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Skipping Levels
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost   43 days ago

Don't Skip Around

I wanted to take a minute to share this email I received from one of my students. I get emails like this a lot, so I wanted to share it with everyone:

I have already purchased all Beginner and some of the Expert level Access courses... I need good databases to collect data on patients... I do not create letters or labels, nor intend to. I do need to being able to pull out data through queries and reports. I do not intend to be at a Developer level... thinking Expert is all I need. I do not know SQL so not sure if I need [that].

My reply:

Yeah, I hear that from a lot of people. The problem is that even though a particular class might be writing letters, and you might never write letters, that class might also cover some important lessons to write the letters which you might need later. For example, Expert 5 not only deals with writing letters, but it teaches you a lot about report formatting, editing embedded macros, what "dirty" records are, refreshing a form's data before opening a report (or another form) and a lot of other stuff. Writing the letter is just the "project" for that class. But consider it a project… for class. Even though you might not use that specific example, the techniques taught in every class have value. That's why I strongly recommend not skipping lessons.

But to answer your question… if you plan on doing a lot of data entry and need to "pull out data through queries" then SQL is definitely something I would consider learning. I have two seminars that might be right up your alley: SQL Part 1, Search Seminar.

When I'm making classes, I often have a list of topics to cover, and I might just pick some random project to do in class just to cover a topic. For example, in my VB classes, I create a cash register program for a hot dog stand. Will you ever be running a hot dog stand? Probably not. But the lessons are important for what comes next. In my ASP class we create a web site to sell used computer equipment: PCResale. Are you going to sell used computer equipment? Probably not.

You get my point. Think of these as samples. Learn from them. 

Also, even if you think you know everything that I cover in that lesson, it's worth the time to just preview it. I recommend putting it on 2x speed and at least giving it a cursory watch. You might pick up a few tips or tricks. They're peppered throughout my lessons at random places. 

Take Classes In Order

Again, I received another email from a student, Mark. This time, he gives a great story about why you should take my courses in the order they're presented even if you don't think you'll need that lesson:

As well as Richard, being extremely knowledgable as I may have mentioned before, I must also reiterate how great his teaching style is. This really became apparent as I reached the end of Expert Level 7. These lessons were about creating mass mailings from Reports, but also about Junction Relationships to allow many-to-many relationships - I wouldn’t have known what that meant if I hadn’t taken these courses! The button I had created (following the steps in the videos) was not appearing when viewing the form - once I fixed this (I had it in the Page Footer and not Form Footer!), I also had Type! errors on my displayed letters. It didn’t take me long to establish the data was being pulled from the wrong Query.

My overall point is, that if I hadn’t taken these classes from the very beginning I would have had no idea as where to start, when trying to figure out the error. Thanks to Richard’s teaching style, I was able to not only understand the error, but also find the root cause of it. As In the future, as I move through the Advanced, then Developer classes, the knowledge I have learned so far will be invaluable.

I cannot thank Richard enough, not only for his time to create these videos and help guides, but also the order and explanation he deploys them. A must, MUST have if you’re wanting to learn how to use Microsoft packages, and more importantly if you want to understand exactly how to manipulate them to your own advantage.

So, don't just take it from me. My lessons are presented in a certain order for a reason.

What Do I Need?

People often email me telling me what goals they want to accomplish with their database, which is great. However, it's not just as simple as me saying, "OK, you need Expert Levels 3, 8, 12, and 24." Even though I may cover a particular topic, like invoicing, in Expert Level 9, you still need everything from the previous couple of levels to understand how to make that invoice. Here's my reply to one student who sent me a list of what he's trying to accomplish:

Well, I always recommend starting from Access Beginner 1 and working your way up... not because I'm trying to sell more lessons, but because I cover a lot of fundamentals in those videos that are essential for doing things right (or at least my way) so when you get to the higher levels, you understand what I'm doing.

That being said, I cover invoicing in my Expert classes, and in this TechHelp video: Invoicing. As far as reconciliation goes, that all depends on how you have your tables set up. Are you saying that you want to take multiple tickets and then "assign" them to an invoice? If so, check out Time And Billing. OnDblClick events and things of that nature are usually covered in my Developer classes. But you'll also find some TechHelp videos for those things too: On Dbl Click

So you see, I've got pretty much everything you could want to know how to do covered... and you can jump around my site taking this lesson and then that lesson... OR... you could just watch the classes as they were meant to be covered, in order.

Hope this helps!

Richard

 

Skipping Levels Upload Images   Link 
Adam Schwanz 
43 days ago
I remember wanting to skip the advanced lessons so bad. I was saying to myself, why would I waste my time on learning all this macro stuff when I'm just going to never use it again as soon as I get into VBA in the dev classes. Read More...
Richard Rost
41 days ago
The only reason I wanted to include macros at all was because AT THE TIME, Microsoft was planning on incorporating them heavily into Access Web Apps. You wouldn't be able to use VBA in them. Well, Web Apps crashed and burned. However, like you said, I do cover a lot of extra stuff in those lessons like events, event procedures and timing. It's all valuable stuff.

However... I do think the next time I re-record, I'll be skipping Advanced and going straight from Expert to Developer 1. I feel it's just as easy to learn VBA as it is to use Macros. Macros are like VBA in a baby walker. :)
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