Michael: [laughing] That's totally natural when someone sees a programming language for the first time. It's the same reaction we have when we learn math as kids or when people start to learn Excel formulas. There are just some rules to learn first and then all of a sudden it turns into manageable chunks that our brains can understand.
Dustin: Soooooo...in keeping with the Matrix theme, where is the chair I can sit in that pumps this directly into my brain?
Michael: Believe it or not, that kind of exists from a learning standpoint.
Dustin: [incredulous look]...
Michael: End to end...probably about 5 weeks spending 1 hr. a day on Codecademy. Keep in mind though, initially this was just a side project for me to do in my spare time. I think if I had had a deadline or a real project it would have taken a lot less time.
Dustin: What did learning all this let you do when it comes to Tableau?
Dustin: Give me an example.
Michael: The example on the website that shows Washington dropout rates [not real data - example only] is one to look at to get a sense of what we're talking about. In my mind though, that's the equivalent of driving down the street to go get a slushie from the corner store. Not exactly exploring the full potential of the API.
Dustin: You know I helped with that, right?
Michael: Why do you think I referenced it? [smiling] Just kidding. It's great. Really polished and perfect for introducing people to the possibilities.
Dustin: But you think there are bigger possibilities?
Dustin: Like what? Prettier buttons? New filter types?
Michael: Dream bigger. You're still thinking about making something that already exists better. I'm talking about building never before achievable stuff. If I show you some projects I've been working on, you promise not to show anyone?
Dustin: Pffft, no. I'm in Marketing. Sharing = Caring.
Michael: ...Okay...this is concept stuff though....
(Caveats: 1. This only works in Chrome (mouse over the viz if it sticks), 2. This can potentially eat up a bunch of your day. You've been warned.)
(Want to see who is bragging about their scores?)
Dustin: Ya...we're definitely not in Kansas anymore Toto.
(This should work in all browsers)
Michael: I would go the 1-2-3-4 approach in this order...
Michael: I found the following non-Tableau specific resources to be really helpful for me...
For taking the time to do this interview, for putting up with me on a regular basis and for creating both the recordings that helped me do my job better as well as the concept projects that helped me think bigger about Tableau - I'd like to extend a huge thank you to Michael Kovner.
Tableau Software Product Consultant
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