COVID-19: Choose between our familiar (but now socially distanced) classroom training courses and our excellent new live online courses.

Programming Training Courses

If you're trying to learn to program, this page is for you! It lists all of our training courses in C#, SQL and VBA, as well as giving links to many other training resources.

Macros and Programming classroom training

Programming classroom training

Our pure programming courses are listed below:

Alternatively, why not organise your own onsite Programming course, or have a look at the extensive changes we've made to our classroom training to allow social distancing.

Macros and Programming classroom training

Online Programming training

We also run many of these programming courses online:

Not sure how if online training is for you? We've created a detailed page for you to see exactly how our online courses work (probably better than you think!).

Which is the right Programming course for you?

We like programming!  To help you choose which language to learn, we've included a quick guide below.  To avoid any bias, the languages are listed in alphabetical order.

Language When and why you would use it
C# Visual C# allows you to build websites and forms-based systems in .NET.
SQL SQL allows you to extract information from SQL Server databases, and then manipulate it.
VBA Visual Basic for Applications is the language included in Microsoft Office, and allows you to automate Excel, Access and other programs.

Here are the main courses that we teach in each language:

If you're not a specialist programmer, you'll probably want to avoid learning C#, but becoming proficient in SQL or VBA may well make you able to do day-to-day tasks more quickly, without needing to resort to getting help from your (busy) IT department all the time.

Whichever language you choose, you'll have to master the same core concepts:

Concept Explanation
Variables Variables are places in which you can store single items of data, such as integers, dates and bits of text.
Conditions At the heart of programming is the ability to test a condition, to see which execution path to follow.
Loops Also at the heart of programming is the ability to repeat a series of steps a number of times, perhaps while a particular condition is true.

Note, however, that you won't encounter the above if you stick to learning the basics of SQL only.

10 things our Programming courses include

Each of our scheduled courses (whether classroom or online) includes:

  1. Small course sizes - we have a maximum of 5 people on each classroom or online course.
  2. A trainer! And not just anyone - our courses are only ever given by full-time Wise Owls.
  3. Full colour courseware and exercises of oustanding quality.
  4. A no cancellation guarantee (once you've booked and confirmed your training course, it will run).
  5. A one gigabyte USB stick, containing course files, answers to exercises and (by the end of the course) your answers too, together with a Sheaffer biro.
  6. Unofficial help after the course (although we don't have a dedicated post-course support line, in practice trainers will be happy to answer the odd ad hoc question after a course has taken place).
  7. A certificate sent out digitally or in paper form (your choice) after each course, together with (for tailored courses) the trainer's thoughts on how the course went.

In addition, our classroom courses also include:

  1. A computer for each delegate (obviously).
  2. Lunch out each day at a local restaurant (chosen on the day of the course, after discussion!).
  3. Unlimited refreshments during the day, including Tassimo or Nespresso coffee and a range of biscuits and snacks to keep you going through those dark afternoon hours.

Still not convinced? You can read hundreds of testimonials to the quality of our training (all attributed and added in the last 3 years.

About our Programming training

Programming has come on over the years, but the essential principles remain the same (in virtually every language you create variables, test conditions and iterate over loops).  To show the evolution of programming over the decades, here are the languages learnt by the oldest of the Wise Owls:

Decade Main language learnt Notes
1980s Fortran In early Fortran you had to colour in shapes on punch cards with a 2B pencil!  How times have changed ...
1990s VBA The 1990s saw Microsoft roll out Visual Basic for Applications across all of the MIcrosoft Office product range; it's still going strong today.
2000s SQL T-SQL is the dialect of SQL used for extracting data from SQL Server.
2010s C# C, C++, Java and JavaScript are all variants of C#.

We don't train in Fortran (thank goodness), but we do still train in the languages from the other 3 decades.

Other Macros and Programming training resources

There are so many ways in which we can help you learn Programming, as the impressive list below shows.

Blogs on Programming

Whether you're learning to program in SQL, VB, VBA or C#, we'll have written a blog to help you.

Programming training venues

Our scheduled programming courses run in the following venues.

Programming books or publications

If you're teaching yourself VBA, we've also published our own book.

Self-paced Programming online training

You can teach yourself how to program in Visual Basic for Applications by following this online tutorial.

Programming courseware manuals

To show what our training is like, you can download sample chapters from our courseware.

Videos on Programming

Our videos can help you to learn to program in SQL, VBA, C# or DAX.

Test your Programming skills

Test your SQL or VBA programming skills using one of these categories.

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