This weekend I started working through the Visualize This: The FlowingData Guide to Design, Visualization and Statistics by Nathan Yau, the writer and data visualisation expert behind flowingdata.com.

I’ve been interested in this field for some time but haven’t invested the time to learn the new technical skills required to really push myself, partly through fear of programming. So, I sat down with the book, opened a text editor on my Mac and fired up Terminal.

I have a difficult relationship with programming, convinced that code is beyond me and I’ve been winging it this far. Code doesn’t come naturally; I painstakingly grind away line by line to understand how a snippet works. I can’t say it’s a pleasure but it is satisfying when everything comes together and you write something that works. This video of Daniel Shiffman by Mark Webster might convince me to stick at it.