One of the questions I get quite often from my students and readers, is this one: When I've completed this course, or your book, how can I keep my Visual Basic skills sharp?
That's a good question and over the years I've had several suggestions. How about writing a Visual Basic program based on one of your hobbies? Or finding a charitable organization that could use a Visual Basic program written to help them out? Or even entering a Visual Basic contest (such as the one being run now by VBExplorer.com) or a programming fair like the one I am currently sponsoring?
Recently, one of my readers alerted me to another alternative that you may want to check out called the VB Design team.
Here's the idea: A group of people interested in Visual Basic development get together (well, as much as you can get together via the Internet) and work on Visual Basic projects as a team. Sounds like a great idea doesn't it? The concept reminds me of something which I tried to get off the ground a few years ago myself, and which for a number of reasons (time, distance, the limitations of the Internet) never fulfilled its promise. This site seems much better organized.
How do you join? There's a link off the main page to register. You'll first need to subscribe to the VB Design team group at egroups.com, and then register with the VB Design team. According to the Web Site's latest statistics, there are 548 members in 61 countries registered.
The site has links to a Projects message board that shows that there are five projects currently in development by team members, and suggestions for six others (any team member can suggest a project). In addition to Projects, the site has hot links to its egroups board, a chat facility, and Visual Basic links.
In glancing through the message board, I suspect that the same problems that plagued my group may impact this one. But regardless, the site is a good place to start if you'd like to work on a project with a group of Visual Basic devotees.
Written by John Smiley, MCP, MCSD and MCT, author, and adjunct professor of Computer Science at Penn State University in Abington, Philadelphia University, and Holy Family College. John has been teaching computer programming for nearly 20 years.
John Smiley is president of Smiley and Associates, http://www.johnsmiley.com/smass/smass.htm a computer consulting firm located in New Jersey.