This lesson was designed for the Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions, but you can complete it with later versions of the Visual Studio Express Editions.
This beginner's guide is designed for people with little or no prior knowledge of computer languages, who want to learn to program by using the Visual Basic language. If you have some previous programming experience, maybe in another language or from a few years ago, then you may also find this guide useful. Whether or not you have programmed before, you should already be familiar with computers before reading this guide. It assumes that you can perform simple tasks like starting a program, and that you are familiar with navigating around your computer by using Windows Explorer.
So what will you learn by reading through this guide? Well, the most important thing you can learn is that Programming is Fun! It's a great feeling of satisfaction when you finish a program and it does what you want – whether your program is a computer game that you've invented, or it controls a robotic device, or serves any other purpose that you can imagine. There may be obstacles along the way – like any challenge, programming can present difficulties – but when you see your finished program working, you can take pride in the fact that you overcame the problems, and converted your imagination into reality.
As well as – we hope – learning that programming is fun, in this guide you will learn how to create a simple program. Your program will include basic but essential programming techniques such as methods, variables, controlling program flow, and how to create your own classes – the fundamental structural units of a Visual Basic computer program.