The Mental Game of Python, by Raymond Hettinger

YouTube recommended I’d watch this recorded presentation by Raymond Hettinger at PyBay2019 last October. Quite a long presentation for what I’d normally watch, but what an eye-openers it contains! Raymond Hettinger is a Python core developer and in this video he presents 10 programming strategies in these 60 minutes, all using live examples. Some are…

Data Visualization Style Guide Repositories

Amy Cesal put together (1) this great overview of style guides for data visualization practice. Moreover, in the original tweet, Amy refers to other great repositories such as (2) this PolicyViz one and (3) this humongous one by Adele. Amy’s list includes many references to the best practices used by some of the leading data…

5 Quick Tips for Coding in the Classroom, by Kelly Bodwin

Kelly Bodwin is an Assistant Professor of Statistics at Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo) and teaches multiple courses in statistical programming. Based on her experiences, she compiled this great shortlist of five great tips to teach programming. Kelly truly mentions some best practices, so have a look at the original article, which she summarized as…

18 Pitfalls of Data Visualization

Maarten Lambrechts is a data journalist I closely follow online, with great delight. Recently, he shared on Twitter his slidedeck on the 18 most common data visualization pitfalls. You will probably already be familiar with most, but some (like #14) were new to me: Save pies for dessert Don’t cut bars Don’t cut time axes…

7 tips for writing cleaner JavaScript code, translated to 3.5 tips for R programming

I recently came across this lovely article where Ali Spittel provides 7 tips for writing cleaner JavaScript code. Enthusiastic about her guidelines, I wanted to translate them to the R programming environment. However, since R is not an object-oriented programming language, not all tips were equally relevant in my opinion. Here’s what really stood out for me. 1….

10 Simple Rules for Better Data Visualizations

Nicolas Rougier, Michael Droettboom, Philip Bourne wrote an open access article for the Public Library of Open Science (PLOS) in 2014, proposing ten simple rules for better figures. Below I posted these 10 rules and quote several main sentences extracted from the original article. Rule 1: Know Your Audience It is important to identify, as early…

A note on Pie Charts

A table is nearly always better than a dumb pie chart; the only worse design than a pie chart is several of them […] pie charts should never be used. Edward Tufte in the Visual Display of Quantitative Information Stop using pie charts, they are evil! title of Bernard Marr’s LinkedIn post I hate pie charts. I mean, really hate…

Functional programming and why not to “grow” vectors in R

For fresh R programmers, vectorization can sound awfully complicated. Consider two math problems, one vectorized, and one not: Why on earth should R spend more time calculating one over the other? In both cases there are the same three addition operations to perform, so why the difference? This is what we will try to illustrate…