Why does Small Basic exist?

We've spoken to college students about Small Basic in the past and I've heard Small Basic explained and presented. That led me to realize that we need a short and concise explanation for the existence of Small Basic...


Small Basic exists to help students as young as age eight learn the foundations of computer programming and then graduate to Visual Basic via the free software, Visual Studio Express, where they can continue to build on the foundation by learning Visual C#, VB.NET, and Visual C++.


And here is a more feature-oriented explanation from the Small Basic founder, Vijaye...

What is Small Basic?

Small Basic is a project that is focused at making programming accessible and easy for beginners. It consists of three distinct pieces:

  1. The Language
  2. The Programming Environment
  3. Libraries

The Language draws its inspiration from an early variant of BASIC but is based on the modern .Net Framework Platform. The Environment is simple but rich in features, offering beginners several of the benefits that professional programmers have come to expect of a worthy IDE. A rich set of Libraries help beginners learn by writing compelling and interesting programs.

Who is Small Basic for?

Small Basic is intended for beginners that want to learn programming. In our internal trials we've had success with kids between the ages of 10 and 16. However, it's not limited to just kids; even adults that had an inclination to programming have found Small Basic very helpful in taking that first step.

See Also

Comments (8)

  1. Hi Ed

    I liked your note, very much

    My experience in teaching students programming is with 16/17 years old, at high school. Most of them, do not choose ICT in further studies.

    At High School, they not only really like MS Small Basic, but had no difficulty in understanding the SB program instructions, as it is almost like reading a natural language (English), or pseudo code. At this level of study reaches me with the tutorial Introduction to Programming. I think the tutorial Curriculum, exceeds the requirements of that grade level.

    Moreover, the few young people that choose after finish high school ICT, in  major institutes and universities (which give the certificate Microsoft), they recommend Java and C #.

    I think a brief introductory course Small Basic, help these students beginning C # or Java, because SB gives them very easily in the foundation of programming: variables, conditions and branching, loops, etc..

    Spread among students also rumored that Visual Basic would be discontinued by Microsoft, in short, which the majority starts. NET, opt for C # instead of Visual Basic.

    I want to add that since MS Small Basic began,  was been added a lot of extensions and I hope they keep adding many extensions more, which gives me the impression that it is becoming a powerful language but also easy to use and fun.

    I Hope proficient enough to Small Basic to make good programs and graduate they, to take for my SB  program graduated to Visual Basic, Iwould take advantage of OO in this graduate program.

    Sorry my English and thanks for your attention

  2. Jibba Jabba says:

    Good objective. I reckon kids are the most important resource on the planet. I'm also glad and appreciative that it's not just limited to kids as inclusion is an important concept as well. From what I can gather MS have been making a turbo charged contribution to the world since its start up, and not just to the world of technology.:)

  3. anonymouscommenter says:

    Good objective. Nice information you have provided. Thanks for the post..!

  4. Yagmoth555 says:

    Really good initiative ! I used to learn programming with qbasic, with the end of the DOS's era I'am happy to see the next "version" of Basic to come alive to fill a big gap in the learning step. I worked in a school some year back, and In the mid-90's era they had to switch from qbasic to another language. They took at first visual basic, but they choose another product in the end to make the learning step easier due to the age of the student. So really good initiative for Small Basic 🙂  (it remind me the old day when was a kid you had in magazines quickbasic code to make a game by yourselft, hehe :))

  5. Carlos, thank you for your comment!

    Anybody who read it can find the Small Basic extension list here: blogs.msdn.com/…/small-basic-extensions-gallery.aspx


  6. Jibba Jabba,

    Well said/written. =^)

    Children are our future. If they decide to learn how to create and improve technology (meaning they learn computer science, but there are other disciplines needed as well), then they can continue our future of technology growth and build a strong national economy and international economy. However, if the trends continue (the need for technology workers is greater than the supply), meaning that the supply is currently going down and the demand is going up… if this trend continues, then we will continue to see economic problems and eventually the future improvement of technology will be at stake. So it comes down to this… How motivated are students to learn this? How motivated are we to teach the next generation?

    Hopefully Small Basic can help with that (a piece of the puzzle).


  7. Thank you, Yagmoth! Yes, Microsoft's first product was a version of BASIC. And we've continued that trend to today with VB.NET and Small Basic! Quick BASIC was a good product, but there wasn't a need for another professional version of BASIC. However, Small Basic fills the gap (as you mentioned) by existing as an educational product, and not as a business-based product. (Another example is Kodu, which is for younger kids.) In our technological and online world today, education needs to be free. And Microsoft is helping meet that need with free solutions to learn development.


  8. anonymouscommenter says:


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