This episode is important! Jordan presents himself as a Contrarian, but I disagree. What Jordan brings is so much more important than being Contrarian.
‘Contrarian’ can be taken as contrary for the sake of being contrary. Over and over, Jordan says, “You don’t have to agree with me, but …”
So, really, Jordan is offering a strong invitation to be more conscious about what we do, why and what’s at stake. This shows up in everything from how we write VBA code, overuse the IF function, writing documentation in workbooks, and taking on questionable clients or projects.
As an example, Jordan describes how getting IF to work in the wrong situation really shows a misunderstanding of what the problem is. IF is a branching condition problem, but often gets used as a lookup function where MATCH, CHOOSE, VLOOKUP or INDEX would be more appropriate.
But who cares? What’s the big deal?
If there are 50 values in a lookup array, that’s easy to handle with lookup functions. However, if the same lookup is done with nested IF statements, that quickly turns into an unnecessary mess that’s hard to troubleshoot. That’s also evidence of not understanding the difference between a lookup value and a condition.
Jordan’s most compelling response to “who cares?” is the discussion around writing VBA code. Getting the code to do the work is one thing. But, Jordan warns that the code should be written for 2 people:
- Anyone else who needs to be able to dig into the code.
- Future You who has to be able to read what you did days, months or years prior.
It’s all about being mindful. It’s in line with the conversation between Jordan and Cary Walkin on Episode 16. Jordan and Cary disagreed on 2 different way of writing VBA code.
Cary writes for ease of troubleshooting. Keep all of the code in one place because when it gets complicated, “it’s all right there.” You don’t have to go looking in named ranges and hidden helper columns.
Jordan writes for efficiency. Code runs faster, there’s less wear on the computer … and sometimes that means the code isn’t all in one place.
What’s the bottom line?
As Jordan says, “You don’t have to agree with me, but you do need to think about these things.”
Where to Find Jordan
Check out Jordan’s Book
Advanced Excel Essentials will question the way you attack your Excel problems. Check it out.