Yesterday I did a full-day training session in Excel 2003 at a local Auto-Parts manufacturer (yes there are a few left) and despite not much enthusiasm on my part going in, it turned out to be a satisfying and inspiring event for me (and apparently for them too).
I used to teach several sessions a week back in the 90’s but became so discouraged by the inability of so many people to appreciate what was sitting in front of them in Excel, even then, that I stopped promoting training. If people don’t want to learn this stuff then I’ll sell them MY skills instead. It has worked pretty good for ME, if not so good for those missing out on what they COULD be doing themselves.
But yesterday I added a section from my seminar recently give in Holland, at the fantastic SDN Conference, called “Excel Development – Rules of Engagement”, in addition to the standard overview of SUMIF and IF() and Date and String functions. In this section I talked about WHY you would use Excel and how to best organize your spreadsheets to optimize their re-use and their interaction with corporate data sources and each other (things like using a Query Table to automatically draw in Product data from a central single source) and why you have to use Protection both for the workbook and the Worksheet even if YOU are the principal user. I also FINALLY got to teach somebody the powers of the “Lists” in Excel (now even more capable as “Tables” in 2007 and 2010).
They got it – or seemed to anyway.
If anyone is interested in this training session feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be glad to provide the session either in person or even on-line to your company (for a reasonable fee plus costs of course :-)).
But regardless of whether I do this session again, I am at least inspired for one day.