Becoming an Expert MS Access Database Programmer

Some people like to think that expert database programmers just sprout up out of the ground while the rest of us are left trying to fumble our way through the complexities of Visual Basic and Standard Query Language (SQL). But many of you may be shocked to find that these experts started out much like you and me. The difference? They found a way to go from confusion to understanding. I know that you are thinking to yourself, “Well that’s easy to say, but how can I become one of those individuals?” With a few tricks, some tinkering, and a little effort, you will be one step closer to reaching your goal.

The first thing to understand is that MS Access was created to be used by large companies and individuals. In other words, it can be as complex or as simple as the user desires. This allows the program to grow in complexity as your knowledge and skills increase.

The first step to becoming an Access expert is understanding that it WILL take some time to get comfortable with the program. That is why it is crucial to remain calm and not get frustrated. Learning becomes extremely difficult when we are frustrated or tense so let’s dismiss that from the picture immediately.

Once you are no longer frustrated, we can begin our lesson. One of the great things about MS Access is the help feature. Because Access was intended for individuals, the developers included an extensive help base with the software. To neglect making use of this feature would be unwise. The next great thing about MS Access is that it provides online help if you are unable to find what you are looking for in the included help file. This should be used after exhausting the included help feature.

If neither of these help features is working, I would suggest going to a popular search engine such as Google and typing a brief question about what you are trying to accomplish (e.g. “How to create MS Access queries in VB”). This has bailed me out of trouble many times when I was trying to do something very specific and could not find an answer in either help file mentioned above.

The next bit of advice that I can give you is this: don’t be afraid to tinker around. Most of my knowledge of database programming came from sitting in front of my computer screen during my free time. Trust me, it is time well spent. Not only will it help you solve your problem, but you will gain familiarity with the program and its features.

As a final piece of advice, I urge you to spend time every day “tinkering” with the program. Even if it is only for 10-15 minutes, the constant exposure will pay off in the long run. I find that going to the help feature and finding an article related to something I’m interested in learning how to do helps me immensely. With some practice and a little bit of time, you will undoubtedly become very efficient with your database programming.