View Single Post
Old 06-04-2016, 08:46 AM
BobBridges's Avatar
BobBridges BobBridges is offline Windows 7 64bit Office 2010 32bit
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 695
BobBridges has a spectacular aura aboutBobBridges has a spectacular aura about

This is an old thread, but it happens to interest me. I'm a contractor and I do a lot of VBA work (mostly Excel, some Access and a very little Outlook). But no one hires me to do that; they hire me because I'm a specialist in mainframe security (that's RACF, ACF2 and Top Secret if there are any mainframers reading this). Once I'm there I find VBA/Excel useful for some of the work, and perhaps my clients discover also that I can do Excel automation and start handing more of it to me—currently lots more.

You can take a couple different lessons from this:
  • There are jobs out there for VBA automators, but the jobs pay surprisingly poorly considering the value automation adds. Maybe that's because there are so many VBA automators. If you have another and more valued skill—or if you can present your skills in another and more valued context—you'll still do VBA automation and be all the more valued for it. I'm billed as a mainframe-security jock, and I am, and it gets me in the door. But automation is really what turns me on, and often what I end up doing. So I automate security processes, and can do it all the better because I understand security. I don't know what your niche would be, but maybe you can find or invent one and sell automation as an add-on to that (better-paying) niche.
  • No matter what you're hired for, as long as you satisfy your employers you will in time end up doing what you're good at. By "in time" I don't mean the first few months or quarters, but it always happens. (If a quarter seems too long to wait for the recognition you deserve, no advice I can give will be any help anyway.)
By they way, I heartily concur with DeprecatedZero's advice to get other languages under your belt. Usually these days I write new code in REXX, VBA and VBScript, but over the past decades I've touched almost two dozen other languages and I'm always interested in adding another, just by reading the manuals and trying it. Another language is another opening—and the arcane languages are the ones that make you a hard-to-find resource for employers.
Reply With Quote