Visual Basic Express Edition Videos

Visual Basic Express Edition Videos

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by Kathleen McGrath


Have you ever wished that you could have someone show you how to accomplish a programming task instead of having to read through the steps on how to perform the task? Or maybe you just need a little more clarification about where a particular option is located. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so imagine what a video can do.


I'm creating a series of video demonstrations that follow the Visual Basic Guided Tour in the Visual Basic Express documentation as a way to supplement the great content you'll find there. My first set of videos are based on Creating Your First Visual Basic Program.


You can watch the video for each topic individually:


Step 1: Create a Project in Visual Basic

View Video Screencast

Step 2: Create a User Interface

View Video Screencast

Step 3: Customize Looks and Behavior

View Video Screencast

Step 4: Add Visual Basic Code

View Video Screencast

Step 5: Run and Test Your Program

View Video Screencast


Or watch the entire process:


Creating Your First Visual Basic Program

View Video Screencast


Enjoy! And please feel free to send me your feedback about these video screencasts.


-- Kathleen


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  • As promised, I've created a number of video screencasts for the Visual Basic hobbyist. If you're new...

  • I think you've covered the "basics" (pun intended) quite nicely, but I wonder at the audience.

    I would suppose (perhaps incorrectly) that many of the new vb2005 folks are converts from vb6 or earlier versions.

    I know after I found one can (finally!) edit and continue that I myself am a convert (well, that and the astounding vb6-to-vb2005 docco!).  Have I used enough parens  and exclams yet?

    With that in mind, perhaps in some later feeds you may address converting vb6 to vb2005 demos.  I know there is a lot of documentation for this, but not video, I dunno, maybe too hard or specific.  

    I for one would be interested in visiting such conversion issues in visual form such as printing, api's that use variants, clipboard changes, etc.

    Once again, thank you for the clear information.  I think it helps a lot and I like the content.

    - mitch
  • While I am totally all for educating the rookie base of Visual Basic I don't think this is enough.

    The thing I've always loved about VB is that it has this broad range of use for the intro developer and even the advanced developer. Aside from the psychological/marketing perception of the proliferation of beginners resources surrounding VB, you have a neglected advanced Basic development subcommunity that wants to see some more hard core training.

    Look at the C# dev center (I'll admit the C++/CLI dev center is light years away from either), they are not the only people who care about some of the issues presented there. More importantly when all you can find is "How to read a file in VB.NET" it gives new developers the impression that VB is incapable of advanced enterprise level development. The other day I had some schmuck say that ~C# had the advantage of supporting dynamic event binding at runtime unlike VB which only supports the Handles clause~. I was looking up a book on which put the My namespace in the Advanced segment of the later chapters of the book.

    VB.COM was a language where the advanced programmer had to rely on the win32 api for power but there was certainly no shortage of interest or resources to address that thirst. Now .NET has even more tools we can use to accomplish such wonderful things it would be nice to see some Microsoft support for that higher level (300 and 400) in broad areas.
  • Mr. Green -- do you think it's possible to demonstrate advanced development practices in a video of reasonable length for Web viewing? I agree with you that it would be a great thing to do, if it's possible. Do you have an example of an advanced feature or practice that you would think would work?
  • Thanks for your feedback, Anthony. I do plan to create some more advanced videos in the future. The Visual Basic Express Edition targets the hobbyist audience and while I'm starting there, I will cover some more advanced features as well.
  • I would think that the worldwide developer community (and many notable malware) has demonstrated that the hobbyist developer isn't neccessarily doing very basic things. It just means that they aren't getting paid to blow things up.

    Just about any 16 year old knows someone who wants a website done and might pay for it, they certainly won't get VS but Web Developer Express could definately be a tool for the microbusiness.

    That said, in fairness advance topics neccessarily do require more time. More of those wonderful 1-2 hour webcasts I'm so fond of. The size of the video though is about the granularity of the topics covered. Too broad and too short and you don't accomplish much. Too specific and you have to make 101 videos (wink wink, nudge nudge) to cover the topic.

    As an example you could probably go through a list of common patterns/practice scenarios. Throw up prewritten scenario application a-la Duwamish/Fabrikam and just say "look at this situation, you need this functionality: here's a coding pattern that makes this very easy or maintainable".

    Sure they could read up about these things but as you said sometimes you want to see it. I'm not advocating "Distributed Applications in 15 Minutes" and I'm not even neccessarily saying video is always the way to go. Just saying that in general the non-newbie Basic programmer needs a little love in an increasingly C# world.

    I've heard stories (before my time) of BASIC code appearing in newspapers (or was it magazines) back in the days (before RSS) long ago when there were these companies which distributed periodicals on this sorta parchment called paper. I think BASIC has a long history of democratizing development, especially at for the tinkerer but there needs to be some gateways into more mature development. And I guess you could say "go read a book on it" but as we all know today's hobbyist developer can easily become tomorrow's CTO.

    What are your goals for video length and scope?
  • So I don't misrepresent myself--I'm not with the Visual Basic team, I'm with Visual Studio Tools for Office, but I'm thinking about how to use multimedia for VSTO and I agree with your comments that more advanced users could benefit from good content too.

    I don't really have goals for video length and scope. But it's extremely hard to create a long video that maintains interest and is useful. Once the actual coding becomes important and the complexity goes up, I would think that it would be hard to keep interest in computer screen video. Other editing tricks would be needed to keep the viewer from getting bored or hypnotized by the sameness.

    I really like the idea of using available samples and pulling out a highlight to demonstrate. That could be very useful, and there would be no need to start from scratch or show how to install the sample--just show what's necessary and an advanced developer will figure out the rest. I will look into that for VSTO.
  • Regarding the Visual Basic Express Edition videos, they parallel the content you'll already find in the Visual Basic Express Edition documentation. They "show" essentially the same thing you find in the written content (I provided a link to the documentation, and the corresponding video screencast ).  My goal for this series of videos is to accomodate different learning styles. In addition to my "Hobbyist series" of videos, I am actively creating a plan to cover more advanced scenarios using Visual Basic. You've given some great feedback on this, and I'd like to hear more about specific features that would be of interest. (kmcgrath @   --Kathleen
  • The Visual Basic Express team just posted a number of tutorials with accompanying screencasts that show...
  • Nice job! Looking forward to see more!
  • As an amateur programmer I woudl like the more advanced and hence more difficult subjects  in video form.  The basics are easily followed in a book. I consider advanced subjects to be Threading, FTP, database programming etc.  Furthermore, I find the terminology difficult sometimes so a video of terms would be great.   Oftentimes there is a tendency to use simple examples for the basics and yet complex examples for the complex areas on the MS website and other vb code websites.  What I need is simple code for complex areas.   As an ex-QBasic programmer who picked up a year ago it is difficult to migrate to OOP, that is the area I would like 'televised'

  • Good stuff - look forward to the rest

  • I think some very relevant comments have been posted here. I find myself searching for relevant content on (as well as VSTO) myself. Fine, I can do the hello world examples & maybe google to do file reads etc. but the OO part seems to be missing.

    A high resolution webcast with step by step (& no jumping away from the screen to the presenter & back) directions (Create a solution for your app, create projects for UI, business layer etc. & so on).

    If size becomes an issue maybe have a series. I would also like the same information in a pdf (okay Word) format so that I can print & follow along. Frankly, HOL & sample projects are really not as interactive as I would like them to be & really, if I was so good learning from books, I would just go thru the free ebooks on these subjects.

    One of the presenter I have always admired is Ted Pattison for his webcasts on VSTO (but printed text excerpts will really help..Can't someone at MS come up with a free SpeechToText software that these guys can all use)...

    Sorry for the rant....but I owe my success (whatever little I have had) to the ease in programming that MS brought with VB..I really love what .Net offers, but the transition to building better enterprise class apps needs to be smoother & better...


  • 説明を聞いても、本を読んでも、なかなかわからないことが、デモを見るとすぐに理解できるということはよくあります。実際、Microsoft On のワークショップでも、プレゼンを長々と続けるだけでなく、ふんだんにデモでお見せすることで参加者の方々の理解を深めたいと考えています。また、「

  • Great content.  Where I stepped into the world of expressions, variables, exceptions, and the like.  However, I would like to see code that I can use not only for the example at hand, but for little cut-up programs too.  I suppose I'm saying the lessons aren't general enough for my taste, but perhaps that's only because I code part-time.

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