The one advice I would give my last year self


If there is one advice I could give my last year self, it would be to stop running behind learning new tools.

Don’t get me wrong, tools are very useful in every realm we use them in. The problem begins when we skip learning concepts and jump directly to learning tools.

Allow me to explain with an example. When I started learning data visualization (on my own) a year back, I spent a lot of time fussing about what tools to use. As someone who spent 10 years in the IT industry, I was very comfortable with Excel. But Excel isn’t sexy enough for data viz, is it? So I started learning Tableau and attempted to learn d3.js. Because, hey programming is cooler!!

With each of these tools and languages, I realized I was stuck at the same place – Fundamental concepts of visualization.

Fundamental concepts

Tools without concepts are just tools

The fundamental concepts of visualization remain the same, no matter what tools we use. “Do not create a bar chart with a non-zero base” holds good whether we use excel or tableau.

When we jump straight to tools without learning the basic concepts of the subject, we can never use the tool to its fullest potential. If we can’t explain Bayesian Modelling without the methods, variables, and algorithms, there is no point in doing Bayesian Modelling using Python.

As Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

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