For a long time I’m opening different DataViz tools in order to play and learn with them. In my early days I’ve been creating dashboard and visualization using SAP BEX, IBM Cognos and mainly SAP Business Object Webi. Dataviz has never been my speciality and now I’m willing to learn more about the possibility theses tools offers.
For it, when I open the software I’m always struggling when choosing a file or a database connection to import data. Well, … Which data to use ? I don’t have any examples, spread sheets to use. So I’m always a bit stuck when I want to do/learn something. In my twitter feed, I had for a time a sponsored tweet of linpack-for-tableau.com and there come the idea to work on the same use case.
In order to get my spread sheet, as a lifetime learner I open Visual Studio Code and lots of Ruby learning material. I really had issues to create a simple script which export faked data in a csv file. At first, I was using my previous knowledge of building Rails app and nothing worked ! I didn’t understand why my code wasn’t working as I was just using a really simple and natural
2.years.ago after some research, I figured out that I’ve never learned Ruby but Rails. And that’s been a bad move. Not that Rails is a bad framework but because Rails is an amazing framework lots of natural things you do in rails are in fact Rails specific and note part of Ruby itself. Don’t get me wrong, Ruby is a really nice scripting language. But’s work that @dhh and all the community around have done is just incredible. And what surprised me even more is that @dhh also thought his toolkit can be helpful outside of Rails so he made it available as a standalone gem.
All of this to say what ??
First, before learning a framework or a big stack, learn the basis first ! And then, from now on I’ll probably write a bite more pure Ruby to generate data and help me in my path of continuous learning new data tools and technic (and coding).
If you’re interested, here is the github project of my data generator that I’ll use for later experiments.