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Four things that unis think matter more than league tables 08-12-2016
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    Does anybody know of any good intuitive software for scientific data visualisation? This is an issue I've had for a while now with Python and other languages, I've got no problems computing things but when it comes to visualising the data, I spend ages trying to google how to use the various modules like matplotlib and it takes forever to make the results look remotely professional when I'm trying to do something more complex than a basic graph.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    I forgot... have you tried looking for sites that match you to non-profit projects? That's the nice thing about FreeCodeCamp... they find projects for you to work on as you go, in order to help charities etc. So that might solve the issue of not being able to think of things to practice on?


    :sly: :whip:
    I think I've heard of that before actually, but didn't know it matched you up to projects - will definitely take a look, thanks.
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    (Original post by mobbsy91)
    I think I've heard of that before actually, but didn't know it matched you up to projects - will definitely take a look, thanks.
    :yy:
    Sorry no, @Plagioclase. But I'm also interested in the answer. Visualisation is really important for me, not just for being professional, but also for motivation and deriving satisfaction from doing/using things.
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    Hi,

    I'm in the process of starting to learn C/C++ language and I've nearly learn't Java. I already know HTML, CSS, JS and Databases.
    I'm interested in cyber security.

    James
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    (Original post by jameshburton)
    Hi,

    I'm in the process of starting to learn C/C++ language and I've nearly learn't Java. I already know HTML, CSS, JS and Databases.
    I'm interested in cyber security.

    James
    Hi James :hello:
    Are you learning on your own or as part of a school/uni course?
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    Hi Craghyrax,

    I'm learning the languages on my own.

    James
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    (Original post by jameshburton)
    Hi Craghyrax,

    I'm learning the languages on my own.

    James
    Same here :five:

    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Does anybody know of any good intuitive software for scientific data visualisation? This is an issue I've had for a while now with Python and other languages, I've got no problems computing things but when it comes to visualising the data, I spend ages trying to google how to use the various modules like matplotlib and it takes forever to make the results look remotely professional when I'm trying to do something more complex than a basic graph.
    Does this module on FreeCodeCamp look suitable?

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    Arrrggghhh!!!!!! :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

    That awkward moment when you discover that HEX values can be abbreviated to just three digits of the full six, meaning that you've been manually typing #0099FF needlessly for the past decade or so :argh: :cry: :doh:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Does this module on FreeCodeCamp look suitable?
    Thanks for letting me know about this and I've made an account but it seems like this is (1) web-focused and (2) none of the languages it uses are languages that I'm likely to use, so possibly not ideal for my purposes.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Thanks for letting me know about this and I've made an account but it seems like this is (1) web-focused and (2) none of the languages it uses are languages that I'm likely to use, so possibly not ideal for my purposes.
    No problem.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)

    Arrrggghhh!!!!!! :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

    That awkward moment when you discover that HEX values can be abbreviated to just three digits of the full six, meaning that you've been manually typing #0099FF needlessly for the past decade or so :argh: :cry: :doh:
    oh :/
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    We're all newbie coders one way or another!

    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Does anybody know of any good intuitive software for scientific data visualisation? This is an issue I've had for a while now with Python and other languages, I've got no problems computing things but when it comes to visualising the data, I spend ages trying to google how to use the various modules like matplotlib and it takes forever to make the results look remotely professional when I'm trying to do something more complex than a basic graph.
    d3 is a pretty widely used one - don't dismiss it out of hand just because it's web focused. The creator has used it to create pretty impressive visualisations for the New York Times. I've never used matplotlib, but if you want to use python and you just need to plot graphs...I'd stick with it. No matter what visualisation library you use, the more power and flexibility it offers, the harder it will be to use - I've never come across easy data visualisation that also looks professional.

    (R gets some use in science, but it's a horrible language to google tutorials for and I found it very painful)
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    (Original post by Chrosson)
    We're all newbie coders one way or another!



    d3 is a pretty widely used one - don't dismiss it out of hand just because it's web focused. The creator has used it to create pretty impressive visualisations for the New York Times. I've never used matplotlib, but if you want to use python and you just need to plot graphs...I'd stick with it. No matter what visualisation library you use, the more power and flexibility it offers, the harder it will be to use - I've never come across easy data visualisation that also looks professional.

    (R gets some use in science, but it's a horrible language to google tutorials for and I found it very painful)
    I'll take a look at it, thanks. At the moment, the only reason why I'm using Python is because it's easier to use with FORTRAN than Matlab - I am not a fan of python.
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    I can never understand how people actually learn on things like Codecademy... The best way to learn a language in my opinion is to do mini challenges which you can find online. Find a task, read it, understand what it is and then just get to it. Google is always there for you to look up on how to do certain things, so going through a step by step tutorial isn't even needed anymore. I used this method with Visual Basics. I knew nothing about the language, so I looked up some starter mini tasks to do. When I found one I liked, I'd start to use Google in order to find out how to do certain stuff when I got to it (aka declare a variable, declare a function ect). This method worked extremely effectively for me personally. It's been 2 years since I started using Visual Basics, and I can now say that I'm extremely confident with the language.
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    (Original post by Aklaol)
    I can never understand how people actually learn on things like Codecademy... The best way to learn a language in my opinion is to do mini challenges which you can find online. Find a task, read it, understand what it is and then just get to it. Google is always there for you to look up on how to do certain things, so going through a step by step tutorial isn't even needed anymore. I used this method with Visual Basics. I knew nothing about the language, so I looked up some starter mini tasks to do. When I found one I liked, I'd start to use Google in order to find out how to do certain stuff when I got to it (aka declare a variable, declare a function ect). This method worked extremely effectively for me personally. It's been 2 years since I started using Visual Basics, and I can now say that I'm extremely confident with the language.
    I do think it's very useful to start as it quickly builds up the basics, and gives you an idea of the syntax... until recently, they did also have tasks free for all, but they're now hidden behind a paywall...
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    It's even the really small things in VBA which just speed things up a few seconds at a time that I love...
    Code:
    Sub Resize()
    
    With ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange  
      .Width = 500 
    End With
    
    End Sub
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    What's VBA @mobbsy91?

    Wait... what's wrong with a language being web focused? :confused: The internet is the only reason I have any interest in coding

    (Original post by Aklaol)
    I can never understand how people actually learn on things like Codecademy...
    Have you tried?

    (Original post by Aklaol)
    The best way to learn a language in my opinion is to do mini challenges which you can find online. Find a task, read it, understand what it is and then just get to it. Google is always there for you to look up on how to do certain things, so going through a step by step tutorial isn't even needed anymore. I used this method with Visual Basics. I knew nothing about the language, so I looked up some starter mini tasks to do. When I found one I liked, I'd start to use Google in order to find out how to do certain stuff when I got to it (aka declare a variable, declare a function ect). This method worked extremely effectively for me personally. It's been 2 years since I started using Visual Basics, and I can now say that I'm extremely confident with the language.
    I think that there are probably things that you knew, or information that you had that you are taking for granted. You might have been in an environment where people in your network coded, or you might have been in a work place where it was needed, or a hobby, etc. etc.
    But for some people, myself included, we know nothing about programming and coding other than what - e.g. - my D in IGCSE Computer Science taught me. E.g. what an algorithm is. When I started the only thing I knew was that there are different programming languages. Codecademy gives me the basics and gives me the reassurance that I know enough to begin googling things independently based on my needs, without being hindered by huge chasms in my understanding. And anyway... googling does lead you to very newbie ish articles that point you to tools like Codecademy, Khan etc.
    It's as good a place to start as any, as long as you don't think you're going to finish a tutorial like that and then be able to walk away and actually do stuff with it. That's why I have my own projects in mind, and I intend to give myself a lot of hours of tinkering independently after being taught the syntax and underlying logic behind different languages. As somebody doing a social science PhD... which is very independent and largely unstructured, you also learn the value of the kind of structure and gamification that a site like Codecademy offers. It is enormously helpful for motivation if you can see easily how far you're progressing on a module, and to have regular feedback and reassurance that you're getting things right. Many people also don't have direction or goals to work on when they first decide to try learning programming. If you don't have direction then it is very overwhelming to have to randomly google about programming. Things like Codecademy give you bite sized pieces to worth through while you figure out what you're doing and why.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    What's VBA @mobbsy91?

    Wait... what's wrong with a language being web focused? :confused: The internet is the only reason I have any interest in coding

    Have you tried?


    I think that there are probably things that you knew, or information that you had that you are taking for granted. You might have been in an environment where people in your network coded, or you might have been in a work place where it was needed, or a hobby, etc. etc.
    But for some people, myself included, we know nothing about programming and coding other than what - e.g. - my D in IGCSE Computer Science taught me. E.g. what an algorithm is. When I started the only thing I knew was that there are different programming languages. Codecademy gives me the basics and gives me the reassurance that I know enough to begin googling things independently based on my needs, without being hindered by huge chasms in my understanding. And anyway... googling does lead you to very newbie ish articles that point you to tools like Codecademy, Khan etc.
    It's as good a place to start as any, as long as you don't think you're going to finish a tutorial like that and then be able to walk away and actually do stuff with it. That's why I have my own projects in mind, and I intend to give myself a lot of hours of tinkering independently after being taught the syntax and underlying logic behind different languages. As somebody doing a social science PhD... which is very independent and largely unstructured, you also learn the value of the kind of structure and gamification that a site like Codecademy offers. It is enormously helpful for motivation if you can see easily how far you're progressing on a module, and to have regular feedback and reassurance that you're getting things right. Many people also don't have direction or goals to work on when they first decide to try learning programming. If you don't have direction then it is very overwhelming to have to randomly google about programming. Things like Codecademy give you bite sized pieces to worth through while you figure out what you're doing and why.
    Visual Basic - you can use it on stuff like Excel to write macros, real neat for automating spreadsheets...

    So, when we had about 10,000 rows of data that needed checking, we wrote a macro using VBA to automate it... its real neat!
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    I'm currently working on 3 different visual novels using renpy, has anyone heard of it?
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    i did java at gcse and it pissed me off so bad so i just gave up ; so damn annoying how one little syntax error messes us the entire thing
 
 
 
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