I’m feeling much better about my goal to just start with building a very simple web app, and then maybe a viz for the next project!
Now that I have the lay of the land, and have learned a lot more about D3 and its scope, I can charge forward with Shirley Wu’s advice to start small with introductory lessons.
Codecademy felt a little too introductory and tedious, so I found a step by step guide to building a very simple web app.
I immediately ran into trouble with the web app guide, though, since I didn’t understand the first step. So, I went to LinkedIn Learning to get more introductory materials. I found this intro to tools, which I wish I’d seen earlier on. I’m all set up with Visual Studio, but will switch to using a browser now that I know I can. This introductory course is much better than Codecademy.
I’ve found that LinkedIn Learning is much better because you get more practical application value upfront, so you feel like you’re actually learning to build something much faster. I can easily skip past sections I already feel comfortable with, like data types.
To do this I once again returned to looking for resources posted by Shirley Wu. I found an interactive introduction but it was a little confusing. I decided to browse her r/dataisbeautiful AMA and look for anyone with similar questions. I found someone in a similar position to me and she said the following:
When you start learning D3js, don’t focus on learning the big JS frameworks like react or angular; instead get a basic HTML scaffold going, figure out how to query for your dataset, and then dive into doing things with that data via D3js.
Avoid using frameworks that make use of D3js when you’re starting out, as the only way to truly learn a language or JS framework is to dive into it and not abstract a lot of the intricacies.”
This advice corroborates my difficulties getting started. It’s a lot to jump into for someone with little web development experience.
This is why I’m deciding to switch my project to web development first, then D3.js for the next portion!