Getting started in Visual Basic .NET can be a daunting task—when you first fire up Visual Studio, it just sits there asking you to create a project. But what are you supposed to do next? You could start by downloading our free Quick Start guide to VB.NET. If you’ve never downloaded from our Builder Downloads site, you’ll have to register first, but no money changes hands, and we don’t require a credit card or anything like that. Honest, it really is a free download. [Editor’s Note: The Builder Downloads site uses a different registration system from You will need to create a separate login for that site, even if you’re already logged in here to]

The PDF contains detailed instructions on building your very first “Hello, World” application as well as instructions for some common tasks, such as querying a database or reading in an XML file. There are also links to online resources to help you further your VB mastery, along with links to download additional sample code.

The catch
Okay, maybe we lied. The download isn’t totally free—we do want your feedback. This is the first time we’ve tried this kind of document, and we’d like to know what we did right and what we did wrong. So download the file, give it a try, and then come back here to this article and post your feedback in the discussion thread below. We want to make this useful, so we welcome all constructive criticism.