Interview with Mike Van Niekerk


Mike Van Niekerk is the author of VBA Automation Cookbook, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey.

Mike: Call it a lucky break, if you will. It all started with a colleague whom PACKT had asked whether she knew someone with VBA knowledge. The next thing I knew, I received an email, answered a couple of questions, presented an outline, and the rest is history.

Q: How long did it take you to write the book?

Mike: The short answer is 8 months. A more philosophical response would be 25 years, because that’s how long I’ve been working with Excel and VBA

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Mike: My research was disguised as lecturing. Dealing with students, you come to a deep understanding of the challenges newcomers to VBA are confronted with.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Mike: My biggest challenge was to find enough time to write, and to stay focused amidst the normal pressures of life. I learned that motivation is a myth, and that routine produces much better results. I’m one of those who operate according to the first law of hydraulics; no pressure, no flow.

Q: What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Mike: Humans learn by repetition, and that’s a fact of life. A very small percentage of us can assimilate knew concepts by hearing it only once. The secret to success in acquiring a new skill is in spaced repetition.

Q. How do you keep up-to-date on your tech?

Mike: Reading, lecturing, and consulting. Clients keep you on your toes, believe me!

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Mike: What a friendly, helpful team of people! That’s how I think of Packt. From proposal to outline, and with every chapter, they’ve been extremely supportive. When I fell behind schedule, they encouraged me and helped me get back on track. I would enjoy working with them any day again. New authors will seldom find a more supportive publisher.

You can find Mike’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

VBA Automation Cookbook – Available on