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  1. Senior Member /usr's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    West Virginia

    Default Programming Practice?

    I'm interested in furthering my VB 2005 skills. I realize the only real way to do this is by programming. However, aside from what I do at work, I really don't know what else to program. I know I can just "make something up", but I'm having trouble coming up with anything I feel would be worthwhile.

    To those who have ran into the problem. What have you coded for fun? How did you practice? Did you use websites, tutorials, etc.?
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  3. Sie
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    Dec 2005
    England, UK

    ADITP (Advanced Diploma for IT Practitioners) & MCSA (70-270, 70-290, 70-291, 70-299) | Currently working towards C|EH
    Give me 2 secs i think there was a mention of some good example in a thread I started a while back let me look....

    [Edit - Added the below]

    Removed - Doh!!

    [Edit 2 - Just looked again and I doubt these are anything like your after
    There are a few books that might be however:
    Though i havent used any personally so i couldnt recommend.]

    Remembers to think before posting next time.
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  4. Certification Invigilator Forum Admin JDMurray's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    PenTest+, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, CASP, CEH (revoked), CCNA, CCENT, CWSP, CWNA, CWTS, Security+, Server+, Network+, A+, MSIT InfoSec
    If you want to specifically concentrate on improving your understanding of the VB.NET language or the .NET Framework, I would suggest books that emphasize learning by presenting step-by-step projects, such as constructing games, database applications, or other fun and useful tools. If you decide to make up your own project from scratch, you will also need to learn about .NET object-oriented application architecture too. In other words, in addition to learning the VB.NET and .NET implementation details, you'll also have to tackle writing the blueprint for your app at the same time as well. This is a bit much for even intermediate programmers who are creating non-trivial .NET applications.

    For just to polishing-up your .NET programming skills, I would stick with pre-designed projects and leave learning about proper .NET object-oriented design until you feel comfortably experienced with the .NET environment and languages. This will keep you from "biting off more than you can chew" and getting discouraged with .NET programming--which is an easy thing to have happen when a boss isn't holding your paycheck and a handful of deadlines over your head.
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  5. Junior Member
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    Dec 2006
    Leicester, england


    I am currenly going through Visual Baisc 2005 step by step book. (among other books) When I have finished a chapter I try to do examples of what I have learned not just in the book parrot fashion, I seem to pick it up a bit better as well. I still have not got to grips with OOP but it will come with time, I am just learning the syntax of VB2005 for now.

    It is not that hard to think of a subject to code for. I did a mutiple form application for a pizza parlour with as many toolbox items I could think of, linked to a access database and allowed the user to change the toppings, pizza sizes, bases , names and contents of pre defined pizza's prices etc. I was thinking of an application to do while ordering a pizza! I learned a lot and used the books for reference as well

    Also there are some good starter packs microsoft provide.

    Most applications are some sort of ordering/quoting/stock system so try one of those. e.g A application to hold your CD/DVD collection, an address book with email links etc etc

    Good luck
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  6. Johan Hiemstra Forum Admin Webmaster's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
    52n31, 6e06
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    MCSE NT4 MCSA 2000/2003 Security+ (expired: CWNA, CNA, CCNA)
    Although there are indeed a lot of sample applications to 'recreate', the most fun practice application is the one you make up yourself. You have some experience with MS Access right? How about finding someone who needs a custom app to store information, like an artist or collector who wants to create a personal catalog. You could store the data in SQL server express but you could also built in Datasets that can be saved to / loaded from XML files to keep in small and simple. Combined with basic menus, toolbars, installation, form controls, file IO, etc, a small application like that can be good practice for a wide range of topics. Some other suggestions:
    - networking, i.e. networking tools (simple clients, network monitors)
    - Windows system tools (custom performance monitor, event logs, diagnostic
    - graphic manipulation utilities (ie. create a simple app that loads the common file formats and can export it to a valid .ico favicon.ico, that's the small icon in front of the URL of the browser's address bar / favorites. That would be welcomed by webmasters and bloggers despite their already being tools that do it, something wizard-like, and free, specifically for this task, should be a success.)

    What have you coded for fun?
    - Our IP subnet calculator
    - A 2D shooter It's based on a more advanced version I created in the initial XNA beta in C# and wanted to see what I could do with VB in terms of graphics and sound. It's less than 400 lines of code but just something I threw together, James and I already started on some proper code and small application examples.
    - Something I'm still working on after a year and has taken over my life. Solving virtual problems you create yourself can be quite addictive.

    How did you practice?
    In a similar way I learned DOS once, by trying out 'everything'. In this case that means, for example, browsing through the rest of the methods, properties and values even if you already found the ones you need for the task at hand. For me it's most comparable to writing but it goes for any craft: the more often you do it the better you become at it. (and writers also don't always know what to write about for practice)

    Did you use websites, tutorials, etc.?
    Lots and lots of websites. I always seem to end up back at mostly MSDN and devx.

    I hope this helps, and let us know what you end up creating.
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