importance of visual basic 6 for electronics engineers

Discussion in 'Programmer's Corner' started by nikhilthunderlion, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. nikhilthunderlion

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 1, 2007
    i am an undergrauate student of ECE.i want to know the importance of learning VB6. will VB6 help me later in my life,or is there any other programming language that i should learn...
  2. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    The answer depends on your objectives and needs.

    If you're going to do programming, you should learn a number of languages. Actually, languages are pretty easy to pick up after you've learned a few of them. (Mastering them is another story.)

    I find C/C++ and python are the only languages I use on a regular basis, although I've tried and used many more. For an EE who might work in an embedded space, I would suggest learning C. You'll also probably have the ability to work with specialized tools such as Verilog, Labview, Maple/Mathematica, etc., and these can also teach aspects of programming. Pascal is an excellent teaching language but has fallen out of use (Delphi notwithstanding).

    More important than learning a language or two is learning something about software engineering.
    This is where I've seen many EE's and others stumble -- they think that by knowing how to program a language or two, they know everything they need to know. Unfortunately, that's not true. At the very least, take at least one computer science course while you have the chance. I feel the best candidate for this is "Data Structures and Algorithms" and find the toughest course you can. It will be lots of work, but it will put you miles ahead of those who don't take such things (and you'll know more about programming when you've finished the course). If you want a second course, take something like "Operating Systems", "Compiler Design", etc. -- talk to a CS teacher, as he'll give you some good advice. Emphasize you don't want to become a CS, but want a better-than-nodding familiarity with some of the material. You'll learn about things you had no idea existed and they will color how you make design decisions in the future.

    The key is to learn to become a good designer. Programmers are a dime a dozen and not especially desirable. What you want to become is a good EE/programmer who knows how to design -- that's where the fun is. I used to work at a big computer company and some of the engineers I enjoyed working with the most were the ones who knew both software and hardware design. They were very accomplished folks.
  3. KitCarlson


    Sep 27, 2009
    I use VB to make graphical user interfaces for connecting a PC to an embedded system via the USB or RS232 port. It is easy to learn with many available samples and tutorials on the web. It is possible to make call to Windows API functions for more specialized features. It is also good to know C for embedded systems and the PC.

    The more you know the better the engineer. Learn all you can when you can. Strive to learn, analog, digital, power electronics, mechanics, programming and more. Knowledge is a key in making things that work.
  4. CVMichael

    Senior Member

    Aug 3, 2007
    VB6 is not supported by Microsoft anymore, you should start learning .NET (VB or C#).

    So, to learn VB6 with the reason "will VB6 help me later in my life"; is a waste of time.

    I am a software developer for ~10 years, and I do electronics as a hobby. I know C/C++, VB6, .NET, ASP, SQL, etc... So when it comes to programming, I'd like to think I know what I'm talking about.

    So trust me when I say: Go for .NET
  5. steinar96

    Active Member

    Apr 18, 2009
    VB and C# wont get you squat when it comes to microcontrollers. You will want to learn c for that only reason if you ask me. VB and C# are fine for general software development however.
  6. CVMichael

    Senior Member

    Aug 3, 2007
    He did not say programming for microcontrollers.
    What you said is the same for VB6 also.

    So, yes, for PC programming, .NET ( VB & C# ), for microcontrollers the most common languages are ASM, C and Basic
  7. bluess57

    New Member

    Oct 18, 2009
    Well apart from VB6 being obsolete by Microsoft, it will only help if you land a job performing legacy code maintenance.
    imho, VB6 was easy to learn/use - BUT as its not a real compiled language, encourages and allows poor programming practices.
  8. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    It all depends on what you want to do, just because Microsoft doesn't support it anymore doesn't mean it can not be an important learning tool. (XP is not supported, why is it still widely used, and soon Vista?) .NET is ok if you want to openly share your code with other engineers or developers out there....

    If you want to create GUI's either for interfacing to uc's or just for making a quick app, I would go for VB6. If you want to do some tedious work designing interfaces go for C/C++, thats what the difference is in Visual Basic and other languages such as C, the VISUAL part.

    I have designed uc interfaces for the PC and PocketPC all using either embedded VB or VB6. I have also used embedded C and C/C++ to create apps, but those are more for "behind the scenes" apps. (I have also designed an automation software based on VB6 that is in use all over our state.)

    But when it comes to programming uc's is another thing, C is usually the way to go unless you like bitbanging registers in assembly (although there are some uc's preprogrammed with bootloaders and uc OS's that can be programmed in java, C or basic).

    So the more you know, the further you will go, don't limit yourself to one thing....

    My .02
  9. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    Don't have too much experience programming and am still a novice at embedded stuff. Not a newb! but a novice :). I know actionscript, HTML, CSS, C, and ASM. If you want to do embedded stuff stick with ASM or C. 98% of the demo code and code examples are in ASM or C. I think I have seen one demo in basic of a blinky led.
  10. jp0304

    New Member

    Mar 11, 2009
    I use VB6 because before I used VB5 and VB3 and Basic with Dos, I never learn C, now I'm an old man (60 years) and I'm sad to be so lazy,:( VB net is so different for me. why I pass beside C ? Idon't know, now i'm learning it.
    I'm using Bascom Basic for the microcontroler and is very easy for a lazy man !

  11. bluebrakes

    Active Member

    Oct 17, 2009
    VB6 is an easy language to learn. It does teach you the fundamentals of programming structure, etc. It is still used by some applications for its simplicity for users to make scripts within a program. Not a great example but the microsoft office suite still use it.