need it for the class, you would need it if you’re doing something complicated in the real world. In my experience, advanced econometrics classes normally focus on either instruments and panel data or time series, but normally not both in detail. If the class you’re taking focuses on time series, it will be worth it (ie. learning time series topics well is probably as valuable as learning a programming language, since it is easier to teach yourself the basics of a programming language). If it focuses on panel data and stuff and you already know statistics and econometrics already, it may be less important and I would take the programming language.
I use VBA for simple scripts all the way to writing complete applications that, after filling in some data on a couple of user forms, spits out a 40 page perfectly formatted report that is ready to be PDF’d and mailed to the client. A huge shortcoming with VBA though is that it is hard to run on another persons computer due to all of the security features in microsoft office. Its better to learn VB or C# so that they can run as a semi-standalone product (semi because they still need the .net runtime environment to work). Both are fairly easy to use because of the huge object library that Microsoft has put together. I learned VBA, VB, and C# from scratch with no prior programming experience so that shows just how easy it is to learn. Regarding how well it is appreciated…based on my pay and the fact that it is no different than any other analyst here (none of which know how to program in any language) I would say it is not appreciated at all
I guess the value is that it saves you time doing laborious stuff… i’d be happy with that. Since posting i’ve come on leaps and bounds, but it is frustrating because different programmers use different conventions. I keep on having to refer to the net and some of the stuff is easy (macro tool), fully qualified references etc. It is when you start using vba variables and proramming loops that it seems to be a different language altogether. I have programmed a userform that has a drop down combo box. It pulls the data (an ISIN) from a dynamic named range and drops that in to my tradeticket. Then it does a vlookup on the data and autofills the rest of the document. It has taken about 2 weeks of stop start programming. Because I have taken some code from stuff posted online there are bits that I understand (the simple bits) and bits that I dont (the variables and the language associated with that). Any good sources to recommend? For the record, I have the Excel VBA for dummies from Walkenbach and have read it a couple of times. Applying it is a different matter. Like I say there seems to be low level VBA (macro) and hard core VBA. Though I am plugging away. I also know there are plenty of forums out there and I will probably start using them soon.
If you are new to programming you should expect to not fully understand everything. You will find that as you code more and more, it will start to come very naturally. I got my start using VBA for Dummies but that is only good for understanding program structure and syntax. Check out www.excelforum.com and look at their “Excel Programming” forum. Every time you come up against something you don’t know how to do or something you don’t understand just do a search and if you can’t find an answer go ahead and post a question. They are very responsive there. You could always post a question here as well and one of the excel power users could probably answer it.