Required knowledge for Data Visualization Certification


I’ve been interested in programming for more than 15 years, done things on the side with it… I have very basic knowledge of HTML (mostly theoretic, I have used it for web scrapping).

Anyway, the site is great and I love the practical approach. I am doing a nanodegree in another web which is also being sponsored by my company (so I need to do it). There is a module about Data Visualization very similar to the one here.

Since I am a bit on a deadline, what would you say is the minimum HTML, CSS and Javascript you need to be able to follow the Data Visualization Cert here with D3?

I was planning on doing the next lessons, correct me if you think I may be wrong:

  1. Responsive Web Design:
  • Basic HTML and HTML 5 (already done)
  • Basic CSS
  • Applied Visual Design
  1. Javascript algorithms and data structures:
  • Basic Javascript

Note: I am familiar (but not experienced, maybe think around 100hrs experience each) with Java, C++. With Python I have around 300hrs experience (still a beginner, obviously).

I have liked this site so much, that the next stop will be to finish those certifications anyway… But I need to finish that other training first!

D3 (Data Driven Documents) is, as expressed in the name, useful for building components and pages not around data, but with data. So, you would need to be comfortable getting data from various sources, extracting the specific data you need from the response (typically in JSON format), and using that extracted data to actually construct your UIs. In other words, without the data, you have essentially nothing.

So, after you’ve finished what you listed above, build a simple project that is data-driven, such as a cryptocurrency tracker. At first, you can just fill in the numbers with the data, such as current value, market cap ranking, etc. Once you’ve completed your data visualization cert, you can add dynamic charts to your app.

Anyway, good luck!

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You are totally right! I forgot to mention that the nanodegree I am doing is about data analysis, so that part I have covered.

Here, I would recommend doing Data Analysis with Python, the content seems adequate for getting a Json with interesting data already analyzed.

D3 was very fun section for me, when i did it back then and also i found it mostly easier to understand and work on, apart of few wormholes in the projects, but why i was able to enjoy it so much, is most of the code patterns were already familiar from past certs. D3 is a frontend library and is very similar to jQuery in syntax, so having had completed the frontend cert and a project using jQ, it was not hard to start work with D3. It does rely mostly on JS objects and methods and chain them together and having seen that and experienced it from past coding does prove useful. Id say CSS has strong part in that section, as visualisation is about representing and styling and CSS is responsible for that. You need also good grasp of HTML and the SVG microverse in particular. Outside general knowledge about graphs/tables etc, can also help.
This section is also the first where we are introduced to JSON, AJAX, API terms and what they represent, which are basically means to send/retrieve data on the web, as its a common prerequisite to need to retrieve a data from somewhere, in order to use it and render its representation via a chart or the sort.
In conclusion id say, the most important is having better understanding of JavaScript, which you definitely want completing the appropriate section and also will take some practice, in order to feel at ease and able to dive in d3, but i see you have past coding experience and it shouldnt be too hard for you to adopt JS, keep in mind Python has lot easier and shorter syntax for many operation and while im sure JS can provide solution for every of them, it usually invovles a greater inventory of methods.

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