How Java Coders and Artists Are Working Together On Data Visualization

Your Java coders are responsible for the overall look and feel of your website, writing out the sequences that translate into something your average reader can use and interact with. And while a great coder can create beautiful and interesting websites, the reality is that these tech professionals aren't artists. Left to their own devices, they may choose impossible to read fonts or assemble an annoying to use sight. And while they can interpret data, they aren't trained to do extensive data visualization work.

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No, what your Java coders really need to do their job to the fullest is an artist or other visual designer by their side because even those coders who have taken data visualization courses from a reputable name like Data Camp don't have necessarily have minds for design. Here's how combining the skills of a coder and an artist can take your data visualization to the next level.

What Libraries Lack

Java is a proper programming language and part of what makes it easy to use is the existence of Open Source code libraries. You can even get code components from Apache and Google. But even though code libraries are great, their value is for replication of pre-existing functions. We know this code works, but it doesn't know how to say new things.

On the other hand, artists may not know how to code, but they're excellent at imagining new things. This kind of team can develop the kind of data manipulation and visualization that will engage users and reveal new things about the value of data. You never know what new and exciting possibilities are buried in your data until you build this kind of creator-coder team.

Building A Brain Balance

Coders are great at a kind of thinking known as "design thinking". This kind of thinking is strong in the area of prototyping and refinement. What might start out as a creative idea goes through numerous iterations until it works and looks exactly as it should for optimal use. This is why coders write and rewrite code - to reach this use level.

What coders often need, however, are the "art thinkers". These may sound like very similar roles, but art thinking doesn't aim for the prototyping and refinement part of the process. Instead, it focuses on storytelling and novelty. If the data starts in the hands of the artist, the opening phase of work on it will likely be freewheeling and sometimes far outside traditional schemes. But when it gets to the design thinking coders, refinement brings that wild idea home - translates it to the page. From art to Java to art again.

No Design Divides

Too many Java coders think of what they do as the opposite of what artists do and vice versa, but the contrast doesn't hold. Both on creators and designers, but different thought functions reign. But coding particularly thrives on teamwork, so bringing these groups together to build a better visualization, a better website, is a move towards the greater good. These innovative teams are the fuel of true 21st century design - but it demands we reconceptualize what Java coders and artists do in the world first.


Phong Thai Phong Thai is a Web Developer, Web Coder for 16 years with PHP, JavaScript, CSS. He is the creator of - provide thousands of free JavaScript code examples, web development tips and tricks, helpful blogging guides.

Follow him on twitter@js_bank or connect with him on facebook@jsbank if you want. His websites for your knowledge:,,

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