Use data or be data

Trina Chiasson argues that data has arrived at the same threshold as coding: code or be coded; learn to use data or be data.


Trina Chiasson

Arguments from all sides have surrounded the question of whether or not everyone should learn to code. Trina Chiasson, co-founder and CEO of Infoactive, says learning to code changed her life for the better. “These days I don’t spend a lot of time writing code,” she says, “but it’s incredibly helpful for me to be able to communicate with our engineers and communicate with other people in the industry.”

Though helpful for her personally, she admits that it takes quite a lot of time and commitment to learn to code to any level of proficiency, and that it might not be the best use of time for everyone. What should people commit time to learn? How to use data. Chiasson explains:

“There was this idea a few years ago of ‘code or be coded,’ where we’re living in a world that’s so full of code that you really need to learn how to code in order to succeed in life. I feel like we’re entering the stage where that is true of data, where we’re entering this stage of ‘use data or be data-ed.’ If you’re not learning about data and you don’t have the ability to understand data, you’re going to be left behind in the same way that people were talking about being left behind if you don’t know how to code.”

Chiasson also talks about the state of typography in visualization, at what point typography should be considered in the visualization process, and whether or not the visualization space is maturing. “I don’t know if the area is maturing specifically, but I’d say there’s a lot more interest in it in recent years,” Chiasson says. “We are becoming a more data-driven society….and it’s becoming more important for businesses to use data in their day-to-day lives.”

You can watch to the interview in the following video:

For more interviews, presentations, and event videos from Strata + Hadoop World 2014, visit our Strata + Hadoop World YouTube playlist.

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